Midfielder Alex Scott has completed his move to Bournemouth from Bristol City but a knee injury will delay his Premier League debut.

Robins boss Nigel Pearson confirmed on Wednesday evening that Scott had been given permission to talk to the Premier League side and both clubs announced on Thursday that the transfer was complete.

The 19-year-old, who was named the Sky Bet Championship’s young player of the season for 2022-23, had attracted plenty of attention from Premier League clubs for his standout performances.

Scott, whose move to the Cherries is believed to be worth in excess of £20million, missed Bristol City’s opening two matches of the new season because of a swollen knee.

In announcing the move, Bournemouth confirmed scans on Scott’s knee problem revealed the injury to be “more significant than was initially reported” and the midfielder was now set for a “period of rehabilitation” before he will join up with his new team-mates.

Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake feels the club have landed “one of the most exciting young players in Europe”.

Blake said on the Bournemouth club website: “He’s a player that has vast experience at such a young age with strong technical ability and a really good footballing brain.

“Alex will be an excellent fit in our system, and we’re excited to see him continue to develop under Andoni’s (Iraola) management.”

Guernsey-born Scott made his senior debut in April 2021 and scored five Championship goals in 83 appearances during his time at Ashton Gate.

Scott has also represented England at youth level, including making three appearances at this year’s Under-20 World Cup.

Bournemouth – who appointed Spaniard Iraola as manager in June after sacking Gary O’Neil – will start the new Premier League season at home against West Ham on Saturday.

The Cherries are also understood to be closing in on a £7million deal for Norwich right-back Max Aarons.

Justin Kluivert has "great memories" from his time at Roma, but believes he made the right decision by leaving the Italian giants in search of first-team football.

Kluivert joined Bournemouth earlier this transfer window for a reported £9.6million, ending a five-year stint as a Roma player.

However, the winger had spent the last three seasons out on loan, at RB Leipzig, Nice and Valencia respectively. Kluivert had been close to joining Fulham prior to his switch to Spain.

The 24-year-old joined Roma from Ajax in 2018, but never quite managed to live up to his potential in Serie A.

Asked if he was disappointed at how his move to Roma played out, Kluivert told Stats Perform: "I came from Ajax as a young kid, very young.

"I came to a new environment that was very different, I came from Amsterdam where I lived with my mother, my brothers and to move to a big city like Rome, [to play] in a big team that now plays Champions League – that is very difficult.

"Also, the coach and [technical staff] that brought me there, they left in six months. So there was a new coach, a new director, who have their own plan, and that was also something I had never been through in my football career.

"At Ajax everything was good there, everything was nice. I played, I felt good and then, woah, you sit on the bench four or five games, how do you recover from that?

"That was something I had to learn, but I have a lot of great memories from Roma, and [I had] some great games.

"Especially in the second season, I ended it with seven goals. That was not bad, but just the end of the season - it was not how I hoped [it would be], and I think [for Roma] also.

"It was also in the coronavirus time. And that was not a good time for me, because I was doing well and I was selected for the national team [for Euro 2020], but that got cancelled because of coronavirus, and after that it was not so good.

"I just want to play. I love the sport, so if I don't play four games in a row, or I come in for 50 minutes, I'm not happy with that and I'm still young, so I want to play I want to show my qualities and that's why I chose to go on loan."

One of those loan spells saw Kluivert play alongside Edinson Cavani at Valencia.

"Of course, you learn a lot from somebody like that because the career he has had is unbelievable," Kluivert said of the former Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United striker.

"The goals he scored - it's unbelievable how many - and I learned a lot. It's just the small details, or how he works in the gym.

"It's the small things that make you think 'This is what a top player does', and it's good to learn from these people that have achieved things that you want to achieve.

"So I'm very happy that I've played with him and I learned some great stuff from him."

Tom Brady and Michael B Jordan investing into British football clubs shows "everybody wants a piece" of the beautiful game, so says Justin Kluivert. 

A-list Hollywood actor Jordan invested into Bournemouth last year, while NFL great Brady, one of the most successful sportspeople on the planet, recently put money into Championship club Birmingham City.

Jordan's investment helped Bournemouth stave off relegation from the Premier League last season, and the Cherries have made some big signings this transfer window.

