Bond: Eddie and Cherries can do more than just survive
FORMER boss Kevin Bond believes thoughts of Cherries simply surviving in League One are way off the mark. Bond handed miracle man Eddie Howe his first coaching job while Cherries boss and under the guidance of the highly-regarded young manager, the former Dean Court chief insists Cherries' current crop have the capabilities to push on. Bond, now assistant to Harry Redknapp at Tottenham Hotspur, keeps in regular contact with Howe and maintains a keen interest in Cherries' progress. He was in charge last time the club competed in the third tier and came agonisingly close to steering Cherries clear of relegation, despite them being docked 10 points for going into administration. Since his exit and that of his successor Jimmy Quinn Bond has seen his former understudy transform Cherries' fortunes and pilot their promotion out of the basement division. He knows all about the challenges facing Howe a man he describes as very thoughtful, very thorough and pro-active and is backing Cherries to do well at the next level. Delivering his verdict on the forthcoming campaign, Bond told the Echo: It will be a tougher task but Eddie has now got that bit of experience behind him, which I believe will stand him in good stead. I think he will probably bring in, maybe, half a dozen new faces to strengthen the squad. He has had a good opportunity to look and see what he feels he needs and I think, if he gets the right people in which I'm sure he will, they will do well. I think they have it within them to do better than just survive. It's a new league for them and, even though they have come up so are on a high because of it, you never really know how you are going to fare. They'll find their feet early on and he'll assess it. He'll make any changes if he needs to make them and I think they will do okay because of it. I think he knows what he's doing. I think they'll do fine. Given Cherries' success, other clubs have taken an interest in Howe. Last season he turned down an approach from Peterborough United and he has been loosely linked to the Portsmouth vacancy since Avram Grant's exit. Bond said: He's a loyal guy and showed loyalty to the club last year, which I thought was the right thing to do. I think it's inevitable that other clubs will be admiring the work he's done at Bournemouth. It's the nature of the business that if somebody comes along that's a big enough step up then it's going to be a difficult decision for Eddie, as it would be for anybody else, whether players, coaching staff or management because it's the nature of the business. So while he continues to do the sort of job he's doing, I think that (interest) is inevitable. Howe has previously spoken of the huge debt of gratitude he feels he owes to Bond, who handed him his first coaching role in December 2006.
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