PREMIER League referee Mike Dean says Cherries boss Eddie Howe is one of the best managers to deal with in the top flight.

Dean, who is set to officiate Cherries' clash at Burnley on Saturday, reached 500 Premier League matches as a referee last month.

Asked who the most respectful manager towards referees is during a conversation on the BBC's That Peter Crouch Podcast, Dean said: "This season I would say Chris Wilder (at Sheffield United). He just comes across nice, a nice guy.

"(Graham) Potter at Brighton is the same, Eddie Howe is the same. They just come across well in the media as well and they do speak well."

Now 51, Dean's outing at Turf Moor on Saturday (3pm) will be the third time he has refereed Cherries this season with the other two both coming against Watford.

Having quit his job in a chicken factory to become part of the elite group of officials 20 years ago, Dean admits his time at the top is nearing an end.

Asked how much longer he sees himself in refereeing, Dean said: "I'd like to think another season after this if I can do it.

"It's all about my fitness though, that's the problem. The older you get you don't recover as quick. God knows what I'll do when I can't referee again."

He added: "It used to be a part-time job. In 2000 it all changed. It was a no-brainer when they ring you up and say – we're offering you a position as full-time referee on the Select Group or do you want to stay doing your job and kill chickens?"