EDDIE Howe revealed his pride at hitting 400 games in permanent charge of Cherries – but admitted he still felt he was in the survival business.

The 41-year-old will tomorrow achieve the milestone when he sends his troops into battle at Cardiff City (5.30pm).

But despite having masterminded Cherries’ journey from the depths of the Football League to the top half of the Premier League across two spells, Howe feels he must continue to prove himself.

He told the Daily Echo: “I wouldn’t say I feel old yet but I’m certainly going that way!

“To reach 400 games is nice. When you first get into management, you don’t set out to achieve numbers, you set out to stay in the job week on week.

“It’s probably no different now, you are still trying to survive and seeing where you can go.

“It’s been really nice for me to do it at one club – the club I love so much.

“I’d never have thought this possible at the start and I’m immensely proud to have done it with AFC Bournemouth.”

Howe believes he has sharpened his managerial talents since first taking the reins but that he remains the same personality he has always been.

He said: “I’d like to think that tactically and with how we deliver our training, I’m a lot better prepared to give the players a better product.

“There are certain things I’ve had to develop and understand better about the game and that will continue to be the case.

“Underneath it all in terms of personality and how I deal with things, I’d like to think I’m no different and that the successes we’ve had haven’t changed my basic principles in terms of how I treat people and deal with situations.

“It’s really important that you are the same human being with the same beliefs and principles.”

Howe may not be the only member of the Cherries camp to hit a landmark tomorrow, with Steve Cook on the brink of his 300th appearance for the club.

The manager revealed he would make a late call on the fitness of ankle injury victim Jefferson Lerma, while David Brooks had been due for assessment after being forced off in Wednesday’s win over Chelsea.

“It was a strange one because David scored the goal and then felt something in his ankle,” said Howe. “We’re not sure what that is.

“I don’t think the physio team and the doctors were too concerned after the game so it’s a case of let’s see how he presents today.”

Striker Dominic Solanke took his place on the bench against the Blues having recovered from injury following his £17.5million switch from Liverpool.

Howe said: “I wouldn’t say he is 100 per cent fit but he is working towards that.

“It’s difficult when you have a lot of games to prepare for to build fitness and resilience. But we are pleased to have him available.”