SKIPPER Simon Francis believes Cherries have proved they can lock horns with the Premier League's big guns.

Francis is expected to lead Cherries into battle when they host second-placed Manchester United tomorrow.

Since Christmas, Eddie Howe's team has beaten Everton, Arsenal and Chelsea – clubs which boast 28 top-flight titles between them.

Francis featured when Cherries lowered United's colours in their first season in the Premier League and is hoping they can claim another memorable win over the 20-time champions.

He told the Daily Echo: "It is a game when we will go on the front foot and try to attack them.

"They might try to play out from the back and we will try to press them as well as we can.

"It is a home game and one we feel we can win, as they all are. We have confidence we can win every game.

"We are in our third season in the Premier League and don’t go into games being too naïve any more. I think you can be a victim of that in your first season because you don’t know what to expect at times.

"Our record is quite good considering the start we had, which was disappointing.

"We have had some bad spells which you are always going to have in this league.

"But we have been on a good run, although, ultimately, we probably still haven’t played as well as we can.

"There have been games when we have ridden our luck and nicked a win. We have come from behind in probably too many games.

"It is a stat we are not necessarily proud of. It is great to know we can do it and battle our way into games but we want to try to take the lead and keep it.

"That is always something we will try to improve on year after year and season after season."