The 28-year-old has appeared as a second-half substitute in the last two games but has found his opportunites limited by the form of Lewis Grabban and Brett Pitman.
But Howe insists the club record signing will get his chance in the second half of the season.
"Tubbsy is very much part of our plans and our squad and we don't want to lose him," Howe told the Daily Echo.
"Whenever he has come on, he has performed well. He is certainly valued by me and the players.
"His attitude has been first class. I would be desperate to keep him.
"At the moment, Lewis and Brett have got the shirts and have performed very well but I am sure Matt, along with others, will get opportunities."
- Sports & Recreation
- Lewis Grabban