UPBEAT Eddie Howe tipped Corey Jordan for a glittering professional career – but warned the youngster he faced a battle to make his Premier League breakthrough.

Howe handed the 17-year-old centre-half his first competitive start in the EFL Cup defeat to Preston, the defender replacing Tyrone Mings for the final 15 minutes of extra-time.

Jordan, who penned his maiden professional deal earlier this year, endured a tough introduction and could only look on as Lilywhites striker Simon Makienok completed his hat-trick to condemn Cherries to a surprise 3-2 defeat.

The defender had earlier this month impressed when he featured for the opening 45 minutes of the 2-1 friendly defeat to AC Milan, the youngster and Tyrone Mings playing their part in shutting out the Italian big guns in the first half.

Boss Howe believes Jordan, who has been with the club since he underwent a successful trial as a seven-year-old, has plenty of positive attributes which will serve him well in future.

But the boss warned the youngster would have to take his hard work to a new level if he were to realise his potential in the professional game.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “I think he has a very bright future.

“It’s very difficult for young players at Premier League clubs to make the breakthrough into the team. I’m not going to disguise that fact so he still has lots of variables which could happen from this point in his career.

“But as we stand now, he is a really good size, a very good shape and is still growing so I think he has got all the tools.

“He is a very composed footballer. He will probably need to improve aerially and become a bit more of a dominating presence in terms of his voice because as a defender I think that’s so important.

“There’s a couple of things he needs to add to his game but I think the rest is there.”

Reflecting on Jordan’s competitive debut, Howe added: “I think it was great experience for the lad to get that introduction, albeit for a very brief amount of time in front of the home supporters.

“It would have been huge moment in his career and it was nice to be able to give him that chance.

“Certainly, now he has to work even harder than he has beforehand to progress his career from this point.”

Howe will lead Cherries into battle against in-form visitors Everton today as he bids to get his side back to winning ways in the Premier League (3pm).

Asked if the Toffees had changed style since boss Ronald Koeman took the reins in June, Howe said: “I would say tweaks rather than huge changes. I think every manager has a slightly different slant on how they do things.

“I’ve been impressed by them so far. They always had a good philosophy and way of playing and they have added to that this year.”

Howe reported “a couple” of injury concerns.