AFC Bournemouth: Eddie Howe admits Cherries move was a risk

Eddie Howe

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has admitted he risked his career and reputation by quitting Burnley to re-join the Cherries 12 months ago.

Howe, who celebrates a year back at Dean Court on Saturday, has achieved remarkable success since his return.

In 12 months, the club have gone from the bottom four in League One to the Championship following promotion.

"My credibility as a manager would have disintegrated very quickly if we hadn't been successful," Howe told BBC South.

At the time, the former Bournemouth and Portsmouth defender, who previously managed the Cherries between 2009-11, cited personal reasons as his motivation behind dropping down a division from the Championship to League One, and that people voiced their surprise to him at the move.

But he feels he has now been vindicated professionally and personally.

"Everyone raised eyebrows when we made the decision to come back," Howe told BBC Radio Solent. "I got a lot of phone calls and emails and all sorts, saying 'what are you doing?' and a lot of people in football couldn't understand the decision.

"But it's been fully justified as a football decision and of course there were personal issues which made it a must for me. Thankfully on the football side people can understand it now."

The highlights for Howe over the past year include a club-record unbeaten run of 18 games which coincided with his return, as well as promotion to the second tier of English football - something they last achieved in 1987.

And Howe admits things have gone better than he expected.

"To say it's a year amazes me," said the 35-year-old. "It's been such a good year with such a lot of good memories to look back on. My natural instinct is to look to the next year and try and replicate it.

"I'll be very lucky to have another year in management where things go as well as they have. It was an incredible year, starting off with the unbeaten run which we didn't envisage and finishing off with the promotion which we didn't expect and a good start to this season."

Howe says the success is not solely down to his arrival, but says the achievement of the past 12 months will be something he will look back on with great satisfaction in years to come.

"The ambition was there a year ago," he said. "The structures were in place, the feeling and goodwill was there. It just, for whatever reason, had not taken off and thankfully it did, it ignited and we went on that run and it built momentum.

"We enjoyed the success and to see Bournemouth celebrate promotion is something that will stay with me for a very long time as will seeing the games we are playing this season, the stadiums we are visiting and atmosphere we are generating at Dean Court.

"These are great days to be a Bournemouth fan and hopefully we can continue that."