O’Neil not allowing Bournemouth to rest after ‘achieving’ Premier League survival ‘goal’
Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil has challenged his side to finish the season in the best way possible ahead of Saturday’s clash with Manchester United.
Despite being in the mix for relegation for most of the season, the Cherries secured Premier League survival last weekend and they now sit 14th in the table with 39 points.
Their survival bid saw them pick up some vital wins, including memorable victories against Tottenham and Liverpool.
They now face a tricky test against a United side pushing for Champions League football, but O’Neil believes the game offers a perfect opportunity for his team to respond to last weekend’s 2-0 defeat by Crystal Palace.
He told a pre-match press conference: “We’ve lost our last two games so 39 points is a good tally, but it was better two weeks ago so we’ve been stuck on it for a couple of weeks.
“We set ourselves a goal and we’ve achieved it, but does that mean that we’re just happy to just stop, park up and finish on 39 points? Definitely not.
“Last weekend was a good reminder that if you drop your level a little bit, it can look like a lot at this level; the Premier League is ruthless.
“We’re looking for a response from last weekend and Manchester United at home is a great fixture for the boys to go and show what they can do.
“We’ve got full focus on Manchester United, we’ve managed to get some good work done on preparing for what is going to be a very tough game against a good side that are still pushing hard to make sure they qualify for the Champions League.
“It’ll be a good test for us tomorrow.”
Jefferson Lerma could be involved on Saturday and is expected to wear protection after breaking his nose against Crystal Palace, while Hamed Traore is still ruled out.
O’Neil also confirmed that Antoine Semenyo has undergone surgery to a shin injury and is hoping for a “speedy recovery” ahead of pre-season.
“Antoine has had surgery so he will be out until next season,” O’Neil said.
“We’re hopeful he gets back and can have a decent little spell with the team before the season starts but it will depend on how quickly he recovers.
“Everything went well and we’re hoping he has a speedy recovery because he can be a big help again for us next season.”
READ MORE: Sheffield Wednesday somehow create history but their ultimate job is still only half-done
The article O’Neil not allowing Bournemouth to rest after ‘achieving’ Premier League survival ‘goal’ appeared first on Football365.com.