MEETING expectations is an achievement in itself according to Cherries boss Scott Parker, with the head coach stressing that it is not always plain sailing in the Championship.

A lot has been made in recent seasons about recently relegated sides receiving parachute payments after coming down from the Premier League, prompting discussions whether those former top-flight sides have an inherent advantage over others in the Championship.

Others have pointed out that the value of Cherries’ players is a strong indicator that promotion was inevitable, but Parker believes that is not always the case, highlighting that not every relegated club bounces straight back up.

It is a viewpoint shared by Millwall boss Gary Rowett, who harboured no feelings of jealousy after his Lions lost to Cherries on the final day of the campaign.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Parker stressed: “I think, like always, I live and sleep it. I'm in it. I see it.

“And it's always easier from the outside, whether it's you guys or whether it's someone else who's sitting on a panel or whether it's a fan or whatever.

“It’s very easy to think ‘that should happen’. Look at the facts. Always look at facts.

“We get blinded by facts. We don't look at facts anymore. Well, why is that?

“The question, next year you're going in the Premier League, have you learnt anything as a coach. How are you going to keep this team up?

“Well, the facts are we're going into the biggest league in the world and unless you have massive finance, unless you can go and bring in massive amount of players, it's a challenge, it's very, very difficult and they're the facts.

“So while I just feel along the way this year that there should be full credit given to what's been achieved here.”

Without naming specific sides, Parker pointed out that other recently relegated teams had struggled in the second tier.

West Bromwich Albion, who were relegated last campaign, fell well short of pre-season expectations, whilst Sheffield United only secured their place in the play-offs on the final day.

Continuing, Parker stated: “Because like I said, I repeat that there's a lot of teams, however long in the Championship and I'm not going to, but I could name you numerous clubs that have been established Premier League clubs that are now sitting 14th in the Championship, sitting 12th, sitting whatever it is.

“Teams will come out the Premier League last year with x-amount of finances, that ain't got promoted.

“This team is the second season in the Championship. Top players have left, replaced with category three academy players.

“Players that have been released. And while people want to see the big names, I get that they want to see the big names.

“And I understand, you've got so and so and you’ve got so and so. The facts are you still need to get it done and they've got it done. And I think they deserve full credit for that.”