EDDIE Howe will look to make a swift appointment to replace the “key role” of loan manager vacated by the outgoing Carl Fletcher, who left the club to become Leyton Orient’s head coach this week.

Former Cherries midfielder Fletcher, who rejoined the club in 2014, had spells as under-18s and under-21s boss before becoming the club’s first loan manager during last season.

In his role, ex-Wales captain Fletcher, 39, was responsible for overseeing the development of Cherries’ contingent of players out on loan at various clubs across the world.

But he has now opted to return to coaching, taking the job at League Two Orient, his first senior managerial role since leaving Plymouth Argyle in 2013.

Asked if he plans to make a quick appointment in place of Fletcher, Howe told the Daily Echo: “I think we will do.

“We haven’t got any immediate plans in place. We’ll go away and discuss things and see what the best course of action is, whether we replace from internally or whether we bring someone in from outside, we’ll wait and see.

“It’s a really important role because it’s the guy that I go to to give me feedback on how players are doing – are they developing their game? Are they getting closer to being in contention for the first team here?

“On another level from the players’ perspective, are they happy in their club? Is there anything they need help with? They go to that person.

“So it’s a key role and we’ll look to make the right appointment.”

Having spent around four years coaching Cherries’ younger age groups, Fletcher moved away from the dugout to take on the role of loan manager.

And Howe feels the path the new O’s boss has taken will stand him in good stead for his new role.

Discussing Fletcher’s return to Cherries having managed at Plymouth, Howe said: “I think it was very wise of Carl to do that because he was very, very young in his coaching career to get the manager’s job at Plymouth and it was a really good opportunity for him.

“But when you come away from it, what do you do? Do you go straight back into management or do you go away behind the scenes and learn a bit more about the craft and take yourself out the spotlight and work things with a little bit more freedom and trial and error really.

“You try things, see if it works, see if you like it and that’s what Carl’s done. He’s gone away and he’s built his experience base. The under-18s, under-23s, loan manager, he’s built contacts in the game, so it’s done him the world of good.

“From the loan manager role, he would’ve built contacts that he never would’ve had.

“He was dealing with other clubs on a consistent basis so for him in his role now, when he needs a loan player or needs a discussion with a football club, he’s got that immediate contact to go to.”

Howe added: “He’s a lot more ready now I think to try and be a success at Leyton Orient. There’s no guarantees in management, it’s incredibly difficult wherever you go to win games consistently. But I think he’s got a great chance to do that.”