Prior to the start of the season many saw recently-promoted Bournemouth as favourites for Premier League relegation.
The Cherries, with the smallest ground in English top-flight history, had a squad of players inexperienced at the top level and looked likely to face the drop in their debut campaign.
And yet, Eddie Howe's side currently sit 13th in the Premier League, 13 points above the relegation zone and all but certain to remain amongst England's elite.
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One of the main factors behind Bournemouth's incredible season has been the work of their young manager. Howe first joined the southern outfit as a player in 1994 and barring brief spells away with Portsmouth as a player and Burnley as a manager, he has been at the club ever since.
The 38-year-old stuck with the club at its lowest point when it faced the possibility of liquidation in 2008 and has been rewarded by reaching the pinnacle of English football.
What is most impressive about the Englishman, however, is the way he has stuck to his philosophy in the Premier League.
Throughout his side's impressive rise to the upper echolons of English football, Howe has maintained the fluent and attractive style of football he first introduced upon taking over. Instead of falling into the trap of putting men behind the ball, Bournemouth continue to try outplaying their opposition - and it's a strategy that has often worked.
Furthermore, Howe has shown unwavering loyalty to those who helped the Cherries reach the Premier League despite the money now on offer.
Matt Ritchie, Harry Arter and Simon Francis were all crucial players to Bournemouth's rise through England's divisions and have played a similar and regular role in the top-flight.
Injuries have threatened to derail their campaign from the outset and should have spelled money spent and signings made, yet Howe has shown trust in his experienced players, who have reflected his desire and commitment to the cause.
And the results have come as a result. Bouremouth have won eight games in the Premier League since December 1 - the third most behind Leicester City and Tottenham.
It would take a disastrous run of form to see Bournemouth relegated, but if they keep hold of their passionate and concise manager, they face a sustained stay in the Premier League.