BOSS Eddie Howe highlighted the worth of Cherries’ old guard – but insisted there could be no place for sentiment in the Premier League.

Howe made no fewer than five changes for Cherries’ clash at Newcastle on Saturday, including recalls for loyal servants Marc Pugh and Harry Arter.

The pair both played their part in a crucial victory which came courtesy of a late goal from Steve Cook, another of Howe’s trusty lieutenants who had recently lost his place.

Cherries lined up at St James’s Park with seven players who had started when they clinched the Championship title at Charlton on the final day of the 2014-15 season.

Five of those – Pugh, Arter, Cook, Simon Francis and Charlie Daniels – have all made more than 200 appearances for Cherries, while Andrew Surman and Callum Wilson have played 250 league games for the club between them.

And while Howe admitted his team selection had almost taken care of itself during Cherries’ climb through the leagues, he was adamant the same could not be said in the top flight.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “I have a squad these days where I can make a number of changes to a team. I don’t feel restricted in the respect that I have to play the same team every week.

“It was different in the Championship and so was our squad. We pretty much rolled with the same team week in, week out.

“But this is the Premier League and the demands are so extreme that I feel I have the strength in depth to make changes.

“I had no hesitation with the players coming in and will continue to take that same policy throughout the season.”

Howe added: “It is my job to try to get everybody at their best level and we have fallen short of that this season.

“I have spent a lot of time talking to people and trying to figure out certain things. In reality, it is difficult to get everyone in their best moment at the same time.

“To have a few key players slightly below their best has been concerning for us but that is how tough it can be at this level.

“It is about proving how good you are every week. Week by week, the slate is clean as far as I am concerned and players have to earn their places.

“The players who came in against Newcastle performed very well and if we can get everyone at their best level, I think we have a great squad.

“These players have played a huge role in getting the club to its very highest level.

“They have developed a real attachment to the club and I am sure will want to leave a legacy that stands the test of time.”