Cherries: How the tables have turned for Peter and Eddie
LITTLE over a year ago, the tale of the tapes between Eddie Howe and Peter Taylor could have been billed as a managerial mismatch. Following his permanent appointment as Cherries boss in January 2009, Howe was tasked with the daunting prospect of trying to derail Taylor's Wycombe Wanderers express in his first match at the helm. At the time, Cherries had lost four in a row and were 10 points adrift of safety, while the Chairboys were six clear at the top of League Two. Understandably, the oddmakers gave Howe's whipping boys little chance. However, with returning hero Steve Fletcher galvanising Cherries, Howe's new charges rose to the occasion and pulled off a memorable 3-1 win at Dean Court thanks to goals from Brett Pitman, Jason Pearce and Jake Thomson. At the end of the season, both Howe and Taylor achieved their respective aims with Cherries completing their now-legendary Great Escape and Wycombe |winning promotion to League One, albeit by the skin of their teeth. Fast forward to April 2010 and the protagonists are again set to lock horns at Dean Court when Taylor tomorrow brings Bradford City to town (3pm). Relieved of his post at Adams Park six months ago, the vastly-experienced 57-year-old has been charged with reviving the fortunes of the once-proud West Yorkshire outfit, which graced the Premier League just nine years ago. Taylor, who was appointed at Valley Parade in February, has already awoken one sleeping giant, masterminding back-to-back promotions from the bottom flight to the Championship for Hull City in 2004 and 2005. His exploits with the Tigers saw him handed the England under-21 reins for a second time in 2006. During his first stint in charge of the country's up-and-coming youngsters, Taylor handed Howe two caps during the Toulon Tournament in 1998. We will give Peter a lot of respect because he has done well wherever he has gone, said Howe. Under Taylor, the Bantams have already won at Rochdale and Rotherham, even though their own play-off aspirations evaporated some time ago. Currently 16th, they are 17 points clear of the drop zone. Bradford are a big club for this division and I think he has gone into a really big challenge, added Howe. He has got some good results and is probably gradually trying to change a few things and put his own stamp on it. They will be highly motivated so it is going to be a difficult game for us. They are a good side with good players. We had a good, tight game against them at Bradford so, hopefully, it will be another good spectacle. Howe, meanwhile, was playing his cards close to his chest regarding the availability of central defensive pair Jason Pearce and Ryan Garry. They are both making good progress, said the manager. As to whether they will be fit enough to take part in the Easter programme, I'm not sure but they are coming along nicely. Cherries: (from) Jalal, Bradbury, Bartley, Cooper, Wiggins, Feeney, Robinson, Hollands, McQuoid, Pitman, Fletcher, Connell, Igoe, Partington, Cummings, Garry, Pearce, Thomas. Bantams: (from) Glennon, Rehman, Williams, Oliver, Threlfall, Grant, Bullock, Bolder, L O'Brien, Kendall, Hanson, Evans, J O'Brien, Osborne, O'Leary, Bateson, Horne, McLaughlin.
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