Fletch hopes for Howe stay
Steve Fletcher has called on manager Eddie Howe to remain with Bournemouth for the foreseeable future.
By Chris Galea
Last Updated: 05/01/11 6:15pm
Long-serving Bournemouth striker Steve Fletcher has called on friend and manager Eddie Howe to remain with the South Coast club for the foreseeable future.
The highly-rated boss has steered the Cherries from the brink of League Two relegation to a League One promotion contender since taking charge just over two years ago.
However, his achievements have recently seen him linked with a host of Championship sides, with Burnley, Preston and Crystal Palace the latest managerless clubs to be admiring the 33-year-old's impressive CV.
Fletcher, who featured alongside Howe during the former centre-half's playing career, believes that he has unfinished business at Dean Court with promotion to the Championship in sight as the Cherries are in third place heading into the second half of the season.
"I can definitely see Eddie managing at a higher level, but hopefully that will be with Bournemouth," Fletcher told skysports.com.
"However, there is pretty much another vacancy linked with him every other day and at the rate that it is going he will probably be the longest-serving manager in the Football League! What will be, will be, and I'm not sure which clubs have actually enquired about him.
"He has worked miracles since taking over two years ago on New Year's Day, pulling off the great escape, steering us into League One and then this year's success."
Howe has not only turned around the club's fortunes but also revived Fletcher's career.
The 38-year-old spent 15 years with Bournemouth before joining Chesterfield in 2007. He spent a year with the Spireites and then joined non-league Crawley before Howe brought him back to the Cherries shortly after taking charge in January 2009.
"He has achieved so much at a young age and I owe everything to him because if it wasn't for him I probably wouldn't be playing for this great club again," added the veteran frontman.
"He brought me back here and it has been such a phenomenal period since then, so I definitely don't want him to leave any time soon.
"If a big club wants to go down the avenue of hiring a young manager with bags of potential then they need look no further than Eddie Howe.
"It is worrying when you see clubs from a higher division looking for a new manager because you know that Eddie will be linked with it and nobody wants to see him go.
"It would have to be something special to get him to leave Bournemouth, though, because this club will always be his club.
"It won't boil down to a rash decision if and when he does move on to bigger things because he has lived here most of his life and grew up supporting this club on the terraces.
"I hope that we are in a position to keep him here for the foreseeable future because I really believe that we can go on and succeed even more with him in charge."