Cherries: Howe hails fans and chairman's support
EDDIE Howe guided Cherries to the brink of promotion and then underlined the important role off-field events had played in his team's remarkable transformation. The Cherries manager watched as his men defeated Darlington 2-0 to open up an eight-point lead on their rivals and move a step closer to League One. Having masterminded the team's pursuit of automatic elevation to the third tier, Howe believes a bright future could be awaiting the Dean Court outfit. As well as performances on the pitch, he thinks the stability provided by Eddie Mitchell and the turmoil which came before the current chairman's reign has contributed to Cherries' success story. The chairman has come in and he has been fantastic from day one, said Howe. He's got the club's interests at heart and that's all you want from the leader of the club. Hopefully, the club will see better times in the coming years. I feel good for the fans who have had such tough times in the past few years. I'm just pleased for the people of Bournemouth that they've still got a football club to support and, hopefully, a football club playing decent football and one they are enjoying coming to watch. Since taking charge on New Year's Eve 2008, Howe has reinvented Cherries, plotting their rapid rise from relegation strugglers to League Two stars. He led the club to a Great Escape last season and has continued to defy the odds this term by taking Cherries to within sight of promotion. Those achievements have come against a backdrop of off-field sagas, most recently a transfer embargo and winding-up petition, and last term a points deduction, managerial changes and late payment of wages. He said: Going through the tough times is very good any experience like that can only help you. You can draw on it in the future. It sounds strange, but I'm really pleased we went through what we did because it made everybody stronger and brought us closer together. Mitchell has steered the ship into steadier waters since taking the reins in the summer, staving off a winding-up petition by clearing the club's tax debt last month and then successfully negotiating a relaxation of the embargo. When asked about the stability behind the scenes, Howe added: It's made a huge difference. The players are no longer thinking about things they shouldn't they are just concentrating on football. As a manager, that's all you want them to be thinking about. Last year was very difficult for a number of reasons. But, in hindsight, it was all good experience for the players. I think they now appreciate being treated well and things running smoothly off the pitch because they've had it the other way. It was a fantastic grounding for all the young lads and, hopefully, it will serve them well in the rest of their careers.
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