Wolves move quickly to appoint Gary O’Neil following Julen Lopetegui departure

O’Neill was sacked by Bournenouth in June despite guiding them to Premier League survival.

Carl Markham
Wednesday 09 August 2023 16:47 BST
Former Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil, has been appointed Wolves head coach (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Former Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil, has been appointed Wolves head coach (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Wolves have moved swiftly to install Gary O’Neil as Julen Lopetegui’s replacement as head coach.

The 40-year-old, the club’s first British coach in six years, was sacked by Bournemouth in June despite guiding the Cherries to survival.

He has signed a three-year deal after Wolves and Lopetegui came to an “agreement to part ways” on Tuesday after disagreements over recruitment and the direction of the club.

“We’re delighted to welcome Gary to the club,” said sporting director Matt Hobbs.

“He’s a highly-motivated young coach with strong principles and very well thought of by everyone he has worked with, and we’re excited to see what we can achieve together at Wolves.

“Our players have shown their quality during pre-season, and I believe Gary and his team will continue to coach and improve them and will have success working with this group.

“Everyone at Wolves is looking forward to welcoming Gary, offering him their full support and working collaboratively to help the club to keep pushing forward together.”

With just a couple of days until the Premier League season kicks off O’Neil’s first match in charge will be against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday.

Part of the reason for appointing the former Portsmouth midfielder was his suitability to the squad which is already at Molineux – and Hobbs hopes O’Neil arrives with added motivation after the nature of his departure from Bournemouth.

“He’s very forward thinking, very driven, like he has a point to prove because he did a great job at Bournemouth,” he added.

“He showed good knowledge of our squad and how it works within his principles.

“Part of our decision was if he fits to our squad, because we don’t want to rebuild a squad, we want to keep our principles going forward now, so we can have a long-term strategy.”

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