Celtic-linked Eddie Howe 'didn't know how to manage me' claims Rangers striker

Rangers striker Jermain Defoe has lifted the lid on his relationship with Eddie Howe, and revealed he felt mismanaged by the Celtic-linked manager during his time at Bournemouth.

Former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is the odds-on favourite to be next Celtic manager. (Photo by CLIVE BRUNSKILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is the odds-on favourite to be next Celtic manager. (Photo by CLIVE BRUNSKILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Defoe joined the Cherries on a three-year deal in 2017 but managed just four goals for the club before heading to Rangers on an 18-month loan in January 2019. He made his move to the Glasgow side permanent last summer.

The former England frontman reckons he was starved of opportunities under Howe at Bournemouth and suggested that he was forced out the club.

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Howe, who managed Bournemouth for a combined 11 years across two spells, guiding the club from the bottom of League Two to the Premier League, is the current odds-on favourite to replace Neil Lennon at Celtic Park.

Defoe told talkSPORT: “I just didn’t get the opportunity to be honest.

“I’ve scored goals everywhere I’ve been. I didn’t get the opportunity.

“Before I went to Bournemouth, I’d scored 15 goals (in) back-to-back (seasons). I got back into the England squad, so I was going to Bournemouth to play.

“I went to Bournemouth and just didn’t really get an opportunity, didn’t get a run of games.

“It was a different way of playing there. My programme was changed. They were asking me to do things I hadn’t really done before and that was it.

"Because I didn’t get a run of games, it was hard for me to perform, it was just like stop-start. I’d play two games then miss a few games. Towards the end I wasn’t even getting on the pitch.

"I know all the stats – round about that time, in terms of late goals scored, 90 minutes-plus, I think I was first in the Premier League to be honest. So I always thought, okay then, put my ego to the side a little bit, if I’m not starting, at least I can come on and try and get a goal and help the team.

“But towards the end I almost felt like I was forced out. And then that was it.

“I didn’t really have a relationship with the manager (Howe). I was closer to (assistant) Jason Tindall, but I just felt like the manager, he probably didn’t know how to manage me for whatever reason. That was; it really."

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