STEVE Cook insisted Cherries’ Premier League opener against Sheffield United would be a “tough” start to the campaign.

Eddie Howe’s men will take on the promoted Blades at Vitality Stadium on Saturday, August 10 (3pm).

Chris Wilder’s team earned their promotion from the Championship last season, having finished second behind champions Norwich in the second tier.

Aston Villa joined them in the top-flight by overcoming Derby County in last month’s play-off final.

Cook told the club website: “You couldn’t have asked for three bigger clubs to get promoted from the Championship. They will bring extra quality to the league because they all play very good football.

“Sheffield United will be a tough start for us, we won at Villa Park to secure our status in our first season in the Premier League, so obviously I'm looking forward to going back there so soon.

“Then I scored my first goal in the competition against Norwich at Carrow Road (in September 2015), even though we lost the game.”

Cook, Cherries’ record Premier League appearance-maker, added: “We want to stay in this league for many years to come and know we have a lot of work to do to make sure that happens.”