SCOTT Parker admits his previous experience as a Premier League boss leaves him "under no illusions" the scale of the task facing Cherries next season, insisting: "There's a lot of challenges that lie ahead."

Cherries are set to return to the top flight after two years away, after Parker guided them to a second-placed finish in the Championship.

It will be the 41-year-old's third stint at that level. As caretaker boss at Fulham, he could not prevent the club from suffering relegation in 2019. Having been handed the job full time, Parker immediately guided the Cottagers back up to the Premier League, but again saw them slip through the trap door at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

A move to Cherries then followed, where he achieved another promotion, at the first time of asking, with the club having lost in the play-offs under Jonathan Woodgate a few weeks earlier.

Having often talked up his players and staff throughout the season, Parker was asked if he will now give himself any credit for his achievements at Cherries.

He said: "I do, deep down. This is my third full season now as a manager.

"My first season I took a club (Fulham) that was literally dismantled and absolutely blitzed to pieces and got them promoted.

"I then faced the next challenge which was the biggest league in the world, with not a lot of finance, didn’t spend a lot of money and then you’re trying to compete with the world’s best.

"So I realise the flaws of that. Ultimately we failed. I felt we did an amazing job and we had our moments, but we failed.

"And then straightaway stepped into this job where I needed to get promoted again and I’ve done that. So you know what, in the cold light of day when this all settles down, probably when I have a little bit of time to myself, I probably can realise that I’ve done an amazing job.

"Two clubs, two different teams, managing two different personnel, two different groups of players and I’ve managed to get it over the line.

"Not just me, my staff as well. The supporting mechanism."

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Discussing the comparisons between his emotions upon clinching promotions with Fulham and Cherries, Parker added: "I suppose you just become a little less sensitive to it.

"The first season was amazing, because it was a massive job and I realised where we were and instantly the pressures of that was ‘this team should go up’.

"But I realised how dismantled the team were and how far off it was and we managed to do that.

"This time, I honestly can say I feel immensely proud and you’d expect me to say that, but I’m not lying in any way. This group are an incredible group.

"They have flaws, definitely, but I don’t think I’ll manage a better group in terms of eyes, ears, determination and it makes my job so much easier.

"They hold onto every single word, they want to improve, they want to get better and while you have that as a manager, you’ve always got a chance. So it’s definitely a proud moment."

While Parker has impressed as a boss in the Championship, winning 48 of his 92 games in charge and losing just 19, in the Premier League he has only overseen eight victories.

That comes from 48 matches, all in charge of Fulham, collecting just 37 points.

Quizzed on what he has learned from his time in the top flight to make sure Cherries do not suffer relegation next season, Parker said: "Well it could happen.

"You only have to look at the league this year – Norwich and other teams, it’s a tough, tough ask.

"The gap between the Championship and the Premier League is huge. Whether that’s finances, whether that’s the quality you’re going into.

"I’m under no illusions that next year is going to be a massive, massive challenge for us and we’re going to need to invest right, we’re going to need to recruit right.

"The next challenge for the players is can they step up the next level against the world’s best?

"Of course I’ve learned from my experiences of last being in the Premier League. But there’s a lot of challenges that lie ahead."

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Asked how he has picked himself up from relegation with Fulham to instantly guide Cherries to a promotion, Parker explained: "You honestly have to, and that’s every week. Every single week in this job, on a Saturday I either win, lose or draw.

"And the team do as well. Ultimately you let that affect you. I’m a realist.

"I prepare myself for how it may look. So while I beat myself up at times, while I’m ultra-critical at times and my family and everyone else would probably be the first to say that, I also understand what I need to be, what I need to produce.

"What I need to show the team constantly is a constant belief and that this is a water off a duck’s back now and this is the bump we’ve had, we’ve just had a jab on the nose, we’ve lost two on the bounce, we’ve been relegated, what do I need to do?

"If you’d have said to me a long time ago when I was a young boy being brought up in inner London, I’m going to have the opportunity to have these opportunities, I’d have absolutely bitten your hand off.

"I forever have that in my head, without going deep, that’s exactly what it is."