Eddie Howe is “very grateful for the opportunity” to be Bournemouth boss as he prepares for his 500th game in management.
Howe, who is in his second spell with the Cherries, will reach the milestone during Saturday’s Premier League game at home to relegated Fulham.
The 41-year-old initially managed the south-coast club between 2008 and 2011 before returning to the Vitality Stadium in October 2012 following a spell with Burnley.
He is the youngest manager to reach 500 matches in English football and has guided Bournemouth from League Two to the top-flight in that time.
“I only just found out it was 500 and my initial reaction was, ‘where has the time gone? Where have the games gone?’,” Howe said at his pre-match press conference.
“It doesn’t feel that many and it feels a bit of a blur, to be honest, the last 10 years – it’s gone so quickly.
“I have crammed a lot into that period of time. It’s been a hugely enjoyable and successful period, so I’m very grateful for the opportunity to manage this club.
“People put their faith in me and I was desperate to repay that and do the best job I could.
“To this moment, I’m still doing the same thing. I’m trying to repay everyone for giving me this chance.”
Bournemouth banished any lingering fears of relegation by thrashing Brighton 5-0 last weekend.
The convincing win at the Amex Stadium moved the 12th-placed Cherries on to 41 points, five shy of their record Premier League points tally with four fixtures remaining.
“The target is to win the next game and we’ll see from there what happens with the rest of the season,” said Howe.
“We need to make sure we don’t drop our levels.
“I would be very disappointed if we didn’t see the same team in terms of endeavour, spirit and togetherness that we saw against Brighton.”
Howe has no fresh selection concerns going into the weekend. Full-backs Diego Rico and Charlie Daniels and midfielder Andrew Surman remain out injured, while Simon Francis and Lewis Cook are long-term absentees.
Fulham caretaker boss Scott Parker has his sights set on delivering the club’s first Premier League away win of the season.
The relegated Cottagers head to the south coast already preparing for life back in the Championship.
A decision on who will be at the helm for the challenges ahead remains to be seen.
Parker replaced Claudio Ranieri in February, but was not able to halt the slide towards relegation.
The 38-year-old, though, feels there are positive signs following last weekend’s 2-0 home win over Everton, which ended a nine-match losing run.
“It is going to be a tough task for us (at Bournemouth). We have not won away from home this year, but I feel like we are going into it with massive confidence from the weekend,” Parker said.
“Of course it’s going to be difficult, but it is one which we are looking at thinking we can try and get some points.
“I have stated many times my main objective is to put a team out that is well prepared, has a clear idea of what we want to do.
“Certainly that takes time, I understand that, it is a process, but the Everton game was one that was pleasing for those reasons.
“Player-wise, they are starting to see the rewards for their hard work over the last few weeks.”
Defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah continues to be assessed on a knee ligament problem, so Parker could be forced to change a winning line-up.