Bournemouth were 16th at the turn of the year and looking over their shoulders rather than upwards, but Howe is allowing his players to dream of a possible playoff berth now that they have put themselves into a position to challenge.
"I can believe we are here as I've seen how hard the lads have worked," he told reporters. "We didn't expect it but why not seize the moment and see where we can go?
"I know people will talk about the play-offs and I'm not stupid, I can see how many points we have and where we are in the league but it is in Reading's hands. If they win their five games, they are in it. We've always believed we have really good players and now we have the goals to justify me saying that.
"It was an incredibly hard-working performance and probably the quickest game we've played in this year. I was absolutely delighted with how hard our players worked. We pressed as well as we have this season and the lads are shattered in there."
Bournemouth visiting bottom-of-the-table Yeovil Town in their next Championship match this Saturday.