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Cherries: Boss Howe insists players are starting with a clean slate
Howe has spent his first few days back in the hot-seat assessing his resources after inheriting a 32-man first-team squad, the biggest in the club’s history.
Four players – Marc Pugh, Stephen Purches, Steve Fletcher and Harry Arter – were signed by Howe during his first spell as manager, while another three – Shwan Jalal, Joe Partington and Josh McQuoid – played under him between January 2009 and January 2011. Mark Molesley was given a permanent deal by Howe after signing on loan under Jimmy Quinn.
And while Howe has already indicated he plans to reduce numbers, he also says every player will be given an opportunity, either in training or in games, before any decisions are made.
Speaking to the Daily Echo, Howe said: “You build an opinion very quickly on a player. We would always give someone a chance and Jason Tindall and myself have always had the same opinion on that.
“You have to give people an opportunity to impress and we are going to do that with all the players here.
“That is not to say you cannot make a quick decision on someone and we are both brave enough that, if we form an opinion quickly, we will make it known and take the appropriate action.
“You can see in training what you need to see in games. Sometimes, there are occasions when you will need to see players in a game environment to see how they react to certain situations.
“But, in terms of something like attitude, you can tell that just from a weight session. We are quickly forming opinions on the character of players and, sometimes, that is the most important thing.”
Howe fielded a strong team in the midweek win over Winchester City in the Hampshire Senior Cup and revealed certain first-team players had asked to feature.
Donal McDermott netted twice in Cherries’ 6-0 win, while Jalal, Stephane Zubar, Gary Bowles and Jon Meades also lined up in front of Howe and Tindall who were both present.
Howe said: “A couple of players who haven’t had a lot of football asked to play. We had one eye on training so we didn’t want to risk one or two.
“But the lads who played showed great attitude and desire and there were some good performances.”
He added: “Players we managed previously will not get any special favours and neither will the new players. It will be based on who I think is best for the job.”