Jonathan Woodgate refused to get carried away with thoughts of an instant return to the Premier League, despite seeing his Bournemouth side move up to third in the Championship table thanks to a 4-1 thrashing of Millwall.
Philip Billing fired the Cherries in front shortly after the 15-minute mark, before Arnaut Danjuma and David Brooks’ strikes helped the south-coast side to a 3-0 half-time lead at the Den.
Jed Wallace pulled a goal back for the somewhat rejuvenated hosts after the break, but England international Dominic Solanke capped off a fine evening for the visitors with a fourth before time.
A seventh consecutive Championship win all-but confirms Bournemouth’s spot in the play-offs, yet while praising the performances of his star men, Woodgate acknowledged there is still plenty of work to do before the end of the campaign.
“I’m really happy – it was a good performance, especially without the ball,” the 41-year-old said.
“We did play some exceptional football but let’s not get over-confident because there is still a long way to go, and you know what football is like. We need to stick to what we’re doing and the game plan.
“We know coming away to Millwall is a difficult place to come and it was a really professional performance. We pressed high up the pitch, the front four not letting their centre halves deliver long balls which is where they’re dangerous.
“Brooksy [David Brooks] had his best performance since I’ve been here. I thought he was unbelievable, but it was his out of possession work that caught my eye because his talent has never been in doubt. Overall, it was a really good night.”
Meanwhile, Millwall boss Gary Rowett criticised his team for a sub-par display that sees them drop to 11th, having now gone three games without a win in the league.
Having barely threatened in the opening 45 minutes, Wallace struck with the Lions’ first real attack of the match, but that couldn’t inspire what would have been a remarkable comeback.
Rowett added: “We got handed a lesson tonight, which hasn’t happened many times this season. We got a little glimpse of what that next level looks like and it’s something for us to work towards.
“I’m disappointed, simply because it’s a game where you have to match a team like Bournemouth physically and you have to get close enough to them.
“We couldn’t cope with them and quite frankly it looked like the game didn’t mean as much to us as it did to Bournemouth.
“They were a little bit sharper, they were aggressive, they were strong and I’m sure they spoke about that before coming to a place like ours where you have to do those things. Ironically, they did them far better than us.”