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Cherries: Howe relishing new challenge (updated with video)
EDDIE Howe says he is relishing the challenge of trying to revive Cherries’ fortunes after returning to “a very different club”.
Howe will officially be unveiled as Cherries’ new manager ahead of today’s League One clash with Leyton Orient at Goldsands Stadium.
The 34-year-old and assistant Jason Tindall will sign three-and-a-half year contracts after compensation was finally agreed with Burnley for their services yesterday.
Howe and Tindall, also 34, left Dean Court for Turf Moor 21 months ago after presiding over one of the most successful periods in Cherries’ recent history.
The pair overcame severe financial hardship at the club to play a leading role in preserving its Football League status in 2009 before masterminding promotion just 12 months later.
Since their departure, the club’s on-field fortunes have dipped and the duo return with Cherries in the League One drop zone despite vast investment in the squad in the past 12 months.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo this morning, Howe said: “We are both really excited to be back and it is a great challenge for us to take on. Everyone knows the feelings we both have for the club.
“Everything is very different – the infrastructure, the resources and the expectations – and there will be a lot to take in over a short period of time. We know everyone will have to work very hard to improve the league position but we can’t wait to get started.
“Although our focus has been very much with Burnley over the past couple of years, it seems to have been a transitional period for Bournemouth. Having resources behind you presents a different challenge and I am aware of the potential pitfalls.
“It will be up to us to build a team and all our previous success was down to having team spirit and an identity. Although there will be some familiar faces to us, in some respects, we are starting afresh.
“We have to get the side performing as a team and working for one another. That will be the challenge we face and I am confident we can do it.
“We are certainly not underestimating the task in front of us. We have to improve results and we have to do it quickly. The record this season is reflected in the league position so we have a lot of work to do. But, with the group of players we have got, I am confident we can succeed.
“Regardless of what finances you have behind you, nobody will give you anything in football. There are some good clubs in this league and we respect the division. It is going to take a lot of hard work to achieve our aims and we will need everybody pulling in the same direction, the players, the staff and the supporters.”
Howe, father to 14-month-old son Harry, cited his family as one of his reasons for leaving Burnley. However, he was quick to scotch suggestions he lacked ambition after dropping back into League One from the Championship.
He added: “My ambition and desire to succeed are the same as they have always been. Jason and myself have not come back to settle for second best. We want to push on and bring try to bring success to Bournemouth. That is our only focus at the moment and it will never change.
“I have never been one to worry about what other people think. The outside world can think what it wants in terms of stepping down a division. I know what the job entails and I know what the objective is. We are both focused on achieving that goal.”
Howe said it was “too early” for him to discuss publicly his plans for his squad and backroom staff and said he would spend next week assessing all areas of the club.