Both managers have had remarkably similar career paths, Jones enjoying lower-league success with Luton and Howe at Bournemouth, either side of disappointing spells at Stoke and Burnley respectively.
Howe is now flying high in third place in the Premier League despite keeping faith with many of the players he inherited from what was a struggling team.
The pair will come face-to-face tonight in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at St Mary’s.
Jones said: ‘I’ve lots of admiration for Eddie as a human being, and as a coach and manager he is proving he can build something, he can take setbacks and then he can go to a Premier League club and do well. Our careers have lots of parallels and I have spoken to him a few times.
‘If I can get anywhere near him I will be delighted.
‘That’s what I have been brought in to do, to develop players to be better than what others thought they could be or the levels they were playing at previously.
‘That’s what coaching is, that’s what man management is and we’ve got players who have bought into everything.
‘I’ve got to make sure I give them a structure and keep on to them so they keep sticking to the game plan, sticking to the structure so they improve individually and we improve as a team.’
Jones has recalled Poland central defender Jan Bednarek from his loan spell at Aston Villa and added: ‘We felt we needed a bit more experience in there, because we’ve got some young centre-halves, some in their first season in the Premier League.
‘We could have gone out and signed someone new and left Jan (at Villa) but as someone who knows the players, the building, has played in an aggressive team before, we felt it was a logical one.’
January signings Mislav Orsic and Charly Alcaraz are also in the frame for tonight’s first leg.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.