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Newcastle appoint ex-Bournemouth boss Howe after Bruce exit

SPORTS By Reuters | November 8th 2021
July 9, 2020 Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Matt Dunham/Pool via REUTER

Newcastle United have named former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe as head coach until 2024 following the departure of Steve Bruce last month, the Premier League club said on Monday.

Howe's first task will be to drag Newcastle out of the relegation zone. The club, who have wealthy new owners but cannot buy any players until January, are second-bottom of the standings, five points adrift of the safety zone, having failed to win a league game so far this season.

Howe, 43, has been out of a job since he left Bournemouth in August 2020 after the south-coast club were relegated from the Premier League on the final day of the season.

"It is a great honour to become head coach of a club with the stature and history of Newcastle United. It is a very proud day for me and my family," Howe said in a club statement.

"This is a wonderful opportunity, but there is also a lot of work ahead of us and I am eager to get onto the training ground to start working with the players."

Graeme Jones was interim manager for the last three games after Bruce left following a takeover of the club by a consortium 80%-led by Saudi Arabia's PIF sovereign wealth fund.

Howe was in the stands for the 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday. His first game in charge will follow the international break when Brentford visit St James' Park on Nov. 20.

Newcastle have five points from 11 games but Howe is no stranger to relegation dogfights having been in charge of Bournemouth for over 450 games across two spells spanning more than a decade at the Vitality Stadium.

Following his appointment midway through the 2008-09 season, he kept a flailing Bournemouth side up in the fourth-tier League Two, avoiding relegation to non-league despite being docked 17 points amid crippling debts.

The miraculous escape was followed by three promotions in six years as Howe eventually led them to the top flight in 2015 when they won the Championship.

Bournemouth established themselves in the Premier League under Howe, discarding the defensive pragmatism that was common in newly-promoted sides to play attractive football.

The club spent five seasons in the Premier League and even finished as high as ninth in the 2016-17 campaign.

"We have been incredibly impressed by Eddie through what has been a rigorous recruitment process," Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley said.

"As well as his obvious achievements with Bournemouth, where he had a transformational impact, he is a passionate and dynamic coach who has clear ideas about taking this team and club forward.

"He is a great fit for what we are trying to build here. We are delighted to welcome Eddie and his staff to St James' Park and very much look forward to working together towards our collective ambitions."

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