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Bournemouth appoint Gary O’Neil as permanent head coach

Bournemouth appoint Gary O’Neil as permanent head coach

Bournemouth have appointed Gary O’Neil as their new head coach on an initial one-and-a-half-year contract.

When Scott Parker was removed from his position in the dugout during the opening month of the season, O’Neil was handed the reins with the view of a full-time replacement being found in due course.

However, the caretaker boss came through his opening six matches in the Premier League with recording a defeat, collecting 10 points in the process.

That led to the powers-that-be seeing no reason to make a change, particularly with the club going through a takeover period at the same time.

Bournemouth then went through a five-game period without success, four of those games ending in defeat and two losses coming from having held two-goal leads.

AFC Bournemouth's Jaidon Anthony celebrates scoring their third goal on September 3, 2022© Reuters

Nevertheless, back-to-back victories over Everton in the EFL Cup and top flight respectively have ultimately led to O’Neil earning an opportunity to remain in charge of the Cherries.

Speaking on the appointment, chief executive Neill Blake told the club’s official website: “Gary did an excellent job on an interim basis and the board are delighted to make his position as head coach permanent.

“We have been impressed with the way he has conducted himself from the moment he joined the club and feel he has earned this opportunity to continue to take the team and the club forward.

“Gary has worked tirelessly and diligently on the training pitch and the players have responded by producing some excellent performances and results.

Bournemouth interim manager Gary O'Neil on October 8, 2022© Reuters

“It was evident from the reception he received from our supporters following the Premier League win against Everton that they have also appreciated his efforts and we are all looking forward to continuing our working relationship with him.”

There had been talk of Bournemouth holding discussions with former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, particularly after the capitulations against Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United respectively.

However, it is claimed that those negotiations broke down, leaving 4-1 and 3-0 triumphs over the Toffees to prove pivotal in O’Neil being handed an extended stay.

In total, O’Neil has a record of four wins, four draws and four defeats from 12 matches in all competitions, and his first game with added security will be the EFL Cup last-16 clash with Newcastle United on December 21.

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