Howe welcomes speculation over Cherries stars
Cherries boss Eddie Howe says he is keen to keep his squad intact through the transfer window but has also welcomed speculation linking his players with other clubs. A number of Cherries' highly-rated prospects could court interest after catching the eye during the Dorset outfit's impressive first half to the season. Leading marksman Brett Pitman has already attracted attention, while Liam Feeney, Jason Pearce and Anton Robinson have also put themselves in the shop window. And while Howe hopes the club can keep hold of its rising stars, he also knows the departure of prize assets is an occupational hazard for any Cherries boss. Howe told the Daily Echo: I don't want anybody to go and would like to keep the team together. The spirit and camaraderie within the squad are second to none. Keeping everyone together and maintaining our focus are the aims but you never know in football. It is a compliment to have our players linked with other clubs. It means they have consistently produced good performances. In some ways, you want to keep the speculation because it means they are continuing to play well. When you are near the top of the league, your players are always going to attract interest. Striker Pitman has evinced his worth to Cherries by bagging 14 goals during a series of prominent displays, his exploits seeing him linked with several Championship and League One clubs. Howe added: Brett is pretty level-headed and I don't think he lets the speculation affect him at all. If it did, I would speak with him. I think he knows he has to work hard and that's really all we ask him to do because we know he can do all the other things. We would only deal with an issue if it were to become a problem. Chairman Eddie Mitchell has already publicly stated that none of the club's sought-after young players would be sold above the head of Howe. Howe said: The chairman has got the same ambitions as me. He wants the team and the club to be as successful as possible. He is making what I believe are the right decisions for the football club and communicates everything he needs to with me. Since he has come in, our relationship has grown stronger because of that communication and desire to produce a successful team.
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