Eddie Howe has warned Premier League clubs there is a lot more to come from Bournemouth this season.
The Cherries registered their second win of the campaign on Sunday, scoring twice in the space of five second-half minutes to defeat Everton 3-1 at Vitality Stadium.
Yet with numerous players still out injured and Lewis Cook only returning from a lengthy lay-off at the weekend, Howe is optimistic moving into a busy period.
“It is a sign of what we can be. This season we will only get stronger when we have more players back from injury,” he said.
“The group is really strong when we have a full compliment of players and we have options in every position.
“At the moment it’s difficult to rotate the team too much, although I did against Everton because I wanted to freshen things up. This win should give the strength of the group real confidence.”
Cook, 22, impressed from the off and played like he had never been away, despite Sunday being his first competitive start since December 4.
When he suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage to his right knee, the ex-Leeds midfielder was pushing for an England recall and his boss is confident he will get back to that form.
Howe added: “Lewis has the technical qualities and handles the ball in any situation. You saw early in the match how he manipulated himself out of some really difficult holes and that is full credit to the type of player he is.
“He is very much the modern day central midfield player and we’re just pleased to get him back. We hope he stays fit and available and gets back to the consistency from before, because he was a huge part of our team.”
Howe also praised 21-year-old goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who made several saves against Everton.
With England number one Jordan Pickford at the other end, the home fans mocked Gareth Southgate’s first-choice with chants of ‘England’s number two’ towards him during the second half.
“It was really nice for the supporters to show their appreciation, not so much during the chant, but in the noise and volume they showed, it showed their respect for Aaron,” Howe said.
“He has started the season really well. I thought he was excellent and this was probably his best game for us. He made a number of key saves in big moments and that’s what you need your goalkeeper to do.
“Added to that, his distribution was first-class. He will hopefully only get better if he stays level and continues to work hard.”
Everton, meanwhile, were left to reflect on another away day without three points. They last won on the road back in March at West Ham.
Goalscorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin told the official club website: “We know we have quality. We have to take the attitude we have at home into away games. It should be no different, especially with the support we have.”