Gary O’Neil pleased Bournemouth finally rewarded after overdue win
Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil felt his players had finally got what they deserved after ending their long winless run with a 1-0 triumph at Wolves.
Marcus Tavernier scored the only goal as the Cherries claimed their first Premier League victory in eight games and hauled themselves out of the relegation zone in the process.
After draws against Nottingham Forest and Newcastle and a late defeat to Brighton in their last three games, O’Neil thought the success had been overdue.
O’Neil said: “I’m not too interested in the other results. Wherever we are in the league is irrelevant. It doesn’t impact me psychologically.
“My aim is to make sure we are out of the bottom three at the end of the season and finish as high up as we can.
“We just needed to win. We knew the draws we got recently were decent results to stop losing runs but a win was needed. The boys put in a big shift to make sure we got it.
“We spoke about the things we needed to do to swing the fine margins our way and I think you saw that.
“The boys had a real focus around managing the game. I felt it wasn’t too different from other games but we managed to make sure the fine margins fall in our favour this time.”
Tavernier, who was making his first start since November after recovering from injury, was substituted on 57 minutes but O’Neil played down fears he had suffered recurrence of his hamstring problem.
He added: “It’s the other hamstring and he thinks there was a contact on it. He seems to think it just tightened up a little bit. Hopefully it’s not too serious.
“I thought he did well to get his goal but you could see he’d been out a while.
“We’re delighted to get him back. He’s a big player for us and big players come up with big moments, even when they’ve not been at their best.”
Wolves, who are just three points above the bottom three, had been the better side prior to Tavernier’s 49th-minute goal but without turning their superior play into clear-cut chances.
Manager Julen Lopetegui was also frustrated with his team’s response to falling behind.
The former Real Madrid and Spain coach said: “Of course the feeling is negative because we lost and we don’t have more points.
“This is very bad news for us. The key moment was when we suffered the goal, it was a negative moment and afterwards our reaction was not good.
“You can suffer a goal, it is football, it can happen, but in the last 20-25 minutes we forgot to play football and it was easy for the opponent.
“We had players with immaturity on the pitch. We have to play more, have more calm.”