JOE Roach is tipping Eddie Howe to maximise the mercurial talents of Brett Pitman and insists the striker can provide the finishing touch for Cherries.

Former Cherries head of youth Roach mentored Pitman as he rolled off the Dean Court production line to become a goalscoring star in the first team.

Pitman returned to Dorset on Tuesday when he signed on loan from Bristol City, with a view to a permanent move in the January transfer window.

The Jersey-born frontman agreed terms on a three-and-a-half year deal and will cost Cherries a cut-price fee believed to be in the region of £60,000.

Pitman, who hit 28 goals for Howe during Cherries’ 2010 promotion campaign, was given limited game-time by City after his £550,000 switch.

But Roach insists Pitman will flourish and again enjoy a fruitful partnership with old boss Howe. He also believes the creativity Cherries have displayed since Howe’s appointment will play into the hands of “goalscorer” Pitman.

Roach told the Daily Echo: “I think Eddie will, and has, got the best out of him.

“If you look at Brett’s record from that part of his career with Bournemouth before he left, you don’t need to be a statistician to see the impact that he made.

“I have seen probably all the home games since Eddie has been back and the team are creating lots of chances and Brett will thrive on those types of ball entries into the box. I think, within a very short period of time, he will be scoring, without putting pressure on the lad.

“Eddie knows how to get the best out of Brett from a playing point of view and, if he is doing the right things, will want him on the pitch. Brett will react to that in a positive statement. He will have to work hard with Eddie and Eddie will get the best out of him.”

Appointed to the youth set-up by Sean O’Driscoll in 2001, Roach departed Dean Court in controversial circumstances in June 2011. In his 10 years at the club, he was responsible for unearthing in excess of £1.5million worth of talent – including Pitman, Sam Vokes, Josh McQuoid and Danny Ings.

Roach, who also backed Howe to bring out the best in former pupils McQuoid and Joe Partington, says Pitman was always a natural.

He added: “We didn’t have a player like him in the youth team until that point. We had Danny Ings and Sam Vokes but he was just a natural goalscorer.

“Inside the box, outside the box, overhead kicks – any type of goal you wanted, he was capable of scoring, and you can’t take that away. His record in the youth team and first team is exemplary.”

Roach, who still lives locally, is currently working on behalf of the Premier League, auditing and inspecting academies.