Kluivert, son of former Milan, Barcelona and Newcastle United star Patrick Kluivert, has been among those additions, with the 24-year-old joining from Roma.

While he has not yet met Jordan, Kluivert believes the superstar's investment is evidence of football's attraction.

"Of course, football is the most beautiful sport there is," Kluivert said in an exclusive interview with Stats Perform.

"So everybody knows that and everybody wants a piece of that, and that's beautiful."

Kluivert also referenced the growth of women's football, as well as the influx of star players to the Saudi Pro League, as proof that football is continuously developing.

"You see it also with women's football how big that's getting, and it's only getting bigger and bigger," he added.

"Now you can see in Saudi Arabia, this league is going to be very good. I think in America [too], so it's going global, very big.

"I think everybody's going to want a piece of that and love football, and love to watch it and love to be part of it. Yeah, that's nice."

Jordan is not the only Hollywood star to have invested into a club, with Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney having grown Wrexham into a global brand following their takeover of the Welsh team in 2020.

Nigel Pearson confirmed Bristol City midfielder Alex Scott was speaking to Bournemouth after seeing his side reach the Carabao Cup second round.

The Robins thrashed Oxford 5-1 thanks to Jason Knight’s brace and goals from Harry Cornick, Nahki Wells and Kal Naismith.

Afterwards Pearson was asked to comment on reports that Scott had undergone a medical at Premier League club Bournemouth prior to big-money move.

He said: “The club has given Alex permission for that and I really don’t have anything more to say on it.”

Pressed on whether he had been planning without Scott for the campaign, Pearson added: “No, I have been planning to keep him.

“It’s nothing to do with me, it’s a club decision.

“I’m disappointed because we have a better chance of being successful if we keep our best players.”

On the game, which saw Billy Bodin equalise for Oxford before Knight’s double either side of half-time put City in charge, Pearson said: “I’m delighted for the players.

“One difference from our opening league match on Saturday was that our full-backs were more positive in getting forward.

“The scoreline sounds comprehensive, but Oxford were always in the game and caused us some problems.

“We were able to penetrate down the flanks and got in plenty of crosses, which wasn’t the case on Saturday.

“It’s always nice to blood young players and we were able to send on Ephraim Yeboah at a good time in the game for him. The hard work starts for Ephraim now.”

Oxford manager Liam Manning did not attend the post-match press conference.

Justin Kluivert believes Bournemouth can reach "a higher level" in the Premier League under the coaching of Andoni Iraola.

Bournemouth impressively avoided the drop last season by finishing 15th and eyebrows were raised when Gary O'Neil was replaced despite securing survival.

But Iraola arrives with an impressive reputation from Rayo Vallecano and soon after joining he made Kluivert his first signing, with the Dutchman arriving from Roma.

Cherries chief executive Neill Blake said in June that beating a number of other high-profile clubs to the signing of Kluivert was a sign of Bournemouth's ambition.

Kluivert has revealed the opportunity to link up with Iraola was key, and he is starting the Premier League season – which begins with a home match against West Ham on Saturday – in an optimistic mood.

"I'm very excited because his philosophy is a bit what I know from my past teams that I've played at," Kluivert said to Stats Perform.

"Not every [team] but a lot of them – for example at Ajax I'm used to pressing a lot to go for the attack and that is his philosophy also. 

"We need to attack, we need to press, we need to want the ball and that's what I really like to do. 

"So I'm very happy he is the coach and with his philosophy, how he wants to play, I just can't wait to get started, and I know him from the Spanish league last year, so that is also nice.

"We speak some Spanish also a little bit sometimes, so that helps us.

"I'm always positive, I always think high and yeah, I can't wait to show my qualities and help the club and team to a higher level. If you have this mentality you will achieve a lot of good stuff."

Kluivert scored nine goals in 68 appearances for Roma and spent last season on loan at Valencia following similar spells with RB Leipzig and Nice.

It is clear the 24-year-old's goals with Bournemouth are more than simply retaining their Premier League status.

Kluivert added: "What excites me is just that I want to see how high we can end with this team.

"I have a strong belief like we can do very good with the team. I trust myself, I trust the team-mates, I trust the coach.

"I have belief that we can do some great stuff this season and that [belief] is what I always have."

