THE way a season comes to a close never quite tells the full story.

While an air of overriding disappointment crept into the emotions of players and supporters after Cherries ended the campaign in defeat at Crystal Palace, it is easy to forget the largely distant highs among some of the more recent lows from the past nine months.

A significantly better start compared to the three previous Premier League seasons saw the Dorset club on the crest of a wave as winter approached.

Now with summer ahead and the drama of the top flight shelved, there could be a sense of what might have been.

In 2017-18, Cherries started poorly, four defeats in a row and one win in their first eight matches. However, in the second half of the season, Eddie Howe’s troops claimed 28 points, ending with victories against Swansea and Burnley.

The tables were turned this time around. Six wins out of the first 10 games left Cherries sixth and, despite a difficult run of results, 26 points had been secured at the halfway stage before just three wins in 14 fixtures to close the campaign.

There is simply no getting away from the fact injuries took their toll. By the end of the season, Howe was without nine outfield players, including some of his most senior charges.

Remove nine members of similar importance from any Premier League squad and there is going to be an impact on the pitch.

And despite the gremlin of injuries from November through to May, a light should be shone on many areas of success.

Transfer speculation is now back in full swing and the success of last summer’s business is a great place to start.

Left-back Diego Rico faced a difficult first season in England but Jefferson Lerma and David Brooks blossomed in the Premier League.

The Colombian capped off an assured campaign with Cherries’ goal of the season at Selhurst Park.

The former Sheffield United ace was named Wales player of the year in March and made the PFA Young Player of the Year award shortlist for his efforts.

Elsewhere, Callum Wilson in November fired his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad before netting on debut. In March, the frontman became the first Cherries player to make a competitive appearance for the Three Lions against Montenegro.

Ryan Fraser’s goal involvements were undeniably superb and deserved the plaudits he received in the end of the season awards.

Nathan Ake quietly achieved another campaign in which he featured in every Premier League game and continued to improve.

While 10 clean sheets delivered the joint most in a season for the side since promotion from the Championship, the defensive record of 70 goals conceded is a clear area for improvement – Howe and his squad would be the first to admit this.

However, this must not take anything away from a campaign which at times saw confidence and quality not seen before by Cherries at this level.

The hope is now these periods of brilliance can be channelled and developed to write the club’s next chapter come August.