HARRY BACKS ED­DIE’S BOYS

The Football League Paper - - PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW - By Sam El­liott

BOURNEMOUTH leg­end Harry Red­knapp be­lieves it will be a crime against foot­ball if Ed­die Howe’s Cher­ries aren’t tast­ing the Pre­mier League high-life next sea­son.

The 68-year-old led the club to ar­guably their best-ever re­sult in 1984 when then third di­vi­sion Bournemouth knocked hold­ers Manch­ester United out of the FA Cup.

But now his old club can eclipse that, should they hold their nerve and se­cure pro­mo­tion to the top flight for the first time in their his

tory.

Red­knapp says Ed­die Howe’s side not only de­serve to go up but their easy-on-the-eye style and cut-throat at­tack­ing play mer­its the Cham­pi­onship ti­tle.

The for­mer Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur manager is well qual­i­fied to give his opin­ion on the race for the Pre­mier League hav­ing taken Queen’s Park Rangers up via the play-offs against Derby County last May.

Out­stand­ing

Red­knapp has kept a close eye on the di­vi­sion and is un­equiv­o­cal in his be­lief that Bournemouth are the strong­est side he has seen by far.

He said: “They are the best team in the di­vi­sion, no doubt. Last year hav­ing played them twice when I was at QPR I knew that they were an out­stand­ing team, that they would be there this year. I had ab­so­lutely no doubt that they would at least make the play-offs this sea­son.

“I’ve seen a lot of games, and they are the best team in the league. They play foot­ball like ev­ery manager, like ev­ery coach in Eng­land would love to have their team play. They have got fan­tas­tic wingers, they play with two up front, they have got foot­ballers in mid­field and they have got great at­tack­ing full­backs.They are a proper team. I just love watch­ing them play. “For me they are the most ex­cit­ing side around.

“There’s no-one play­ing bet­ter foot­ball than Bournemouth in this coun­try at the mo­ment.”

Red­knapp, in charge at Dean Court from 1983 from 1992, be­lieves the man who now sits in his old seat is set for the big­gest stage.

“Ed­die’s a great boy,” he added. “I signed him at Portsmouth and he picked up a bad in­jury when I had him. He’s done an amaz­ing job. The whole club is well-run from top to bot­tom, it re­ally is, from the owner and the chair­man all the way down through the club.It’s a good club which is go­ing only one way – and that’s up.” Red­knapp will re­turn to man­age­ment on Sun­day May 31 to lead a star-stud­ded Men United XI against Ley­ton Ori­ent leg­ends, as O’s youth coach and Prostate Can­cer UK am­bas­sador Er­rol McKel­lar hosts a char­ity game at the Match­room Sta­dium.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

SIM­PLY THE BEST: Ken­wyne Jones cel­e­brates scor­ing on his Bournemouth de­but at Ip­swich

FAN: Harry Red­knapp

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