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Accolade for Howe is cherry on cake

On Friday, the man with more managerial experience than his 36 years would suggest, reaped the reward of a staggering Bournemouth revival by being named Championship Manager of the Month.

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The accolade caps an extraordinary spell at the seaside town, where his team have been gleefully setting records seemingly at will.

Having recorded their biggest win in the Football League with an 8-0 thumping at Birmingham, just four days later they reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup for the first time with victory over Premier League West Bromwich Albion.

Bournemouth have recorded three league wins away in succession for the first time at this level and now, just six years after starting the League Two (division four) season on minus 17 points for exiting administration in an incorrect manner, they sit proudly atop the second tier of English football.

“I am really pleased to have got the award because it means we have had a good month,” Howe told local media. “But, in my eyes, the recognition always has to go to the team and the players.

“They call it manager of the month but really it is team of the month. The team includes everybody — coaching staff, physios and sports scientists. We have a really good team of people here and everybody played a part in the month.”

Howe’s team banged in 16 goals in five Championship and League Cup outings in October to deliver him the award.

Six of those 16 goals were scored by Callum Wilson, who was named Player of the Month.

These are roller-coaster times at Bournemouth, who have spent much of their 115-year history in the lower reaches of league football, but with a benevolent and supportive Russian owner, a grounded and committed manager, the Cherries fans are beginning to dream.

With Bournemouth top of the Championship and neighbours Southampton second in the Premier League, there may yet prove to be something in the water on England’s south coast.

(Editing by John O’Brien)

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