(Reuters) – Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said on Friday that he is “100% committed” to the Premier League club amid media speculation linking him to the vacant role at Everton.
British media said Howe, as well as former Everton boss David Moyes and Shanghai SIPG coach Vitor Pereira, were seen as leading contenders to replace Marco Silva, who was dismissed by the struggling Merseyside club on Thursday.
“First of all, I’m very disappointed for Marco,” Howe told a news conference before Saturday’s game against Liverpool.
“Secondly, I’m 100% committed to this club and I’m a little bit embarrassed with the speculation if I’m honest after our recent run of results.”
Bournemouth crashed to their fourth straight league defeat with a 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace on Tuesday and sit 14th in the table with 16 points from 15 games.
“It (speculation) has come at a bad time because people will question whether your work has been affected by what’s being said outside.”
Howe said that his players were ready to arrest their slump and scrap with unbeaten league leaders Liverpool on Saturday.
“We have to play like our lives depend on it,” he added.
“The margins are fine as the league is so tight… we’re in a tough spot in a tough league. But these challenges inspire me.
“We need to give the crowd a cause to get into the match. Hopefully our recent results will galvanise the club and bring everyone together.”
Howe, who was already without defender Steve Cook (wrist) and striker Joshua King (hamstring) for the Liverpool match, said right back Adam Smith would also be unavailable due to an ankle problem.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)