Should the Cherries win their last two encounters against Carlisle United and Tranmere Rovers, they will be automatically promoted to the Championship.
However, when Howe returned to Dean Court in October last year following a 21-month stint at Burnley to replace Paul Groves, Bournemouth were languishing in League One's relegation zone.
"Things were not great when [Howe] came in – I think we were 21st. I think the biggest credit you can give him is that he has united us," said 22-year-old O'Kane. "Under the old management, it wasn't disjointed, there just didn't seem to be that team camaraderie and spirit. People may laugh when I say that and think 'but you're playing football every day'.
"It wasn't great though. When the gaffer came in, from the people that work in the stadium to the fans, the whole atmosphere changed. He's a bit of living legend [at Bournemouth]. In terms of the amount of credit that he deserves, I think he deserves most of it if I'm honest.
"He came in and got us playing football in the way that he wanted it to be played. Without him we probably wouldn't be sitting in second place right now."
You can read our full interview with O'Kane, including how he feels Bournemouth would fare should they achieve promotion here.