The West Ham opener could be key for Bournemouth, as they have been handed a brutal run of fixtures after that, with matches against Liverpool, Tottenham, Brentford, Chelsea, Brighton and Arsenal to follow in their first seven contests.

Justin Kluivert has named Cristiano Ronaldo, Erling Haaland, Eden Hazard and Son Heung-min among his Premier League inspirations as he prepares to start his career in England with Bournemouth.

The Dutch attacker, son of Barcelona great Patrick Kluivert, has admired the impact made by Manchester City striker Haaland after arriving in the division.

Kluivert has joined Bournemouth from Roma ahead of the new Premier League season.

Having also had loan spells with RB Leipzig, Nice and Valencia, he will complete the set of playing in each of Europe's top five leagues when he makes his debut for the club.

Kluivert is delighted his chance to play in the Premier League has come and has been watching some of English football's greatest recent performers to prepare.

"I've watched a lot of YouTube of course and you watch a lot of Cristiano Ronaldo," Kluivert said to Stats Perform.

"Eden Hazard in his best days at Chelsea was unbelievable if you ask me, so yeah, those are players I like to watch or Heung-min Son maybe – someone like that, a type that is very straight to the goal – I like that."

Asked if he had tracked Haaland's record 36-goal debut top-flight season in England, Kluivert added: "Of course. You always need to look at the guys who are successful in what they do.

"You learn a lot from a player like Haaland or players that have played there like Ronaldo or Eden Hazard. 

"You have a bunch more too and of course you need to look at them, how they have done it and maybe you can learn some stuff from them. It's always good to learn to get the best of yourself."

Kluivert understands that the opportunity to play in all of Europe's top-five leagues, as well as the Eredivisie in Ajax where he started out, is a rare feat, especially doing so by the age of 24.

"All top five leagues, there are not a lot of players who have done that," Kluivert said.

"First of all, I'm very happy to have played at all these clubs, it's an honour. 

"To end in the Premier League, it's the best league in the world, so I'm very happy with that and happy for the opportunity that Bournemouth gave me.

"I'm very happy to be here and to represent Bournemouth, a beautiful club and I can't wait to get started. 

"So I could say that I have a lot in my backpack and can't wait to take them all out to show them here in this great league."

Kluivert thinks the style of play in England should suit him nicely.

He added: "I played in Italy [first]. Germany has, like France, has a little bit of the Italian philosophy, but also parts from the Spanish game, it's right in the middle. 

"And it's nice that when I played in France, Italy, Spain, they all have little bits that are the same but, for me, France is more physical, Italy is also, and then in Spain there is more football. 

"And I think the Premier League is more like you can relate it to La Liga, because the teams want to attack, they want to keep the ball and press. 

"That's a philosophy that the Premier League also has. So yeah, I'm happy to be here on that level."

Kluivert, who earned his two caps for the Netherlands in 2018, thinks the style of play in the Premier League and La Liga is the best fit for his game.

"Yeah [it suits me more]," he said. "Italy is more what I think of as a more defensive, a more tactical game. 

"And Spain was more you have a lot of good footballers who want to attack. 

"They attack with the whole team so there is more space in the back and the football games also are much nicer for the fans to watch – I think the Premier League also has that. 

"That's also good for me to show my qualities. So I'm happy to be here."

Bournemouth begin their Premier League campaign at home to West Ham on Saturday.

New Bournemouth head coach Andoni Iraola insists he is ready to fight as a Premier League “underdog” as he became the latest Gipuzkoa-born boss to manage in England.

Iraola was appointed as Gary O’Neil’s successor at the Vitality Stadium last month, following in the footsteps of Mikel Arteta, Unai Emery and Julen Lopetegui; his managerial counterparts who all hail from the same small province in northern Spain.

The 41-year-old played in the same youth team as Arteta and also has a relationship with former Bournemouth manager – and current Newcastle boss – Eddie Howe, who previously travelled to Madrid to study Iraola.

Iraola spent three years in charge at Rayo Vallecano, leading the club into LaLiga before keeping them in the top-flight for the next two seasons before departing for Bournemouth.

“When you start the season with the sense of being the underdogs, we have to gain a little bit of respect from the league,” he said.

