Gary O’Neil not focusing on possibility of full-time Bournemouth job

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Bournemouth interim manager Gary O’Neil insists he has not had time to think about whether he will be in the running to replace Scott Parker on a permanent basis.

O’Neil was in the dugout for the Cherries’ first game since Parker’s sacking and oversaw a battling goalless draw against Wolves which halted a run of three-straight Premier League defeats.

With the trip to fellow promoted side Nottingham Forest to prepare for on Saturday, former midfielder O’Neil maintains his full attention has to be on the squad rather than just who might take charge for the long term.

“I haven’t heard anything about it. (My) full focus (has been) on preparing for games,” O’Neil said. “I haven’t even considered the long-term situation regarding myself. The first two days were fully focused on Wolves.

“The last day-and-a half, fully focused on Nottingham Forest, and trying to make sure that the boys have had everything that they need and are ready to go, so nothing about myself at all.”

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Bournemouth are not expected to rush into an appointment over the manager’s job, with former Burnley boss Sean Dyche among the favourites for the role.

O’Neil, though, will not lose any sleep over whether he should be in the running.

“I tend not to make such big decisions on the spot, so I won’t be considering it right now. It’s going to take me a bit longer than that,” the 39-year-old said.

“I’ve got so much going on with the games and the squad, all I am worried about is the 25 or 26 players I’ve got and getting them ready to go every game that I’m here for.

“It may be the weekend, it may be the weekend after. I’m just fully focused on the next one at the moment.”

O’Neil hopes Bournemouth can build momentum from a positive result against Wolves.

“It was important – first and foremost – for us to put in a performance we could be proud of, and I think we saw that,” O’Neil said at a press conference.

“The clean sheet was really worked hard for and it was pleasing that we could put another point on the board.

“The boys are in decent spirits. they know the nature of it and that we will get geared up, ready to go again.”

O’Neil added: “They are an incredible group, mentality wise, integrity, relentlessness, they will never stop until it’s over.

“It is the best group I have been around, even as a player, so Wednesday night sort of answers the question: can we compete at this level? Yes, we definitely can.”

Following the 9-0 defeat at Liverpool, which proved his final game in charge, Parker had lamented a perceived lack of needed summer investment.

Ahead of the transfer deadline, Bournemouth brought in defender Jack Stephens on a season-long loan.

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“I am pleased to have him, he adds to the centre-backs and is a good player,” O’Neil said.

“He trained with us yesterday and trained really well, so we are really pleased to have him. He is a good addition and fits straight into the group.”

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