PUNDIT Jamie Redknapp believes Eddie Howe “deserves time” at Cherries but admitted: “Relegation would be a big problem.”

The former England international said tomorrow’s home clash with Brighton (7.30pm) was “huge” with the Dorset club three points adrift of safety.

Redknapp made his league debut for Cherries at the age of 16 and appeared for the club 21 times in all competitions.

He went on to feature for Liverpool, Tottenham and Southampton as well as winning 17 senior caps for his country.

Assessing the current situation at Cherries when writing in the Daily Mail, 46-year-old Redknapp said: “Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake and co have done a great job.

“The club has been well run for years. But relegation would be a big problem. Players would want to leave, and they would have to shrink their wage bill.

“Still, Eddie Howe deserves time.

“What a huge clash they have tomorrow — against Brighton at Vitality Stadium. The outcome of this south coast clash could go a long way to deciding who stays up.”

Cherries go into the contest knowing victory would take them within two points of the Seagulls. The hosts are currently 19th in the table with 20 points from 23 games.