BRETT Pitman says Eddie Howe’s unstinting work ethic and man-management skills have been fundamental to his success as Cherries boss.

Striker Pitman has been a key figure in the club’s rapid rise from the depths of League Two to the Championship under Howe’s stewardship.

The 25-year-old, who was sold to Bristol City and bought back by Howe, led the goal charts when Cherries avoided relegation in 2009 and during their two promotion campaigns.

Pitman also netted the first goal of Howe’s permanent reign as manager, his strike paving the way for a crucial 3-1 win over Wycombe in the Great Escape season.

The Jerseyman, in an interview with the Daily Echo to mark Howe’s fifth anniversary in management, said: “I played with him before he got the job and also worked with him when he became a coach under Kevin Bond.

“I was pleased when he was appointed because I thought he would give me a chance and that is how it turned out. I played every game bar one in my first spell here.

“When someone so young gets the job, you are never sure how they will fare, especially as we were near the bottom of the league and had no money. But it was testament to how hard he works and how diligent he is that we stayed up and then got promoted the following season.

“He wants us to improve and instils a tremendous work ethic in us. He knows the right time to put an arm around players and the right time to come down on them to put them in line. We have a good squad, we work hard together and that comes from him and Jason (Tindall).

“I have enjoyed working with him. There have been times when he has had a go at me and times when he has helped me, like with all the players. The main thing is he wants to work on the training ground.”

Asked how far he felt Howe could take the club, Pitman replied: “First and foremost, we have to establish ourselves which I think we are doing.

“His record, especially here, speaks for itself and with his ability as a manager, I am sure he will manage in the Premier League. Hopefully, that will be with us.”

  • Newly-appointed youth team bosses Joe Roach and Carl Fletcher will oversee their first game in charge when Cherries visit Gosport Borough tonight.

The duo are set to take the youth team to Privett Park for a Hampshire Senior Cup quarter-final clash (7.45pm).

Cherries reached the final of the competition last season but suffered defeat at the hands of Alresford at Dean Court.

Admission prices are set at £12 for adults, £8 for concessions and £4 for under-16s.
Children under 12 years of age can gain free entry if accompanied by a paying adult.