Gary O’Neil insists Wolves win at Bournemouth not about revenge over former club

By Sports Desk October 21, 2023

Gary O’Neil maintained Wolves’ 2-1 victory over Bournemouth was no personal revenge tour after his side staged a comeback to take all three points at the Vitality Stadium from the club that sacked him in June.

The Cherries remain winless in nine Premier League contests this season but got off to a bright start on Saturday after Dominic Solanke fired them to a 1-0 half-time lead.

It all began to unravel after Matheus Cunha netted a quick equaliser after the restart and the hosts were left to defend for the majority of the second period with 10 men after Lewis Cook was shown red.

The hosts looked to have clung on for a point until Sasa Kalajdzic fired in a late winner.

O’Neil said: “It’s just a really big win for us to win on the road, second time this year.

“The fixtures have been very tough for us, I think we’ve had the toughest run of fixtures.

“We’re right up there at the top with the hardest runs, so to have gotten 11 points so far is really good, to win away from home against a good side that will cause teams problems is really good.

“But it’s not about me or returning to AFC Bournemouth, just a really good win for a group that are making progress and working extremely hard.

“Honestly, I feel no different to when we beat Manchester City, when we beat Everton. It feels exactly the same.

“I have huge respect for everybody at AFC Bournemouth, they gave me an opportunity to manage a Premier League football team.

“Thankfully I managed to go six unbeaten straight away, which got me on a decent run. But there’s nothing in it for me. It’s not that at all.”

Solanke’s strike lifted the spirits of supporters sorely in need of a boost, but the mood soured after Cook’s needless red card, issued following a VAR review that showed him headbutting Hwang Hee-chan to force his team into playing short-handed from the 54th minute.

To their credit the hosts held on until late, when Cherries keeper Neto’s loose short pass to Philip Billing was intercepted, ultimately allowing Hwang to set up Kalajdzic.

Despite the worrying run of results, Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola brushed aside speculation he might be running out of rope in the role he’s occupied since O’Neil’s exit.

Asked if he was concerned about his position, the Spaniard replied: “I’m not. Nobody should be concerned about Andoni Iraola, I’m concerned about AFC Bournemouth winning games.

“It’s like this and it has to be like this.

“I haven’t talked (to the board), but it’s not a matter of me or my situation. It’s a matter of how can we solve this the best way?”

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