WILL Croker admitted Bournemouth’s unbeaten start to the season would count for nothing if they did not secure promotion.

The head coach praised the flawless opening to the South West Premier campaign but stressed playing at a higher level remained the priority.

Lions are top of the standings and travel to Exmouth on Saturday (2.30pm) hoping to rack up 10 wins from as many matches.

However, Croker said promotion was more important than an unbeaten streak.

He told the Daily Echo: “I don’t care whether we end up winning 10 and losing 10 if we go up.

“It is a great record and the boys are delighted with it but it really is a case of drawing a line under it and moving on to the next one.”

Lions are set to make a host of changes for the fixture at Imperial Recreation Ground.

Former Dorset Dockers lock Harry Leadbetter could make his league debut, while Sam Hardcastle, Freddie Gleadowe, Mike Haines and Hamish Renwick will be absent.

“We have competition for places which means none of them can rest on their laurels,” said Croker.

“We have to make a number of changes but the quality we are bringing in is such that I’m hoping it will not make too much of a dent."