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Insights from Gary O’Neil’s Pre-Bournemouth Press Conference

Gary O’Neil, ahead of the Bournemouth fixture, has covered a range of topics, from the team’s current form to injury updates, and even his outlook for the remaining fixtures. Here’s what you need to know about his recent interaction with the press.

Current Form and Challenges

It’s been a tough season for O’Neil’s squad, which he openly acknowledges. Even with their aspiration to win every game, the reality of football, particularly in the Premier League, often presents a stark contrast. O’Neil highlighted that the dismal run of results coincided with a spell where the squad was notably depleted. Injuries have ravaged key players, which in turn, affected performance levels. However, O’Neil praised the team’s attitude and effort, insisting that despite the setbacks, the performances themselves have been far from disappointing.

Team Morale and Fan Support

The environment within the camp remains positive, a testament to the fighting spirit infused by O’Neil. Players are putting up a spirited fight, and the support from the stands has been nothing short of fantastic. Addressing the notion of motivation for the remaining games, O’Neil cited the recent match against Arsenal as evidence that his players are far from ‘checking out’ for the season. With substantial financial incentives tied to their final league position, every match carries weight.

Injury Update and Squad Strategy

On the injury front, there’s a bit of optimism. Nelson is reportedly feeling a lot better, and other key players like Cunha and Bellegarde are pushing their limits to return to action. Particularly notable is the mention of Rayan and Mario Lemina, who are versatile enough to be fielded in multiple positions, providing much-needed flexibility to the team setup.

Youngsters might also get their chance to shine as the season winds down. This opportunity to blood in new talent not only gives the squad depth but also helps in assessing potential for the upcoming seasons.

Looking Towards the Match Against Bournemouth

As Bournemouth looms on the fixture list, O’Neil expects a high-energy clash. Bournemouth, under their new manager Iraola, have been direct and effective, with a style of play that could potentially unsettle Wolves. But rather than dwell on personal narratives of proving a point to his former employer, O’Neil’s focus remains steadfast on his team’s performance and extracting positive results.

Closing Remarks

As the season draws to a close, the challenges mount but so do the opportunities. Every game becomes a chance to redefine the narrative, to shift focus from the struggles to the strides made forward. Despite the pressure, the spirit and resilience at Wolves under Gary O’Neil’s stewardship speak volumes of a squad that’s united and ready to face whatever comes their way.


  • On Nottingham Forest’s X statement about their concerns surrounding officials and decisions: “It’s not for me to comment or tell Nottingham Forest how to handle their business. They can deal with their situations how they see fit and us as a club will decide how best to handle ours. In the main we have handled them well this season. There were frustrations around the recent West Ham one but apart from that we have handled them in a professional and respectful way.”
  • O’Neil continued: “Everyone is more than slightly frustrated, possibly, with VAR and officiating. I don’t want to sit here and criticise people and decisions, I’ve had my say on my own decisions and what can and can’t be better. It’s been in the spotlight this weekend with the very tight Coventry one, the Forest ones.”

  • Speaking about VAR, O’Neil said: “The technology doesn’t seem to have cleared things up as we hoped it would. I doubt very much they are considering removing it. I do think at a stage we’re at it’s a definite consideration. I’ve never been in that camp, I’ve always thought VAR would be a big benefit to the game. Maybe it hasn’t been as much of a benefit as much as I expected.”

  • On any thoughts on showing former club Bournemouth what they are missing: “Not at all. Zero. If you did that in football you’d constantly be competing with teams and people you left behind. You move on all the time. I’m pleased they are doing well and I think the whole football club has progressed fantastically well. If you look at the net spend, they are the fifth highest spenders in the league in the last two windows. We are in similar positions in the league but different situations. I’m fully focused on our situation.”

  • He continued: “I had an opportunity I enjoyed, a tough opportunity, people see Bournemouth as giving me a first shot at it. I was given an incredibly difficult task, the team had just lost 16-0 on aggregate over last three games. I managed to make a decent go of it, hence my opportunity at a big club like Wolves.”

  • Speaking about stopping Wolves’ season from ending poorly, O’Neil added: “It doesn’t just stop in the summer, these five games are a continuation on what we can do. It’s very difficult at the moment with the players we have out but there’s still lots to learn from that. We were willing to give everything against Arsenal at home and the performance showed there are no thoughts of people going on holiday. We’re still working to be the best team possible.”

  • Nelson Semedo could return from a calf injury, Matheus Cunha (calf) is still a doubt while Jean-Ricner Bellegarde is close to a return from a knee injury. O’Neil said: “I wouldn’t declare them fit yet but some have the opportunity. Nelson is looking better, Matheus Cunha is doing all he can to be involved. Bellegarde has had a good week and is doing much better. We’re going to look at them again on Wednesday.”

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