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Pitman presence is win-win for us says Howe

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Manager Eddie Howe believes Brett Pitman’s presence on the training ground “can only boost” AFC Bournemouth’s up and coming young strikers.

Pitman this week linked up with the club’s under-21s after Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett confirmed he had given his blessing to him training with the Cherries.

Jackett yesterday told local media the Channel Islander was “not in my plans at the moment” before adding “but should that change, I won’t hesitate to contact him”.

Pitman joined Pompey from Ipswich in July 2017 and has netted 42 goals for the club in 99 appearances in all competitions.

The 32-year-old played a starring role in the Cherries’ meteoric rise from the depths of League Two to the Premier League during two spells at Vitality Stadium.

He was ever present and hit 28 goals to spearhead the club’s promotion to League One in 2010, his achievements seeing him crowned supporters’ player of the year.

Following a spell with Bristol City, Pitman re-joined the club in November 2012 and again finished as leading goalscorer as the Cherries clinched a place in the Championship.

Pitman, whose 96 goals make him the club’s fourth all-time leading league marksmen, netted 13 times as the Cherries won an historic first promotion to the top flight in 2015.

Speaking this morning at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Cherries’ trip to Sheffield United on Sunday, Howe told the media: “Brett rang me and said “would you mind if I trained with your under-21s?”

“I didn’t go into detail about his own situation – I said “of course”.

“It’s good for our young players to see an experienced player of Brett’s calibre coming in and training with them. It can only boost them and do them good to look at him and learn from him.

“He’s very close with Shaun Cooper who’s the main coach there so I think it’s win-win all round for us.

“I don’t think we lose anything but also it’s nice to help someone who’s done so much for the football club historically when they needed our help.

“Brett will always score goals wherever he goes, whoever he plays for. He’s just always had that instinct. He’s still one of the best finishers I’ve ever worked with.”

Pitman, who captained Portsmouth to Checkatrade Trophy glory at Wembley last season, has been a regular visitor to Vitality Stadium and Canford Arena to watch the first team, under-21s and under-18s.

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