Bournemouth are 'miles apart' from Aston Villa - Eddie Howe

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said his side and Aston Villa are "miles apart" in stature after the Premier League side sealed a 2-1 win in the FA Cup.

The Cherries are top of the Championship while Villa's struggles in the top flight meant there were only five league places between the sides.

"We're very proud of who we are, but we have a long way to go to become a club like Villa," he told BBC Radio Solent.

"But that's the dream and what we're fighting towards."

Bournemouth are aiming to reach the top flight for the first time in their history, and Howe said the match had helped his players - many of whom faced Liverpool in the League Cup last month - understand the step up in class required against Premier League opposition.

Mind the gap: Aston Villa v Bournemouth
Aston VillaBournemouth
Honours:League title (7), European Cup, FA Cup (7), League Cup (5)Division Three title (1986-87)
Seasons in top flight:1040
Ground capacity:42,68212,000
Current league position:15th in Premier LeagueTop of Championship

"We want to improve everything - our infrastructure, our squad, our stadium - to try to match these teams," said Howe.

"Aston Villa are a Premier League side and we were playing them on their patch and some of the players did very well.

"It's a great learning curve for us and it's great for players to experience it. It is different - there's no denying it - but the whole day has been good for our players."

Howe said the performance at Villa Park had been one to be proud of for the 6,000 travelling Bournemouth fans, but conceded that the 25-yard opener from Villa's Carles Gil was a goal his side could do little about.

"I'm very pleased with the players - we gave a good account of ourselves," he added.

"There were moments of quality that decided the game. Their first goal was a goal of the highest quality and wasn't really in context with the rest of the game. Sometimes you have to applaud the quality of the opposition and it was a great goal.

"We were well in it, within a whisker of taking the lead and then we find ourselves behind. But that's the step up in level that we faced."

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