AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has enjoyed working under the higher expectations levels that now surround the club.
During Howe’s first spell as manager at Dean Court, the Cherries as a team and a club are virtually unrecognisable.
The Cherries were staring at oblivion when Howe took over, battling for the clubs very survival at the bottom of League Two following a seventeen point deduction after exiting administration.
But against the odds Howe masterminded the Greatest Escape and then despite a sixteen month transfer embargo, Howe once again defied the odds to steer the club to automatic promotion back to League One.
Despite departing for Burnley midway through the following season, Howe’s squad still went on to reach the League One play-offs the following season, once again surprising everyone and competing against teams with much higher resources and quality.
After 21 months at Burnley working under difficult circumstances and rebuilding a squad following relegation from the Premier League, Howe returned to the south coast, but to a club with good investment following the arrival of Russian businessman Maxim Demin.
Dean Court has been transformed with facilities in and around the stadium improved and a new training ground built next door to the ground in Kings Park.
Money has also been spent on the squad by former managers Lee Bradbury and Paul Groves following the mass departures of Howe’s former side and more money was spent in the January transfer window with Howe able to make the signings of Brett Pitman, Ryan Allsop, Ryan Fraser and Matt Ritchie.
With defensive cover lacking, Howe could well dip into the loan market in the next few weeks knowing that money will be available to him.
But with all the investment comes the pressure to perform, the Cherries go into the majority of games as favourites and despite being in 21st place in mid-October the Cherries are now one of the favourites for promotion.
It’s an all new pressure for Howe to work under, but a pressure he enjoys.
Howe told afcb.co.uk…
‘…It is a new dynamic from the previous time I was here. We were rarely favourites with the backdrop of no money and not being allowed to sign players.
“When I came back, the big change was the expectation. That is probably the biggest thing we have had to deal with. I have never had the resources to the level where we are at now as a manager.
“It does bring extra pressure, but it is a pressure I have enjoyed so far. It`s never easy to consistently win, you have to earn the right in every single game. At the moment, the lads are doing that really well.”
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