Sheffield United: Bournemouth's Eddie Howe gives his verdict on Blades challenge & heaps praise on Blades boss Chris Wilder ahead of clash
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has claimed his side will face a tough test of their abilities against Sheffield United on Saturday, as the Blades look to get their first top tier campaign in twelve years off to a flyer on the south coast.
Speaking at his pre-match conference, via Bournemouth's official website, the 41-year-old claimed he was expecting a difficult challenge against the newly promoted side, and said: “I expected a very, very difficult game. They impressed everybody last year, and I watched quite a bit of them (play).
“Their tactical set-up was slightly different, and I really enjoyed watching that. They stuck to the blueprint of how they wanted to play, and it brought them huge rewards.”
Comparisons have been drawn between Howe and Wilder since the Blades earned their promotion, with both managers leading their respective boyhood club to the Premier League, with an express intent to play attractive football and reward the hard work of players from the lower leagues.
Discussing the United manager, the Cherries boss said: “Chris has done an outstanding job, and quite rightly won the Manager of the Season - in my opinion he can be hugely proud of what he's done at his local club, and how he's turned them around.”
He continued: “I've bumped into him a few times since his time at Sheffield United, and I've just been hugely impressed by the way he's gone about his job and the success that he's got there; to go up through the leagues is so difficult, but he's done it in a specific way with a great style and philosophy, so that gets even more kudos.”
The 41-year-old also briefly gave his verdict on United's summer transfer window efforts, and said: “I think they've gone about in a good way and have signed some good players.”