AFC Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe praised the work of Manchester United officials following a bomb hoax at Old Trafford on Sunday.
United’s final Premier League match of the season was abandoned before kick-off after the stadium was evacuated by police following the discovery of a suspicious package.
Bomb disposal experts conducted a controlled explosion of an object described by Greater Manchester Police as “an incredibly lifelike explosive device” that subsequent tests later confirmed “wasn’t viable”.
Both squads were confined inside the stadium as initial investigations were conducted by police officers with sniffer dogs, but Howe says the treatment of his players and staff was commendable.
“The players were doing their warm-up as normal and everything was good,” he explained to the Bournemouth Echo. “Then they came in early and we were a little unsure what was happening at that time.
“Word got back to us that there had been a suspect package spotted and there was going to be a 45-minute delay to the game at that point so we were prepared for that.
The experts’ assessment has now concluded and found that the device wasn’t viable. A full search of the stadium is ongoing. #mufc
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 15, 2016
“Very quickly it became apparent the game was not going to take place.
“There was no way we were going to leave Old Trafford at that time due to the traffic and cordoned-off areas around the ground.
“Manchester United treated us very well. They put us in a nice area and we were able to relax and see what was going to happen next.”
Bournemouth were allowed to leave Old Trafford shortly before 17.30 GMT and Howe admitted that they do not know when the match will be rescheduled.
“We decided to come back to Bournemouth because there was no sign of the game being played the next day,” he said. “So we are returning home and will wait and see what happens.”
The Premier League have yet to confirm when the match could be played, but some unconfirmed reports have suggested it could be held after next Saturday’s FA Cup final between United and Crystal Palace.