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First team

Billing salutes supporters following promotion

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth midfielder Philip Billing has paid homage to Cherries supporters following promotion to the Premier League.

Through Kieffer Moore’s 83rd-minute strike against Nottingham Forest, second place was secured in the side’s 45th and penultimate Sky Bet Championship outing of the season.

Reflecting on the game following the full-time whistle, the Cherries’ Danish middleman praised the fans when speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live.

He explained: “Today, but throughout the whole season as well, big shout-out to our fans as they’ve helped us so much; I don’t think they understand how much they can help the team.

“Personally, for me, I looked around other players when we were 1-0 up and the fourth official put up eight minutes on the board, you can hear the fans being a bit disappointed as well as us but then they started cheering for the team and giving us support.

“Honestly, it helps so much.”

Billing also saved a word of praise for the younger players in Scott Parker’s squad that have played key roles over the campaign.

“There are so many young players that have come into the team this season that I want to praise that haven’t played a lot of Championship games because it’s a tough league,” he said.

“But there are so many games where they’ve come in and showed spirit, determination and relentlessness.

“To be a part of this team and getting promoted is just an unbelievable feeling.”

With a spot in next season’s Premier League confirmed, the former Huddersfield Town man looked ahead to next season and lauded the togetherness in the camp.

Billing said: “If we just show the same that we’ve done this season, I’m not worried about us because this team and its togetherness, everything, is something you can’t see from the outside.

“Every day in the changing room if the result hasn’t gone with us or we’ve drawn a game or lost a game, we’ve still been positive.

“I think if you asked anyone at the start of the season and they looked at our team, they would probably have said, ‘Nah, they’ve got no chance,’ but we’ve proved them wrong.

“We’ve seen so many people doubting us and being critical of us this season, so to show them is just an unbelievable feeling.”

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