Eddie Howe and his Bournemouth players deserve all the plaudits after clinching the Championship title, but sooner rather than later the manager must hatch a Premier League survival plan.
According to bwin.com, the second-tier champs have a really good chance of avoiding immediate rejection, at 73/100, but no one involved with the south coast club will see it as a simple task.
Having wrung every last ounce of talent out of his inexpensively-assembled Cherries squad, Howe may well place faith in his group of players to prove themselves at the highest level.
With men such as winger Matt Richie earning a spot in the coveted PFA Championship Team of the Season, adding to his League One and League Two Player of the Year Awards in successive seasons, why shouldn’t he prove he’s the next Adam Lallana up in the top flight?
For some clubs, the ethos of sticking together in a tightly-knit group, as say Southampton did in a rise of similarly meteoric proportions from the third tier, can pay dividends.
This approach is not without its pitfalls though. After initial promise, Blackpool faded badly to go straight back down in 2010/11 having not signed any players of note, or genuine Premier League experience for that matter.
Burnley’s courageous efforts are also laudable during the current campaign, but rooted to the bottom with three games left, Sean Dyche’s undying faith in such a streamlined squad has to be questioned.
However, then there is the polar opposite approach adopted by the likes of Cardiff and QPR in recent times, where money has been thrown at big-name signings and wages, with the same net result.
Too many players who don’t understand the fabric of the club yet are happy collecting sizeable cheques is a well known recipe for disaster as well.
Obviously, each club or squad has to be taken on its merits to a certain extent and ownership/budgets/ambitions can be decisive factors.
What may be best for a team such as Bournemouth is to keep much of the side together, but where possible add a few key players here and there.
One thing that stands the Cherries in good stead is the 98 goal-tally plundered on the way to their promotion as champions.
Goals win games and Howe is blessed to have four players who contributed at least 13 league goals, with Callum Wilson the pick of the forwards with 20.
Not that their defence is suspect – only Middlesbrough conceded less over the season – but it might be at the back where recruiting a couple of quality additions or canny old campaigners could be the best policy.
Pinching a few from teams heading in the opposite direction is one way to go, and should Hull fall foul of the drop, their inflated wage bill ought to bring forth a clear out.
The Tigers have actually conceded less than any of the current bottom seven, they just don’t score enough.
Players such as Michael Dawson, Alex Bruce or even Maynor Figueroa could potentially offer that top-flight nous which would be invaluable to a promoted side.
Likewise, nabbing some of the best Championship defenders could be another route.
Derby skipper Richard Keogh after the Rams missed out perhaps, or potentially Premier League-experienced Russel Martin, should Norwich fail to come up through the play-offs, are two notables.
Howe seems to be a man with a plan, but he should heed the mistakes of other recent newbies to the Promised Land to keep the dream in motion.