Marc Pugh says Bournemouth can't change style in Premier League debut

Marc Pugh insists Bournemouth must approach their debut Premier League season with a fearless intent to play the passing football that drove their ascent into the top flight.

The Cherries open their first campaign among the game's elite against Aston Villa on Saturday knowing they are among the relegation favourites.

Pugh, the club's longest-serving player following a five-year spell at Dean Court, believes their best hope of establishing themselves in the Premier League is by refusing to change their playing style.

"Everyone has something to prove and you can't go into a game being fearful. We're playing in big stadiums and you can't go hiding,'' Pugh said. "We want to stay in the Premier League for a long spell and if we want to be there for four, five, six years we have to play good football. We've nothing to lose and everything to gain.

"Swansea are an example of a team that stuck to their philosophy by trying to play passing football from the back. I don't think we can change. We haven't got the personnel and I think it will stand us in good stead if we can get our pressing game and fluid style of football going. We can't change for anyone.

"The main thing in the Premier League is self-belief and confidence and I believe we have got the characters in the dressing room to get us through.''

Six years ago Bournemouth were facing administration and in danger of dropping out of the Football League altogether, only to recover and win promotion as Sky Bet Championship winners.

Pugh, who has spent the entirety of his career in the lower divisions, believes they can secure an extended stay at the top.

"It's crazy. As a kid you dream of playing in the Premier League. Lots of people who have started off in the Premier League have had it handed to them on a plate,'' Pugh said.

"They have been given their chance. Us nobodies have had to work our way up the ladder. There is a lot to prove as a player and as a team.

"There's no talk of relegation that's for sure. We believe we're in there because we deserve it.''