Cherries: Players have already exceeded Mitchell's expectations
CHAIRMAN Eddie Mitchell is hoping Cherries can successfully complete their promotion mission but admits Eddie Howe's heroes have already exceeded his expectations. Mitchell acquired his majority shareholding in the club when he came in with the Murry Group just weeks after Cherries had narrowly avoided dropping into the Conference. He took on the debt-ridden Dorset outfit just 10 months ago and has started to transform its off-field fortunes while Howe has continued to work the oracle with his small but talented squad. And despite being hamstrung by financial restrictions and an ongoing transfer embargo, Howe has piloted Cherries to the brink of what would be a memorable promotion this season. Cherries today host relegated Darlington at Dean Court knowing victory would leave them within touching distance of returning to League One following two years in the basement. Mitchell told the Daily Echo: Realistically, my aim when I came in was for us to consolidate in this division and make sure we didn't fall out of the Football League. That predication has been well and truly surpassed. I don't want to tempt fate, but if we were to get promotion, our aim next season would be to consolidate in the league above. We've just got to hope the final four games go our way. This is an exciting time for the club. We just need one or two things to fall into place and we could have more success on the field and a more relaxed and enjoyable time off it as well. I understand the club 100 per cent better than I did when I first came in. I know it was the right decision at the right time. Eddie has stabilised the playing side and I've helped stabilise the club. Between us, and with the help of everybody associated with the club, we have managed to steer it in the right direction. Mitchell concedes the club is far from out of the woods regarding its parlous financial situation but is also optimistic the good days could be on the horizon. We're moving forward and heading in the right direction, he said. We've scaled the mountain and have just got a few hills to climb. They could be steep ones but, with help from everybody, we will get there. Everybody knows we cleared the tax arrears and staved off the winding-up petition last month. We paid this month's tax on time and, by and large, things are going really well. We still have to negotiate a few things. The take-up for tickets for the last few home games has been very good. Hopefully, we will have a sell-out for Port Vale and there will be approaching 7,000 here against Darlington. A lot of hard work has got us to where we are now. The club is on the up and we want to keep the momentum going.
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