HERE is every word AFC Bournemouth Andoni Iraola had to say in his final pre-match press conference of the 2023/24 Premier League season, previewing Cherries trip to Chelsea (tomorrow, 4pm).

Q: On his new contract…

“I think it was quite fast and quite easy.

“We started talking and with managers I don’t feel it’s so important, a contract, as with players.

“In the end, managers have to perform well, you have to keep winning games. Otherwise you are going to be in trouble, it doesn’t matter the contract you have.

“I think it is more a matter of renewing the confidence. It has been our first season together. I happy that everyone is in a good place and we can continue working together.”

Q: On his celebrations…

“Nothing special. I am happy, obviously, because it means a proof of confidence, but I didn’t do anything special.”

Q: On team news…

“It is difficult, because we still have two days until the game.

“But I don’t think it will change a lot from the one we had the other day. I think probably we will try with Romain.

“He was out, it was just the ankle. I think he will try to be available.

“Meps is improving also. I don’t know if he will arrive, but I think we are finishing the season in a better place.”

Q: On hoping to finish top half…

“I think we missed a big chance the other day against Brentford, to continue in this 10th position.

“Now we are 11th. We know we have a very difficult game, but also it is the same for a lot of teams that are around us.

“We are playing against teams that are in the top six or seven positions, so it is not going to be easy for anyone around us.”

Q: On things going better than he hoped…

“You don’t know really, when you arrive in a new place, how you will do. You expect that things will go well, but I like that we’ve gone and improved in this season.”

“Now that we finish the season and you look at the start, and you try to separate everything and analyse everything, things that you can improve for next season.

“I think that we have been improving in a lot of different areas, and I hope we can continue in the same way.”

Q: Highlight of the season…

“It’s difficult for me to say just one game or this game, I think overall we’ve become a  better team.

“Our results have been quite logical, I would say We have been much better against teams lower than us, we’ve been worse against sides higher than us in the standings.

“But overall we have been quite consistent, during all the season.”

Q: On Chelsea

“For me, they are playing really, really well. They are on a very good run. I think it is going to be a very difficult game.

“They are finishing very, very strong. They have very good individual threats. They have obviously players like Cole Palmer and Nicolas Jackson finishing the season. I think they’ve recovered a couple of injured players that give them more options also.

“I think it is going to be really difficult, because the level they are playing right now, for me, is very, very high.”

Q: On Cole Palmer…

“Sometimes you cannot only focus in Cole Palmer. We know that he is playing very well, making the numbers. He is a big threat.

“But all the players around him are also in a very good moment. I could say almost all their line-up, because they are all a threat and they are really dangerous with spaces and also have really good individual skill without spaces, playing between the lines.

“For me, we are playing against a team that is finishing very strong. Probably, with the teams that are fighting for the title, they are the ones finishing the season stronger. I expect a similar game as we had against Arsenal not long ago.

“We have to improve our level if we want to give them a game, because they are winning games quite easily I would say.

“Mauricio is a top manager. He has shown it not only this season, but in all his career. I think you can see, watching Chelsea, they are improving week-to-week. They are finishing very strong.

“They can even finish the season in fifth. Probably if they had more games, they would be fighting for the Champions League. I know the level they have and it’s going to be very difficult for us. This is something we have very clear.”

Q: On his summer plans…

“I don’t have a lot of plans for the summer, I have to continue here because the kids are still continuing at the schools.

“I will try to help the club, especially with the scouting and these things. Also try to find time for me and the family.”

Q: On Milos Kerkez…

“It has been difficult for Milos, because he is very energetic. He always wants to push and train well.

“Three weeks has been a lot for him! He is willing to play, perform well and I think he was playing really well when he got the red card.”

Q: On rotating the team with an eye on next season…

“The thinking is mostly on winning games and getting the points. This is our focus. Obviously you have to also sometimes try things, thinking in the future.

“We have tried different things, different combinations of players. But this is smallest part of the decision I would say.

“First, we want to finish strong, put the best team we can. But it is true sometimes you think okay I want to play this player with this player this way. And probably this is the best moment to try it, yes.”