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Eddie Howe grateful for part played by Tony Pulis in formative Bournemouth years

Published 18/12/2015

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, pictured, takes on his former boss Tony Pulis at West Brom
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, pictured, takes on his former boss Tony Pulis at West Brom

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe aims to overcome his former mentor Tony Pulis and build on an "incredible" week with victory at West Brom.

The Cherries head to the Hawthorns on the back of victories at first Chelsea and then at home to Manchester United which have lifted them clear of the bottom three.

Howe, 38, was a schoolboy apprentice at Bournemouth when Baggies boss Pulis made his first steps into management, taking over at Dean Court from Harry Redknapp in 1992.

While he looks back on those formative years with fondness, Howe knows there can be no room for sentiment when the two men face off in the dugout on Saturday afternoon.

"I remember my first pre-season here coming out of school at 16 when Tony was manager, and it was a great experience for me, my first taste of professional football every day," Howe said at a press conference.

"The pre-season we endured was really tough, but it was a great learning experience and opened my eyes to how fit and disciplined you had to be and how much you needed to devote your life to football really.

"It was those few weeks which had a big shaping on how I looked after myself physically, so I have a lot to thank Tony for in that period."

Howe recalled: " Tony was the type of manager who was very hands-on with the centre of excellence, I remember at 14, 15 and 16, when Tony was finishing his playing career and would want to learn more about coaching, so would come down to take sessions.

"It was hard, but was really enjoyable, with good principles in the sessions.

"A lot of his experiences definitely rubbed off onto me and I regard Tony as a good friend and someone that I am very thankful for with his passion for football."

Howe revealed there was now a positive vibe back around the south coast club, who had not won in eight Premier League matches before beating Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

"I don't think we can better the week we have had. It has been an incredible few days, which just goes to show the swings in football," he said.

"Before this week we had a difficult spell of games and everybody questioning this, that and the other of what we were doing, then this week has swung it round totally, so now we have to make sure it does not swing around again."

Howe accepts if his squad are not fully focused on the job in hand against the Baggies, they will come unstuck.

"It will be a completely different game to the two we have just had, but equally in its own way it will be really tough," he said.

"West Brom are a very disciplined, well drilled, and organised side, also very good physically, so we have to match their strengths and impose ours because if anything those last two results should have given the lads a huge boost of confidence in what we are trying to do, so now it is up to us to try to impose our style on other teams."

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