(Reuters) - Bournemouth must focus on “what they have” rather than what they don’t have, manager Eddie Howe said in response to news that the club’s plans to build a new stadium by 2020 were on hold.
The south coast club, whose 11,360-capacity stadium is the smallest in the Premier League, said on Thursday's it's plans to upgrade the ground and training facilities were "overly optimistic" here and that a new date would be considered keeping an eye on finances.
“It’s not right for them at this moment so I think you have to respect that decision,” Howe, who has steered Bournemouth into seventh spot this season, said ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to sixth-placed Watford.
“Let’s focus on what we have, not what we don’t have. We have a stadium which works well for us and it’s a really good environment to work in.”
Bournemouth have punched above their weight since being promoted in 2015, finishing 12th last season and they broke their transfer record by signing Jefferson Lerma for a reported 25 million pounds ($32.59 million) in the summer.
Howe urged fans to be patient with regard to the new stadium as the support of the club’s shareholders and directors had helped them remain competitive in the Premier League.
“I know their will is to complete the stadium and build the training ground and take the club forward. They want what every Bournemouth fan wants and what I want,” Howe added.
“Long-term, we all hope we can build the club from the inside. We do need to improve facilities but I’m not saying anything which isn’t along the same lines as what the owners think. We all want the same thing.”
($1 = 0.7672 pounds)
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Martyn Herman