ANDONI Iraola does not believe bettering last season’s points total will prove right the decision to install the Basque boss as Cherries head coach, stating that “they are different scenarios”.

The decision to fire Gary O’Neil and appoint Iraola in the summer generated lot of furore in the national media and wider footballing world, with further questions raised when Cherries failed to win any of their first nine Premier League games under Iraola.

However, a strong run of form in December catapulted Cherries up the league table, with Iraola’s charges adding a further 10 points from their last four games.

Cherries could surpass last season’s points tally with victory over Crystal Palace tomorrow evening (7.45pm), their win against Everton at the weekend taking them to 38 points from 29 games.

Under O’Neil last term, Cherries finished the campaign on 38 points, effectively sealing survival with games spare but tailing off in the last three fixtures.

Asked if he felt that improving on the 2022/23 points total would vindicate the decision to swap managers, Iraola told the Daily Echo: “No, not at all.

“I think they are different scenarios, different seasons, different squads, different opponents.

“Every year we start from zero and we want to finish as high as possible and we still have more chances.

“We have to finish this season well, see where the standings put us.

“And I think after this week we have seven more games.

“So we want to arrive at the end with things to play for and try to catch teams and try to improve our position.”

Cherries can still feasibly set a new club record for points gained in a Premier League season.

Under Eddie Howe in the 2016/17 season, Cherries finished ninth with a total of 46 points.

There are nine Premier League fixtures remaining for Cherries this season.