Monday, 5 August 2013

Eddie Howe's thinking

The BBC Solent's Fans Forum was a good opportunity to see if we could read between the lines of some of Eddie Howe's thinking but as usual he is a master of keeping his cards close to his chest. For those expecting to see Billy Sharp walk through the doors at Dean Court in the next few weeks there was no sign of encouragement, but then there was also no dismissal of such a signing being nonsense or implausible. Eddie is well aware that we are short in the striker department and he is looking to sort something out. "It's not as simple as just getting someone in," said Eddie. "We want the right one - that's the key thing." 

He was enthused by the start of Mohamed Coulibaly our away shirt sponsored signing. "He was a chance worth taking," said Eddie. While Mohamed limped off in the Charlton game we hope he recovers quickly.

Eddie Howe spoke about the Real Madrid game as if the whole team was disappointed with their performance which is a good sign. He said they were excellent for the first 20 minutes and that we were giving Real Madrid some problems up until we lost Pitman and had to switch Cook to midfield. He believes we have some top strikers at AFCB in Grabban and Thomas as well as Pitman and he is focussed on improving these players.

Importantly Eddie is sure that Wes Thoams will give 100 per cent for the club now and we saw that against Charlton. He is playing for us for the length of his contract and the supporters will be key to his confidence and his success. It was good to hear Eddie urge fans to get behind Wes again.

Looking back at the five game wobble last season towards February/March Eddie said he did not feel that the mood dipped or that they played badly against Coventry or Doncaster, which they could have won but that the Doncaster game had some lessons in it for the team to learn from. The two away defeats in that period were disappointing for him though. 

Eddie also revealed that he thought nothing at first when AFCB lost Paul Groves and Shaun Brooks and phoned to see if he might be available. However, he was unhappy at the time at Burnley and the more he thought about it the more he wanted to make the move happen. "You make decisions in life when things are put in front of you," he said. Luckily for us he is "happy and content to be at AFCB."

The development of Sam Mattews and harry Cornick does excite Eddie Howe. He has high hopes for both of them. While Sam is not yet ready to go out on loan Harry probably is. technically Sam is one of the best 16 year-old's Eddie knows and it is really dependent on him now how he progresses.

As for the current season ahead, Eddie is under no illusions. "The first port of call for any team is 21st place," he said."We are relishing the challenge."

The Development squad will support the first team and it will continue to host friendlies depending on how many players are loaned out to get experience. But Howe wants to keep a core group training with the first team when they can. It is important that we develop our English players and local talent. We need to get as many through the system as we can, according to Eddie.

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