“It is pretty similar (to Spain) because of the stadium being not so big or the club not having maybe the history – but we have to use this to our advantage and I am used to this in Spain with Rayo and Mirandes.

“For me this was a great opportunity, it is the Premier League and right now for sure it is best league in the world.

“We knew the club, now I have seen new faces, known new people, I am sure it is the right choice for me and I hope I can be at the level.

“I’m really grateful and the welcome has been very, very nice. We know Eddie, he was in Madrid visiting us and we know (former Bournemouth manager and Howe’s assistant) Jason Tindall and we had talked previously about Bournemouth.

“Obviously everyone here talks about Eddie, that is a sign he did a lot of very, very good things here in Bournemouth, I am happy he has been very successful now in Newcastle but every coach has his own ideas.”

While he goes well back with Arsenal boss Arteta, Iraola has not felt the need to rekindle his relationship with his former team-mate.

“Mikel I know him, we played together when we were nine or 19 years old, we kind of lost the relationship.

“We know that when we meet we will hug and talk about a lot of things. We haven’t maintained the relationship – I could call him right now but…”

Emery, too, has not had a phone call but Iraola holds the Aston Villa coach in high regard and said: “I think I’m not, I’m not on his level because he has shown a lot of things before, he has been really successful almost everywhere.

“He is very good as a coach. We have spoken sometimes but I haven’t talked with him (since getting the Bournemouth job).”

Iraola is very much head coach in every way, insisting he “shouldn’t be signing the players” and is instead keen to get to know his squad and challenge them to play in the style he wants to implement.

“I don’t like the game to be too controlled,” he added.

“We try to attack as soon as we can, we open the game and have a good volume of chances and crosses.

“Sometimes you will suffer at the back but you have to be ready, we have good defenders, also.”

Bournemouth have signed winger Justin Kluivert from Italian club Roma for an undisclosed fee.

The 24-year-old, who was capped twice by the Netherlands in 2018, has agreed a “long-term contract” at Vitality Stadium.

He becomes the Premier League club’s first signing since the appointment of head coach Andoni Iraola following the sacking of Gary O’Neil.

Cherries chief executive Neill Blake said in a statement: “We are delighted to have made Justin our first signing ahead of the new season.

“He was coveted by a number of clubs across Europe and his arrival is a sign of his ambition which is matched by ours.

“Justin is an exciting and versatile attacking player who has an eye for goal. He is pacey, direct and boasts a high level of technical ability.”

Kluivert, the son of former Netherlands striker Patrick Kluivert, began his career at Ajax before moving to Serie A in 2018.

He scored nine goals in 68 appearances for Roma and spent last season on loan at Valencia following similar spells with RB Leipzig and Nice.

Bournemouth have appointed Andoni Iraola as their new head coach after sacking Gary O’Neil.

Spaniard Iraola, who was previously wanted by Leeds, was available having recently ended a three-season spell in charge of LaLiga side Rayo Vallecano.

The 40-year-old former Spain and Athletic Bilbao defender has agreed a two-year contract at the Vitality Stadium.

His imminent arrival in the Premier League was confirmed by Bournemouth just hours after a statement announcing O’Neil’s surprise dismissal.

Cherries chairman Bill Foley said: “We’re so excited to welcome Andoni to the club. With his contract in Spain coming to an end this summer, we wanted to act quickly.

“He was highly sought after by other clubs across the continent, and his style of play has been an important factor in making this decision.”

Iraola, who turns 41 on Thursday, began his managerial career with Cypriot club AEK Larnaca in 2018 before spending the 2019-20 season with Spanish second division side Mirandes.

He then guided Vallecano to promotion to LaLiga in 2021, prior to securing two mid-table finishes, in addition to a run to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey in 2022, which prompted interest from Leeds earlier this year.

Iraola and his backroom staff will begin work with Bournemouth’s squad next month, with his first competitive match in charge coming at home to West Ham on Saturday, August 12.

“His achievements in Spain have certainly been very impressive, and we’re confident that he is the right man to lead our next chapter,” continued Foley.

“We have identified a number of targets in the transfer market, which along with our January additions will supplement our strong playing squad to give Andoni the best chance to consolidate our Premier League status and keep progressing.”

