Gary O'Neil praises Fabio Silva while laying down challenge to Wolves striker
Gary O’Neil has been pleased by Fabio Silva’s response in training as he calls for the Wolves striker to prove his worth.
The 21-year-old has had to settle for a place on the bench in recent weeks and in his first appearance for a month at Sheffield United, gave away a controversial late penalty.
In the wake of that moment, O’Neil says he has seen more in training from the young striker and hopes he will improve further.
“I’ve spoken to Fabio a lot about what we need from him,” O’Neil said. “A consistency in the way he works, especially we need to see a real intensity all week, and he needs to be really consistent with his actions on the pitch as well.
“Being more secure with the ball, still being a goal threat – he’s a young number nine playing in the hardest league in the world, so when I give him these things to improve, it’s normal.
“He’s been really willing in the last few weeks. He’s worked harder than he was at the start of the season, he’s really trying to force his way in.
“I was disappointed for him that he got his opportunity and it ended so sadly for him and he had to suffer that situation.
“But his recovery from that has been very, very good. We need to make sure we can get the best out of him as the group is quite small and we need to maximise absolutely everybody.
Silva was incredibly emotional after the Sheffield United game, as Wolves fell to a 2-1 defeat.
Despite that disappointment, and Silva’s lack of game time, O’Neil sees a player who has plenty of room for improvement as he looks to find his place in the Wolves team.
“I had a good chat with Fabio and the group, and he has our full support,” O’Neil added.
“He’s still a very young lad who has moved to Wolverhampton, and it probably hasn’t gone as well as he’d have wanted.
“But when you look at how young he is and how much development there is still in him, it’s so important.
“With the incident itself he could have dealt with the initial part of it better, could probably have headed it earlier and not put his foot in at all to give them a decision to make, but the facts are it was deemed not to be a penalty by the people that reviewed it.
“He was unfortunate in that but he has my full support and the group’s full support. He’s trained very, very good and knuckled down. He has the backing of everybody.”