EDDIE Howe is excited to return to La Manga this week, admitting their stay last summer “enabled us to get off to a great start to the season”.

Cherries visited the Spanish resort for the first time in 2018 and went on to make their best beginning to a Premier League campaign, notching 20 points from their first 10 matches.

And Howe has decided to take his troops to La Manga again with the squad due to arrive this evening. They hope to play a friendly on one of the eight full-sized pitches at the venue on Tuesday before heading for a short stay in Barcelona, where they will take on Girona on July 20.

Howe said: “We had a really good time at La Manga Club last summer and we worked incredibly hard.

“The facilities were brilliant, the people were excellent and everything there. We felt it really did help us. It enabled us to get off to a great start to the season.

“The facilities, the hotel, the shortness of the trip from the hotel to the training ground – everything there was superb and we were catered for very well, so it enabled us to build the team spirit and get everyone fit and firing in the same direction.”

Cherries are just one of numerous British sides using the Murcia resort this summer.

Doncaster, Scunthorpe, Peterborough, Swindon, AFC Wimbledon, Partick Thistle and Everton’s under-23s are all set for a stay at La Manga.

As well as the pitches, the resort offers a high-performance centre and wellness centre for gym work with three golf courses and tennis courts available for any downtime Howe offers his squad.

The venue is one hour away from Alicante, where Cherries’ under-21s are based this week with coach Shaun Cooper.

Howe added: “We’re going to be working on all areas during this pre-season.

“I’d be foolish to say there’s just one in particular. Everyone from the outside may point to one specific thing but in my shoes, if you neglect any then you will come up short.

“The aim is to improve the team ahead of the start of the season and we’re really excited to be back.

“It’s a great part of the season as a coach as we emphasise our philosophy and how we want the players to play this season.”

After returning from Spain, Cherries face friendlies against West Brom, Brentford, Lazio and Lyon before the Premier League season begins on August 10 against Sheffield United.