ANDONI Iraola shares the ambitions of owner Bill Foley when it comes to taking Cherries into Europe, but warned: “There are nine of 10 clubs right now that are in a better place.”

Speaking to Sky Sports last month, Foley reiterated his ambitions, stating “we want to play in Europe” and “keep on doing better every year”.

Cherries finished 15th in their first campaign back in the top flight in 2022-23, totalling 39 points.

In Foley’s first full season at the helm, the club have already eclipsed that tally and sit on 42 points with six games to play, already mathematically safe from relegation and eight points off a European place.

Asked if he agreed with Foley’s hope of taking Cherries into Europe, head coach Iraola said: “I think he is talking more about the long term.

“Our mindset as management and as a club is to go on making small steps, but going forward and to improve on the past season, trying to improve on this season next season and trying to establish ourselves as a Premier League club.

“Try to continue this process upwards. I think it is good to have ambitions and have this kind of thinking.”

He added: “I think you have to be really, really good, because the opposition is the best in the world.

“I have said it before, I think there are nine or 10 clubs right now that are in a better place than the others.

“We still haven’t filled this gap.

“I hope in the future we can compete with the teams that right now are ahead of us, but we have to be very, very good on the pitch, off the pitch, with the signings and development of everything.

“That is what Bill is trying to do.”

Bournemouth Echo: Cherries owner Bill Foley

Development is well underway on Cherries’ new state-of-the-art training facility at Canford, which Foley said will be “one of the best” in the league.

Discussing Foley’s ambitious plans, Iraola said: “I think he has not just gone into an interview and said ‘we want to do this’. We can see it.

“You can go now and see there is a building, it looks like it is going to be probably finished at the end of the year and we can move there and we can start working for sure in even better conditions.

“Our steps that the club is making forward definitely will help whatever happens on the pitch.”

He added: “Without losing the perspective and admitting we don’t have a lot of history in the top division, like other clubs.

“But we want to improve and close the gaps that are there to other clubs right now.

“We are in this process. It is still very early.”