Rangers striker Jermain Defoe has opened up on his ill-fated second spell at Bournemouth and admits he felt ‘forced out’ of the Cherries by then-manager Eddie Howe.

The veteran returned to Bournemouth 2017 on a three-year deal after a stint at Sunderland, returning to the South Coast club for a second spell after playing for them at the start of his career.

Rangers v Livingston - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Defoe celebrates after scoring during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Livingston at Ibrox Stadium (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Despite the Cherries struggling in the Premier League, Defoe was kept on the sidelines more often than not and the veteran striker admits that it was “hard” for him to really get going without a consistent run of games.

While Defoe had a decent relationship with Howe’s number two, Jason Tindall, the former England international didn’t have any relationship with the Celtic-linked boss, before leaving on loan to join Rangers in 2019.

“I just didn’t get the opportunity to be honest,” Defoe said [TalkSPORT].

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

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“It was difficult when I left Sunderland to be honest, because I was loving it there. I scored a lot of goals. 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.

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Could Howe and Defoe be set for an Old Firm reunion? (Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

“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.”

Meanwhile, one Rangers star’s World Cup hopes have been boosted after a second consecutive impressive international display.

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