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Burnley silent on Howe future
TURF Moor fell silent yesterday as to the future of manager Eddie Howe.
The Burnley boss was last week linked with a return to his former club, AFC Bournemouth, in the immediate aftermath of the departure of Paul Groves.
Howe responded to the reports in his pre-match press conference by saying he was “proud to be Burnley manager”, adding: “We’ve just started the job. We feel there’s a long way to go.”
Chief executive Lee Hoos had already issued a statement, which read: “Burnley Football Club would not welcome any approach for Eddie Howe from any club.
“We are in the process of building for the future with Eddie and his staff and speculation is an unwanted distraction.”
But Bournemouth’s interest in a reunion with Howe has not since waned, and I understand there has been at least one round of meetings between Howe, his assistant Jason Tindall, Hoos and co-chairman John Banaszkiewicz following Saturday’s 4-3 defeat at Crystal Palace.
Indeed, speculation on the south coast mounted yesterday that the 34-year-old former Bournemouth defender could be on the verge of returning to Dean Court.
At the time of going to press he remained the bookmakers’ favourite, at 1/6.
Joint chairmen Mike Garlick and Banaszkiewicz were both unavailable for comment yesterday, along with Howe and Tindall, while there has been no furtherofficial comment from the club following last week’s statement.
Turf Moor sources said an official approach had not been received from Bournemouth, whose chairman, Eddie Mitchell, was tight-lipped on the subject.
Mitchell did, however, deny offering £1.4million for Howe, as was reported in a national newspaper.
“It is just not feasible for the club to offer £1.4m – whether it be for Eddie Howe or Alex Ferguson!” he said.
Howe and Tindall took training yesterday as normal and are expected to take charge of another routine session at Gawthorpe today.
Meanwhile, Alex MacDonald was today expected to extend his loan spell at Plymouth for a further two months. The forward, who helped the Pilgrims survive the drop from the Football League last season, was asked to remain at Home Park after an initial month-long deal.
DANIEL Lafferty has been called up to the Northern Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifying game against Portugal in Porto next Tuesday.
The Clarets defender was on stand-by but has been promoted to Michael O’Neill’s 24-man line-up following a number of withdrawals.
Striker Martin Paterson withdrew from the Northern Ireland squad late yesterday.
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