'O'Neil's tone is different to Lopetegui's - but his message is cautionary'

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Wolves are likely to have a rather stronger side out against Bournemouth later than in some of their recent matches, which will be something of a relief for Gary O'Neil.

The past few weeks have brought Wolves' limited squad size to the fore once again, at a time when thoughts are naturally beginning to turn towards next season.

The consequences of si-game winless run have been limited by their previous healthy form, although they still hurt.

We will never know whether a deeper Wolves squad would have been able to maintain an unexpected challenge for Europe, or hold off Coventry City in the FA Cup quarter-final. But it was hard not to wonder - especially during that semi-final on Sunday.

"I was hoping to tell people about these issues without them being seen," said O’Neil at Tuesday's news conference, where after weeks of counting players out, he was finally able to start counting some of them back.

"It doesn't need me now to explain or tell people the situation we could find ourselves in with the numbers that we have, because we're right there in the midst of it, and hopefully coming out the other end of it.

"It's a tricky situation that we need to learn from. The club will be aware of it because I've spoken to them, and aware of it because they've now seen it.

"If we want to go into Premier League seasons with this small a squad, this is a potential issue. So we either fix that - or we don't and we try to do the same again.

"Those discussions will take place in the summer."

The context is rather different - and O'Neil's tone very different - but his observations are not so far removed from the points Julen Lopetegui raised at the end of last season.

The Spaniard said Wolves would struggle to compete in the Premier League without investing in their squad.

O'Neil has demonstrated they could compete, and talked his players up. Unlike Lopetegui, he does not suggest he wants out if the club do not respond. But his message is cautionary.

"We benefit from the fact we've had such an incredible first three-quarters of the season, and we're now on 43 points.

"I'm sure there wouldn't be quite so much patience and goodwill around if we were on 27 at the moment, and we were having to fight relegation with 10 fit senior outfield players."

Listen to BBC Radio WM commentary of Wolves v Bournemouth at 19:45 BST

And tune in to The West Midlands Football Phone-In at 18:00 on weeknights