Gary O’Neil: I think Bournemouth have enough to be competitive at this level

Interim boss Gary O’Neil believes Bournemouth’s squad is good enough to be competitive at Premier League level after life without Scott Parker began with a goalless draw against Wolves.

Parker was sacked on Tuesday after saying the Cherries squad was “ill-equipped” for top-flight football following Saturday’s record-breaking 9-0 win at Liverpool.

The south coast club reacted stubbornly to the embarrassment at Anfield and the coaching change, although the winless Wolves squandered two excellent late chances at Vitality Stadium and also hit the crossbar before being taunted by traveling support.

Caretaker O’Neil said he hasn’t had time to catch his breath during a turbulent few days but is proud of the efforts of his tough-minded side and is optimistic about the future.

He said: “Did I expect my first game (in management) to come after a tough defeat in the Premier League? No I haven’t.

“I had 36 hours to think about it, and I used all 36 hours to think.

“The underlying sentiment is proud of what they have produced and hopefully we can improve on certain parts.

“It all happened pretty quickly and I didn’t really have time to catch my breath or assess where we were.

“As a group, they are the most honest, hardworking, collaborative, relentless group I have ever dealt with, even in my playing career.

“You can throw anything at them and they will never give up. And I think we have enough to be competitive at this level.”

Bournemouth parted ways with Parker just four games into the new season and three days after his candid comments after the humiliation on Merseyside.

Cherries owner Maxim Demin cited conflicts over club strategy and respect concerns when he sacked the man who spearheaded last season’s promotion rather than a knee-jerk reaction to their shared worst defeat in Premier League history.

O’Neil is unsure how long he will remain in the hot seat but will now begin preparations for Saturday’s trip to his newly promoted club Nottingham Forest after halting the team’s three-game losing streak.

“It was a tough result over the weekend and changes during the week,” continued O’Neil. “Being able to come out and show the fans who were amazing that we’re still together was a huge benefit for us.

“Every point in the Premier League, especially when you’re a newly promoted team, is a hard-fought point.”

Frustrated Wolves coach Bruno Lage insisted he will not press new signing Sasa Kalajdzic to resolve his struggling side’s problems in front of goal.

Wanderers dominated in Dorset but have now drawn three times this season as their winning streak spanned 12 games in the top flight.

Austria international Kalajdzic completed a £15m move from German club Stuttgart on Wednesday and could be available for the weekend against Southampton.

“We’re very happy, not just about him,” said Lage, who saw Raul Jimenez and Daniel Podence squander late chances after Matheus Nunes hit the bar early on.

“I’m not going to put pressure on him just to score goals; The goals should come from everywhere. It’s not just a one man job.

“We didn’t score, we’re frustrated. Now is not the time to mourn the chances we didn’t score. I think we deserve more.

“We know we need points, points come from goals, goals come from good performances and chances like the ones we created today.

“I can’t score goals, but I can prepare the team to play with a dynamic that can create chances and score goals.” Gary O’Neil: I think Bournemouth have enough to be competitive at this level

Fry Electronics Team

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