BOSS Eddie Howe revealed how he had called in the SAS to help navigate Cherries to Premier League success.

Players and staff from the Dorset club took on an orienteering challenge at Wareham Forest as part of a team-building exercise during the international break.

With his troops set to head back into the top-flight trenches tomorrow at home against Leicester City (3pm), manager Howe hoped the exercise had gelled his most trusted servicemen with some new recruits.

He told the Daily Echo: “It’s important to keep things fresh during the breaks. It can be a long two weeks if the environment remains the same.

“We like to try to do things which stretch the players and give them new life skills.

“Without saying too much, we made use of the SAS and had a go at doing something different.

“When you do something slightly different and take the players out of their comfort zone you are looking to build relationships from people who haven’t quite communicated in that way before.

“The fact you are laughing and sharing a new experience can help bond friendships and improve spirit.

“I think it’s massive and so important that the group knows how to laugh together. We are playing a sport, it’s hugely competitive and there is a lot at stake, but you have to enjoy it.

“The players have to go home feeling good about themselves and better about their life than before they came in to work that day. That is a massive part of what we do.”

With the players getting the better of Howe’s backroom staff during the challenge, the boss admitted he had found defeat tough to take.

“Map reading and orienteering is something I have never really done before and it was difficult, we learned a lot,” he added.

“I think the players enjoyed seeing the staff suffer for a bit, we don’t like losing and we didn’t enjoy that aspect of it.

“JT (Jason Tindall) was excellent, he had obviously done it before and led the staff team to last place – so he did really well!

“I know who the pick of the staff were and I know the ones who weren’t very good, it was an interesting thing.

“We were let down by one or two key personnel, Simon Weatherstone and Steve Fletcher weren’t very good!”

Howe’s regiment have never been defeated by the Foxes in six top-flight battles.

Five of the contests between the sides have ended in draws, with Marc Pugh’s solitary strike earning Cherries a 1-0 home win in December 2016.

Winger Pugh is back in contention for the clash after nursing a hamstring problem.

Leicester are eighth in the table, one point behind sixth-placed Cherries with two wins from their opening four fixtures.