O’Neil was dismissed by the Cherries earlier on Monday afternoon, with Foley saying a change would provide the club with the “best platform from which to build”.

The 40-year-old Englishman guided the Cherries to top-flight safety last season by taking 36 points from 34 games after replacing the sacked Scott Parker in late August following a 9-0 thrashing at Liverpool.

He was initially appointed to his maiden managerial role on an interim basis before the move was made permanent in November.

American businessman Foley, who completed his takeover of the Dorset club in December, has ambitious plans, which include a new state-of-the-art training facility and ongoing discussions around upgrades to the Vitality Stadium.

Speaking of O’Neil’s departure, the 78-year-old said: “Gary’s achievement last season is one I will always be grateful for.

“This has been a difficult decision, but it has been made with great consideration to best position ourselves ahead of the coming season.

“Gary will go on to have a long career as a head coach or manager, but we feel that, at this moment in time, a change is in the best interests of this football club.”

Bournemouth have sacked Gary O’Neil less than seven months after he was appointed as the club’s permanent head coach.

O’Neil guided the Cherries to Premier League safety last season following the dismissal of Scott Parker at the end of August.

According to a club statement, the appointment of a new head coach will be announced imminently.

Bournemouth owner Bill Foley said: “Gary’s achievement last season is one I will always be grateful for.

“This has been a difficult decision, but it has been made with great consideration to best position ourselves ahead of the coming season.”

O’Neil initially took over from Parker on an interim basis following a 9-0 thrashing at Liverpool before being appointed permanently in November.

The 40-year-old took 36 points from his 34 top-flight games in charge to help the Cherries avoid relegation following promotion from the Championship.

“As a club, we have put plans in place for long-term success with improvements being made to infrastructure, most notably the development of a new state-of-the-art training facility and the ongoing discussions around upgrades to our stadium,” continued the statement from American Foley, who completed his takeover of the south-coast club in December.

“We have also identified a number of significant targets in the transfer market this summer and believe this change in direction will provide us with the best platform from which to build.

“Gary will go on to have a long career as a head coach or manager, but we feel that, at this moment in time, a change is in the best interests of this football club.”

Junior Stanislas will leave Bournemouth at the end of his contract, ending a nine-year stint at the club.

The 33-year-old joined the Cherries in 2014 and has made 178 appearances, scoring 38 goals.

He has won two promotions to the Premier League and helped them stay in the top division on five occasions, but will depart the Vitality Stadium this summer.

AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said on the club’s official website: “One of our longest serving players, we wish Junior nothing but the best for what comes next.

“He’s played a massive part in helping the club get to where we are today and his talent and dedication has been an inspiration for those around him.

“We appreciate all of his hard work both on and off the pitch, with his excellent work in the community also a huge testament to his character.”

Stanislas is the latest exit confirmed by the Cherries, following the departures of Jefferson Lerma and Jack Stacey.

Norwich have signed Jack Stacey on a three-year deal following the defender’s release by Bournemouth.

The 27-year-old joins the Sky Bet Championship side from July 1 and becomes head coach David Wagner’s second summer signing after the arrival of Ashley Barnes from Burnley earlier this month.

Stacey featured 10 times for the Cherries in the Premier League this season and leaves after four years at the Vitality Stadium.

He told the club’s website: “I’m really looking forward to getting started. It’s a club whose ambitions match mine.

“One of the main things I spoke about with the head coach (Wagner) and with Stuart (Webber, sporting director) is playing intense, fast, forward football, something I believe will suit my style of play and something that I can fit into.”

Wagner added: “Jack is a player we’ve been aware of for some time. He has a lot of experience, throughout the Football League and in the Premier League, and a great attitude and desire to drive this football club forward.

“He has all of the characteristics that a modern-day full-back requires and knows exactly what it takes to be successful at this level.”

Everton manager Sean Dyche will allow his players to briefly enjoy their escape from relegation but he has already laid down the law that major changes are needed at the club.

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s 57th-minute thunderbolt gave the Toffees a 1-0 win over Bournemouth and the victory which ensured they stayed up and extended their stay in the top flight to 70 successive seasons.

For the second consecutive season there was a pitch invasion at the final whistle – although nowhere near as many numbers joined in as 12 months ago when safety was secured with a game to spare.

