HomeSportWolves appoint O'Neil on three-year deal

Wolves appoint O’Neil on three-year deal

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Gary O’Neil won 11 of his 27 games in charge of BournemouthFormer Bournemouth boss Gary O’Neil has been announced as the new manager of Wolves, replacing Julen Lopetegui on a three-year deal. Lopetegui’s exit from Molineux was confirmed on Tuesday – just three days before the 2023-24 Premier League season begins.O’Neil led Bournemouth to 15th last season but was sacked on 19 June.”Gary’s a highly motivated young coach with strong principles,” said Wolves’ sporting director Matt Hobbs.”We’re delighted to welcome him to the club, and we’re excited to see what we can achieve together at Wolves.”The 40-year-old is Wolves’ fourth manager in just over two years.His first assignment will come on Monday when Wolves travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.Several candidates were considered as Lopetegui’s replacement but O’Neil was the preferred option.Hobbs added: “Everyone at Wolves is looking forward to welcoming Gary, offering him their full support and working collaboratively to help the club to keep pushing forward together.”Our players have shown their quality during pre-season, and I believe Gary and his team will continue to coach and improve them and will have success working with this group.”As a player, O’Neil made more than 450 appearances for clubs including Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, West Ham, QPR and Norwich.He took up his first coaching role in August 2020, when he became assistant manager with Liverpool’s Under-23s. He joined the coaching set-up at Bournemouth under former manager Jonathan Woodgate in February 2021.The Cherries named O’Neil as interim boss following the sacking of Scott Parker after a 9-0 defeat against Liverpool in August 2022. And he was made the permanent manager in November, signing a one-and-a-half-year contract with the option to extend by a further 12 months, after picking up 13 points from 11 Premier League games to guide the south coast club from 17th to 14th.During his time at Vitality Stadium, O’Neil managed the team for a total of 27 matches in all competitions, winning 11, drawing 6 and losing 10 – departing with a win ratio of 40.74%.Lopetegui, took charge of 27 games at Wolves during the same period, winning 10, drawing 6 and losing 11.Lack of financial backing an issue for LopeteguiJulen Lopetegui was in charge for 27 competitive games at Wolves, winning 10, drawing six and losing 11Former Real Madrid manager Lopetegui lasted just nine months in the dugout at Molineux.Wolves were bottom of the standings when he replaced Bruno Lage in November but he successfully turned things around as they finished 13th to secure a sixth-successive campaign in the top flight.Spanish journalist Guillem Balague said Lopetegui was told when he arrived that if he managed to save Wolves from relegation, he would be given funds to strengthen the squad over the summer.However, Lopetegui felt the club did not follow through with that promise and chairman Jeff Shi released an open letter to fans earlier this week saying the club’s Chinese owners, Fosun, were committed to the club but had to be cautious in their summer spending to meet the Premier League financial fair play rules.According to FFP rules, the club must make a profit on player trading this summer to avoid exceeding the accumulated £105m loss over a three-year period, the maximum permitted.They sold captain Ruben Neves to Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal for a club record £47m in June and also allowed Mexican striker Raul Jimenez join Fulham for £5m last month, with the only notable incoming signing being Republic of Ireland full-back Matt Doherty’s return as a free agent in July.

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