Eddie Howe has dismissed links to the vacant Everton manager’s position and reiterated his “100 per cent commitment” to Bournemouth.
Marco Silva was sacked by the Toffees on Thursday night and Howe was keen to distance himself from the role at his press conference ahead of the Cherries’ Premier League match against Liverpool.
“First of all, I am very disappointed for Marco,” Howe said in the press conference, broadcast on Sky Sports.
“Secondly, I am 100 per cent committed to this club and I am a little bit embarrassed with the speculation if I am honest after our recent run of results.
“It’s all sort of come at a bad time because people will then question ‘has your work been affected by what’s being said outside’ but I don’t read all the nonsense that flies around about it, I focus on my players and training. And that is all there is to say on it.”
The Cherries will be aiming to avoid their fifth successive defeat when they welcome the league leaders to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
Bournemouth’s last victory was the 1-0 win over Manchester United on November 2, with four straight defeats seeing them slip to 14th in the standings.
“I’m invigorated and energised to get results here,” Howe said.
“I have no problems with my energy levels, my enthusiasm, anything. This is a tough, tough league and we’re in a tough moment.
“But these challenges are what inspires me. There’s no bigger challenge than when I first took the job here in my first ever managerial appointment and we found a way out of a situation so we can find our way out of anything.
“We all need to collectively come together and show that unity and fight and challenge and that’s what I’m asking my players to do.”
Bournemouth will be without defenders Steve Cook (broken wrist) and Adam Smith (ankle) and forward Joshua King (hamstring) for the clash.
Midfielder Harry Wilson is ineligible against his parent club and Junior Stanislas and David Brooks are both recovery from long-term injuries.
Howe admitted that the recent run of results has left him feeling disappointed and in a period of self-reflection.
“If you’re not hurt and disappointed by results then there’s a problem,” he added.
“So I have no problem reacting that way. I self-analyse, self-reflect and then rebuild and go again and make sure that for the next game the players are in a different frame of mind.
“That’s always been my way of dealing with things, to be disappointed, and that was my way as a player and a manager and I think for me that’s the right emotion.
“I can’t sit there with a big grin on my face if we don’t perform in a way that I want to.”