There was a feeling inside the club that they did not want to be seen to be celebrating avoiding failure and that probably came from Dyche himself.

“It’s a horrible day for all concerned, there is no joy in it for me other than getting the job done,” said the former Burnley boss, who only took over in late January.

“I came in here to change a mentality and I think there have been signs of that. There is still more to go.

“I said to the the players ‘We shouldn’t be here. Enjoy this today and you’ve earned it but at the end of the day it has got to change’.

“There is no point in sitting on it and saying ‘Look how great we are’ because it is not like that.

“There is loads to change here and a lot of work to be done but it was a big step to secure it.”

Dyche was able to speak from a greater position of strength after avoiding what would have been only the club’s third relegation in their 145-year history.

That gave him the confidence to dish out some home truths in his post-match press conference which he had been reticent to do so previously for fear of creating more instability and detracting from the task in hand.

“Don’t think I thought this was an easy fix because it is not, far from it,” he added.

“It’s a big club, make no mistake. Big history, big club, but we are not performing like a big club. We have to find a way of changing that. This is two seasons now.

“I’ve played my little part in two seasons of this but there is a massive amount of change to build to a new dawn, a new future, a bigger future if you like.”

That future is likely to see him make significant changes to a totally unbalanced squad which somehow avoided relegation despite playing the whole season with their main striker – Dominic Calvert-Lewin – featuring in less than half of it and his back-up – Neal Maupay – managing just one goal (in September) in 29 appearances.

Asked if he would have to sell players, with the club having made more than £430m of losses in the last four years, Dyche added: “There’s a chance. I’ll find out about that.

“There’s not been any depth, there have been peripheral talks based on ifs, buts and maybes but that will come over the coming weeks when we find out the truth of what we have got, what we can do, what we can’t do.

“We had to get this (safety) sorted out, we’ve got it over the line. It was absolutely the key focus. Now it is time to immediately re-focus on the rest of it.”

Bournemouth boss Gary O’Neil was disappointed not to have got something from the game.

“I thought we were the better side and had control for the most part but there is still a lot to progress on,” he said.

“We knew we were coming into a tough atmosphere against a direct team and I thought the lads stood up to it well. We maybe didn’t create enough.

“We maybe got a little too desperate towards the end but there was a lot there I liked. It’s just a shame we didn’t score, I always thought we would get one.”

Abdoulaye Doucoure scored the most important goal of his career and possibly Everton’s history to save the side from relegation with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth.

His powerful 20-yard strike, a bolt from the blue, was enough to extend the club’s top-flight stay to a 70th successive season but for long periods that proud record appeared in doubt.

But Doucoure’s 10th goal for the club capped a remarkable turnaround in four months for the Mali international who was training on his own in January after a fall-out with former manager Frank Lampard.

Five days after having his contract extended by 12 months – and with his side just over half-an-hour from heading into the Sky Bet Championship – he delivered when it mattered most and in a way the club can never adequately repay him for.

But it still required a clearance from Conor Coady under his own crossbar and a good save deep into 10 minutes of added time from Jordan Pickford to keep them safe after it initially looked like the Cherries’ second-choice goalkeeper Mark Travers would play a key role in sending the Toffees down.

The home side had started the most significant day in their 145-year history two points outside the drop zone but with Leicester winning at home to West Ham they were heading for only their third relegation and first since 1951.

Then, their top-flight exile lasted three years and the nightmare scenario was that there had been little to suggest over the last couple of seasons another absence would have been any shorter.

Everton had been in the last-day, last-chance saloon twice before in 1994 and 1998 but on both of those occasions their fate was not in their own hands.

In 1994 they beat Wimbledon 3-2 – coming back from 2-0 down – with rivals Ipswich, Sheffield United and Southampton faring worse and four years later they bettered Bolton’s result at Chelsea to survive.

But the stakes seemed much higher on this occasion, and with a new 52,000-capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock due to open for the 2024-25 season this was potentially the last Premier League game at Goodison Park.

However, they are not out of trouble as the club have posted losses in excess of £430million over the last four years and have an outstanding Premier League charge for breaching profit and sustainability rules.

But for now survival, and the relief that brings, is enough.

