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Page last updated at 19:39 GMT, Saturday, 8 January 2011

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe to decide on his future

By Mark Mitchener
BBC Sport at Dean Court

Eddie Howe
Howe led Bournemouth to promotion from League Two last season

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe admits he faces "a very difficult decision over the next few days" over his future.

BBC Radio Solent reported that Howe was being pursued by Charlton and Crystal Palace while he has also been linked with the managerial vacancy at Burnley.

But he said he was "anguished" over whether to leave the club he has supported since he was a boy.

"This club, the supporters and players mean so much to me - it's not going to be easy," he said.

Howe has been in charge at Dean Court for just over two years, during which time he has taken Bournemouth from second from bottom of League Two to second from top of League One against a backdrop of points deductions and transfer embargos, winning promotion last season.

He has already rebuffed approaches from Peterborough and Southampton to take over at their clubs.

A Dean Court favourite during his playing days, where he made over 300 appearances for the Cherries in two spells before a persistent knee injury ended his career, Howe is revered by the supporters for what he has achieved since replacing Jimmy Quinn as manager on New Year's Eve 2008.

"I've got to battle with myself and come to a decision which is right for everybody," he told BBC Radio Solent.

"Out of respect to everybody, I've got to get a move on. I don't want to be playing anyone along, that's not my intention at all.

"But it's got to be the correct decision, not a snap judgement.

"It may well be that my dog may be getting some exercise!"

In an emotional post-match press conference after the Cherries' 3-0 win over Plymouth on Saturday, Howe would not be drawn on the specifics of any job offer - or the factors which would inform his decision.

But he said: "I don't want to go into too much detail, but I do have a decision to make, which should probably give you a clue.

"For a number of reasons it's difficult to come to that decision.


"I'm never going to leave this club on a whim, or just because I've had an offer somewhere else, that's not how I work.

"I've had a terrific time here, I've loved every minute of doing the job, and when you're somewhere where you're liked and respected, it counts for a lot in my book.

"I'm anguished as people say this is a nice position to be in, but it doesn't feel like that.

"I'm very torn, and when you see the players perform like that, it makes it even harder.

"To see their commitment and attitude to everything we've asked them to do, I can't fault them.

"They've never let me down, not once. They're a great group to work for, and I'm proud to be their manager.

"They feel more than just a group of players to me, they feel like family."

With the Bournemouth fans chanting his name throughout the game, Howe went to applaud them after the players' regular post-match huddle, but insisted he had not yet made up his mind as to where his future lies.

"The supporters today were absolutely magnificent for me and the players," he said.

"I can't thank them enough for everything they've done for me.

I'm never going to leave this club on a whim, or just because I've had an offer somewhere else, that's not how I work

Eddie Howe

"That doesn't mean I'm going, I just want to thank them for today.

"It meant so much to me and to my family, who were here, and no matter what happens, it'll be a day that will live long in the memory."

It is not the first time he has faced an emotional wrench over leaving Dean Court.

Bournemouth's financial problems forced his sale to Portsmouth on transfer deadline day in 2002, leading him to comment "I may be a Portsmouth player now, but I'll always be a Bournemouth supporter."

He returned on loan in 2004, and after then chairman Peter Phillips put out an appeal over the internet, fans raised over £16,000 in one day to help secure Howe's return on a permanent deal.

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see also
Bournemouth 3-0 Plymouth
08 Jan 11 |  League One
Thursday's gossip column
06 Jan 11 |  Gossip
Bournemouth warn Swans off Howe
10 Jul 10 |  Swansea
Charlton sack manager Parkinson
04 Jan 11 |  Charlton
Cherries appoint Howe for season
19 Jan 09 |  Bournemouth
Bournemouth defender Howe retires
23 Jun 07 |  Bournemouth

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