Eddie Howe ticks all the boxes - Barry Kilby

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe

CHAIRMAN Barry Kilby feels Eddie Howe ticks all the boxes required to be the new Burnley boss.

And he believes the club will be reinvigorated by Howe’s youthful exuberance.

After making Howe the club’s youngest ever manager at 33, Kilby explained why the Bournemouth chief was the ideal candidate: “We were determined not to rush into it and cover every base and see all the people we had to see, and the cup tie in the middle gave us a two-week window in a way.

“I’m glad we’ve got Eddie now and we can look ahead.

“Everybody in football has kept their eye on Eddie, with the great job he did at Bournemouth, in tough times, going into administration, points deductions, and to do as well as he did...

“I had in the back of my mind it would be a younger, up and coming star of management - I got this feeling the club needs a youthful input.

“You get the feeling you maybe need to change direction, so that was in our mind.”

The last 12 months have been difficult, on the back of Owen Coyle’s acrimonious departure to Bolton, the subsequent relegation from the Premier League and inconsistent start to life back in the Championship.

And while Coyle went from God to Judas, or even Moses if he had his way, Kilby is certainly not placing any biblical billing on his new man: “I’m very careful talking about a messiah, the new this and the new that, there are all sorts of factors come into it.

“But he’s on the up, he has a three and a half year contract, and we’re patient with our managers, and give them a chance.

“Now there’s a bigger stage for Eddie to try and move on his career as well.

“He’s handled himself very well from what I’ve seen of him, we’ve been impressed.

“He had his career cut short by injury and I like the sort that can get over adversity.

“I think the crowd will give him a chance, we’ve a real tough ask with five of the next six games away, and we’ve only won one away from home, so it will be a little bit of a baptism of fire, but we need to get cracking.”

Kilby’s immediate aim remains a place in the play-offs at least, and he will leave Howe to assess whether he needs to tweak the squad for the final 21 games: “We work hard for what we get here, and every manager has had to work with what we’ve had.

“But the jury is out on whether the squad is good enough for promotion as it is, sometimes you think that, and we could be better off than we are, particularly in losing three two-goal leads.

“If you write those seven points into it, we’re a lot higher, and there may be reasons for that.

“But there are some good teams in this division, as we found against QPR.

“It’s not a gimme, but I think we still have the talent there to do it.

“It’s not quite as crucial in our division to use the transfer window because we can loan players after it shuts.

“So it’s not the absolute deadline that it is for the Premier League, that’s an absolute shutdown.

“So there’s no panic, it’s up to Eddie now to sit down and make his assessment of the squad and we’ll take it from there.”