With no fit full-backs, Sean Dyche was forced to start for the first time in his tenure with a back three, which at least utilised recognised centre-halves in Yerry Mina, Coady and James Tarkowski.

The men outside of them, however, were midfielder James Garner and winger Dwight McNeil and while the former coped relatively well on the left flank, McNeil, more accustomed to running forward, struggled to cope with David Brooks going the other way.

Up front, winger Demarai Gray found it tough adapting to the central role as, unable to hold up the ball, he resorted to trying to win cheap free-kicks but it was a ploy referee Stuart Atwell regularly saw through.

Gray, who had an early rising drive just over, also found being a striker tough in terms of his positioning as when Doucoure drilled a cross into the six-yard area, he was 10 yards too deep waiting for a cutback on the edge of the box.

Travers, only in the side due to Neto’s absence due to personal reasons, then came to the fore as he tipped over Idrissa Gana Gueye’s powerful strike, parried another long-ranger from the Frenchman and then clawed away Garner’s looping shot in first-half added time.

In recent home games around the half-hour mark, Everton’s initial fire had burned out and opponents claimed the upper hand but on this occasion it was bad news from the King Power Stadium which took some of the wind out of their sails.

Bournemouth looked like they were just biding their time and Marcos Senesi stabbed wide from a corner and Mina dived in to deny Dominic Solanke after Brooks had robbed Tarkowski.

Gray’s weak close-range header being scooped away by Travers six minutes into the second half only increased the sense it was not going to be Everton’s day until Doucoure smashed home a drive after a weak header dropped to him.

Crucial interventions from on-loan Wolves and former Liverpool defender Coady and then Pickford from substitute Matias Vina saw them scrape home and sparked the inevitable pitch invasion after relegation was avoided for the second successive season.

Everton manager Sean Dyche has tried to keep things consistent this week as the club head into arguably the biggest game in their history.

The Toffees need to match the results of Leicester and Leeds, who are both inside the relegation zone, in order to extend their stay in the top flight to a 70th season.

There have been no rousing speeches or trying to artificially boost player morale ahead of the visit of Bournemouth as Dyche does not believe that would not make as much difference as reinforcing the same messages he has been giving since taking over from Frank Lampard in late January.

“I think all games are important but it stands to reason with it being the last game and what’s on it that of course it is a massive game,” he said.

“A lot of these players were here last season in a similar position so I think they are aware of it. It comes down to a big performance on Sunday.

“But I don’t have to emphasise that: I know it, the players know it, the fans know it, so we go into it open-minded.

“I don’t think positivity can win you football matches, performances win you matches.

“Inner confidence is a different thing but I’ve always been confident with the group, we go into every game confident so that doesn’t change.

“I think I have a good measure of what it is to be a manager and a player and the feeling in the group is consistent from myself and the staff, that’s all I try to bring.

“The consistencies I talk about are in performance, the mentality to perform, and then clarity. Consistent level of behaviours on and off the pitch I think pays you back.

“There will be some key pointers about the team and the way we perform of course but we will stick to the level of performance we expect from the players and the level we expect in training.”

Everton have a two-point cushion over 18th-placed Leicester but an inferior goal difference so only a win will guarantee safety, although as long as the Foxes and Leeds do not get a better result then the Toffees will be safe.

Home advantage will be key for all three teams but the pressure on the game is huge and, even if backed by a raucous Goodison Park, Dyche knows he will have to lean on senior players despite a large number of holes in his squad due to injuries, with striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and defenders Nathan Patterson and Ben Godfrey all added to the unavailable list.

“We have worked hard to get in this position; two points in front doesn’t sound a lot but it is at this stage of the seaosn – but only if we capitalise on it,” added Dyche.

“With the senior players it is more about their experience.

“It’s unlikely unless you really have to you put a young player into a situation like that – we’re not in a position quite where we have to – but it’s fair to think a couple of the young lads will be involved in the squad.”

The effect of relegation on a club which has posted cumulative losses of over £430million over the last four seasons – and with a new stadium more than half-built – is almost unthinkable for a club which has enjoyed such a long spell in England’s top division.

But the repercussions of not avoiding the drop is not something Dyche is thinking about just yet.

“I’m not worried about that at the moment, trust me the game will be the focus,” he said.

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