Howe quit Turf Moor in October to return to previous club Bournemouth, citing personal and family reasons for the decision. The 35-year-old's second spell at Dean Court stands as a resounding success to date - if the Cherries overcome Wigan in their FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday night they will set a new club record of 19 matches without defeat in all competitions. On the eve of the match, Howe told the Daily Mail:
"The majority of Burnley fans have been very understanding and wished me well. I can't show my appreciation to them enough.
"It wasn't easy for them. They put a lot of trust into Jason (Tindall, Howe's number two) and me and we felt upon leaving that we were letting them down.
"But I had to make a very difficult decision that I felt was best for my family, which ultimately is the most important thing to me. The understanding from the people at the club was special, too.
"I learned vast amounts at Burnley and I'm really pleased we went there. It was a really good challenge led by great people.
"I can't speak highly enough of everything about Burnley. From our perspective we were just disappointed that we didn't quite get that run of results we really craved. We weren't far away but we just never quite broke into the top six, so that was frustrating for us."