MANAGER Eddie Howe says he sees a number of similarities between Cherries’ Championship class of 2014 and Harry Redknapp’s team of the late 1980s.
Verwood-raised Howe was a regular on the Dean Court terraces when Redknapp held the reins during three seasons in the second flight between 1987 and 1990.
Cherries ended their debut campaign in 17th in Division Two before 12th the following season saw Redknapp lead the club to its highest finishing position in the Football League.
Their brief stay in the second tier came to a disappointing end when a glut of injuries saw Cherries slip from 12th to 22nd, with relegation confirmed on the final day of the 1989-90 season.
Redknapp, who had guided Cherries to the Division Three title in 1987, assembled a formidable squad which included the likes of Mark Newson, John Williams, Sean O’Driscoll, Tony Pulis, Mark O’Connor, Luther Blissett, Paul Morrell and Shaun Teale.
Howe, who was on the books as a schoolboy under Redknapp, told the Daily Echo: “My memories of that era were of a very good team, a really good atmosphere around the ground and a feeling of optimism with the direction the club was heading. The football was great and I remember enjoying coming to every game.
“These things don’t go on forever and, unfortunately, the club had some tough years following relegation. But what Harry did and the length of time he was here should never be forgotten.
“They had some great players. The majority stayed in the game and some of them went on to land some top jobs. There are reasons behind that and it is down to attitude, mentality and work-rate.
“One of the first things I remember as a youngster was the attitude of people like Harry Redknapp, Tony Pulis and Sean O’Driscoll. Their work ethic was very impressive. They worked hard as a team and that is why they were so successful.
“I think there are comparisons between them and us, certainly in terms of mentality. They had some great characters and some real winners, and so have we. You look at the likes of Tommy Elphick, Ian Harte, Simon Francis and Richard Hughes, and Steve Fletcher from my first spell.
“These people are key figures at the club and you don’t get anywhere without those type of characters pushing everyone else on.”
Team of 1989 (based on leading appearance-makers with the exception of Blissett): Gerry Peyton, Mark Newson, John Williams, Shaun Teale, Paul Morrell, Mark O’Connor, Sean O’Driscoll, Ian Bishop, Shaun Brooks, Luther Blissett, Trevor Aylott.
Team of 2014 (based on starting line-up against Birmingham seven days ago): Lee Camp, Simon Francis, Tommy Elphick, Steve Cook, Ian Harte, Marc Pugh, Harry Arter, Eunan O’Kane, Matt Ritchie, Lewis Grabban, Yann Kermorgant.