Thursday 27 June 2019

Eddie Howe glad of Gareth Southgate comparisons as he plots Bournemouth’s path

Howe is ready to draw inspiration from England’s World Cup exploits.

Eddie Howe, pictured, has hailed England boss Gareth Southgate’s managerial style (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Eddie Howe, pictured, has hailed England boss Gareth Southgate’s managerial style (Andrew Matthews/PA)

By Nick Purewal, Press Association Sport

Eddie Howe believes nice-guy managers can still cut it at football’s pinnacle.

The Bournemouth boss hailed Gareth Southgate for rejuvenating the nation’s football love affair by driving England to the World Cup semi-finals.

Howe admitted he is flattered by comparisons drawn between his savvy, inclusive management style and that of England boss Southgate – then insisted there are plenty of routes to coaching success.

Eddie Howe, pictured, in Bournemouth’s boot room as he gears up for the Cherries’ fourth Premier League campaign (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Admitting he will pick through England’s World Cup to hand Bournemouth any edge for their fourth Premier League campaign, Howe feels the Cherries already boast a strong squad spirit akin to Southgate’s feel-good international set-up.

Asked if Southgate had shifted a perception that managers must be cut-throat in all areas to succeed, Howe told Press Association Sport: “I’d like to think there’s plenty of different ways you can do the same job and still be successful.

“Gareth has his own unique way of managing. I thought he conducted himself superbly throughout the tournament. Everything I saw I thought ‘yep, great decision’.

“I don’t think every team necessarily has good team spirit. It was more the way Gareth spoke and conducted himself. In turn that meant his players acted the same way.

“Also, you could see that clearly through the way the players interacted with the fans. It sent out a great message, a positive message, that the country then grabbed hold of.”

Howe is incredibly popular at Bournemouth (Anthony Devlin/PA)

When asked for his view on favourable comparisons between himself and Southgate, Howe continued: “Well I wouldn’t view anything like that as a criticism that’s for sure!

“You only see a persona in the media; you don’t quite know how Gareth manages behind the scenes. That’s always difficult to gauge.

“You only truly see what someone’s like away from the cameras.

“But certainly, any comparison with Gareth could only be viewed as a compliment.”

England manager Gareth Southgate (Owen Humphreys/PA)

A Wheel of Fortune-style forfeit game replaces the old-school fine system at Howe’s Bournemouth.

Players cop punishments ranging from anything from making presentations to the group to performing a scene from a play.

Midfielder Lewis Cook once had to arrive for training dressed as a Ninja Turtle.

Where Southgate had England throwing darts in Repino, at Dean Court Howe keeps his charges in a different kind of spin.

“If someone does something wrong within our systems then instead of paying a monetary fine they spin the wheel to find out what their forfeit is,” said Howe.

“I don’t know if the players see it as light relief, I think they would rather just pay a fine!

“But it’s a way of harnessing loads of good moments throughout the season that actually encourages team spirit, and develops people and leaders.

“There are certainly elements of England and Gareth Southgate’s style that we’ll learn from, but a lot of the things we’re already doing.

“Team spirit is something we work hard on, having a common goal and aim is something that we definitely focus on.”

Howe first managed Bournemouth aged 31, thrust into the top job while still coming to terms with premature playing retirement.

Now 40, the former centre-back continues to insist he will always owe Bournemouth more than they owe him – whatever his Dean Court achievements.

“I owe the club a huge, huge amount, for giving me the chance,” said Howe.

“That’s how I will always view the club: it’s me owing the debt.

“Before I took this job, where was I? I was a retired footballer looking for a new career and I didn’t know what that would be.

“So I was given an opportunity to manage in a time when I shouldn’t have been, really, with my experience and my knowledge. And I had to learn on the job.

“The biggest thing I can do then is give everything I can every day to improve the club, to improve everyone within the club. And that’s what I try to do now.”

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