O'Neil on VAR, Bournemouth and end-of-season form

Wolves manager Gary O’Neil was speaking to the media before Wednesday’s Premier League game with Bournemouth.

Here are the headlines.

  • On Nottingham Forest’s X statement about their concerns surrounding officials and decisions: “It’s not for me to comment or tell Nottingham Forest how to handle their business. They can deal with their situations how they see fit and us as a club will decide how best to handle ours. In the main we have handled them well this season. There were frustrations around the recent West Ham one but apart from that we have handled them in a professional and respectful way."

  • O'Neil continued: "Everyone is more than slightly frustrated, possibly, with VAR and officiating. I don’t want to sit here and criticise people and decisions, I’ve had my say on my own decisions and what can and can’t be better. It’s been in the spotlight this weekend with the very tight Coventry one, the Forest ones."

  • Speaking about VAR, O'Neil said: “The technology doesn’t seem to have cleared things up as we hoped it would. I doubt very much they are considering removing it. I do think at a stage we’re at it’s a definite consideration. I’ve never been in that camp, I’ve always thought VAR would be a big benefit to the game. Maybe it hasn’t been as much of a benefit as much as I expected."

  • On any thoughts on showing former club Bournemouth what they are missing: “Not at all. Zero. If you did that in football you’d constantly be competing with teams and people you left behind. You move on all the time. I'm pleased they are doing well and I think the whole football club has progressed fantastically well. If you look at the net spend, they are the fifth highest spenders in the league in the last two windows. We are in similar positions in the league but different situations. I’m fully focused on our situation.”

  • He continued: “I had an opportunity I enjoyed, a tough opportunity, people see Bournemouth as giving me a first shot at it. I was given an incredibly difficult task, the team had just lost 16-0 on aggregate over last three games. I managed to make a decent go of it, hence my opportunity at a big club like Wolves.”

  • Speaking about stopping Wolves' season from ending poorly, O'Neil added: “It doesn’t just stop in the summer, these five games are a continuation on what we can do. It’s very difficult at the moment with the players we have out but there’s still lots to learn from that. We were willing to give everything against Arsenal at home and the performance showed there are no thoughts of people going on holiday. We’re still working to be the best team possible.”

  • Nelson Semedo could return from a calf injury, Matheus Cunha (calf) is still a doubt while Jean-Ricner Bellegarde is close to a return from a knee injury. O'Neil said: “I wouldn’t declare them fit yet but some have the opportunity. Nelson is looking better, Matheus Cunha is doing all he can to be involved. Bellegarde has had a good week and is doing much better. We’re going to look at them again on Wednesday.”

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