Gary O’Neil aware ‘competitive’ AFC Bournemouth need positive results to overcome ‘tough spell’

O'Neil discusses Bournemouth Credit: Alamy
O'Neil discusses Bournemouth Credit: Alamy

AFC Bournemouth head coach Gary O’Neil thinks his side are constantly improving but he has acknowledged that they need to start picking up results.

The Cherries face Vincent Kompany’s Burnley in the FA Cup third round this weekend. Their opponents are top of the Championship having only lost twice this season.

Bournemouth meanwhile have lost their past four games and are yet to score since the World Cup break.

Despite the poor form, O’Neil does not doubt the resilience of his side but knows he is judged solely on results.

“It’s been a tough spell,” O’Neil told a press conference.

“I think we understand that we are going to suffer some tough spells. The performance at Manchester United was good, I thought we were unfortunate to suffer a 3-0 loss for what we put in.

“But it’s a results business and most importantly for me is to see the boys giving it absolutely everything.

“From where I am, everyone is still together and we are pushing hard that every time we turn out on a match day we are putting out a good show and are competitive.”

Bournemouth know they are in a fight for Premier League survival but will momentarily switch their focus to cup duties as they aim to get back to winning ways and turn their form around against Burnley.

O’Neil will not underestimate the tactical strengths of the Clarets despite playing in the division below and is expecting a “tough” encounter on Saturday afternoon.

He continued: “They are a good side that play good football and dominate possession, hard to beat and look like they are going to be a Premier League team so it’s going to be a tough game.

“We understand that we go into tomorrow to win and give a good account of ourselves and focus on the league again next week.

“The players are well aware of the opposition, technical and tactical strengths, where they are and what they bring so the lads are aware of what tomorrow is.”

O’Neil also highlighted the importance of the “special” FA Cup but agreed that scrapping replays could be a good thing for some teams.

“Once you start to progress in the FA Cup, it starts to get a real special feel about it,” he said.

“The third round weekend, whenever I was sat at home watching with my dad or grandad, it was always a special weekend.

“I think there is a concern with the amount of games some teams have to play, so to reduce that is a good idea. I’m sure the guys at the FA have a lot more time to think about it than I do.”

Bournemouth face no new injury concerns but will still be without five key players.

Marcus Tavernier, Neto, David Brooks, Ryan Fredericks and Junior Stanislas remain sidelined against the Clarets.

READ MORE: Five clubs who should take the FA Cup seriously… Chelsea join top four hopeful


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