Bournemouth's biggest challenge is retaining players - Howe

  • Football
  • Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Britain Soccer Football - AFC Bournemouth v Stoke City - Premier League - Vitality Stadium - 6/5/17 Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe applauds fans after the match Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge Livepic

(Reuters) - Bournemouth's "biggest challenge" will be to prevent players from leaving in the transfer window as the Premier League club have big ambitions for next season, manager Eddie Howe said.

Bournemouth has moved up to 11th in the Premier League this season, an improvement from their previous 16th place finish when the club were involved in the relegation scrap throughout the campaign.

Howe said Bournemouth could retain their top talent despite interest from bigger clubs, and continue growing.

"For a club of our size, keeping players who are performing so well in the Premier League will be our biggest challenge this summer, probably more so than any other," Howe told the Daily Echo.

"But we have ambitious plans. We don't want to lose our best players, we want to bring in more so, hopefully, that will be achieved. I believe we can keep all our players and we are under no pressure to sell," he said.

"We want to continue to keep growing and we believe we can achieve special things."

Norwegian striker Joshua King has been a key player for Howe's side, scoring 16 goals in all competitions and the manager is happy that the 25-year-old is getting the recognition he deserves.

"I am sure there are people taking notice and writing down his name. I think his form this season ... has been very good," Howe said.

"I want Josh to do well and to score goals. I would rather have it that way than the other way where he was not performing and not scoring just so people weren't taking notice."

Bournemouth travel to last season's champions Leicester City for the last game of the campaign on May 31 and could finish as high as eighth in the table.

(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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