Shropshire Star

Gary O'Neil sends important message to Wolves fans

Gary O’Neil has reassured Wolves fans he will not walk away from the club despite frustrations over a lack of signings.


Due to financial constraints, Wolves were unable to add any forwards in January before suffering a devastating string of injuries to their attacking line.

In his post-match press conference following the draw with Burnley, O’Neil made some strong comments over his disappointment at a lack of business, but has now outlined his commitment to Wolves with supporters concerned he would walk away in a similar fashion to Julen Lopetegui.

O’Neil said: “After a game, sometimes you say the same thing but the tone and the emotion makes it feel very different.

“And it wasn’t. It was an explanation of the situation that the club finds itself in and why we are where we are at this moment.

“Everyone at this football club is together and trying to do the best for the football club.

“I’m the one that has to answer the questions and I’m the one that gets to come out and speak but it wasn’t a criticism.

“I feel the same as the fans. Getting into the quarter final and being in and around the top and then suffering injuries that have made it very difficult is disappointing.

“I’m disappointed that the fans are disappointed and that’s all it was.

“I’ve said it enough already. I love it here. I’m happy here.

“The club gave me a fantastic opportunity to work at a very big club.

“I knew it was big and then I arrived and received the backing of the fan base and the atmosphere and it’s a big, big football club.

“My job is to keep pushing it forward and I’ll keep doing that.

“There’s nothing in me that’s unhappy and there was nothing in the comments the other night other than an explanation as to why we are where we are to make sure that everyone sees it really clearly so that the players that are out there giving everything get nothing but the credit that they deserve.”

When asked about the similarities in Lopetegui’s criticism of the club before he left, O’Neil added: “It is a difficult one for me to answer, because I don’t I don’t want to talk too much about previous regimes, but I’ve never been one to just give up and quit.

“That hasn’t entered my mind, ever, and it won’t. I want to be a part of what we’re trying to achieve.

“I speak to my players about it. I cannot stand there in front of a group of players and say to them when things get tough that we need to push harder, and we need to keep going but then not stand by that myself.

“Obviously, I’m not going to be at Wolverhampton Wanderers forever. I’m sure they’ll get rid of me at some point when they’ve had enough of me.

“But until that day, I am desperate to work my socks off and leave the club in a better place than when I arrived.

“So I’ll try to change my tone in the post-match press conference.”

Going into the summer, Wolves are expected to have more funds available than last year, but still with a cautious approach as they follow a new recruitment strategy.

They may also need to sell a big asset to reinvest in the squad.

O’Neil said: “The football club is far more important than what I want. So it’ll be more what’s available to me and how best can we make it work?

“I knew the situation was tricky when I came in. We’ll have a more detailed discussion around the summer but I’m guessing it will still be tricky.

“I think we need to be creative, and we’ll need to move a few things to make us stronger.

“But it’s all part of the challenge.

“So there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m desperate to finish this season strongly desperate to have a really good summer with Matt Hobbs and the recruitment guys and try to get some things in place that will help us within the guidelines that the club give us.

“And then I’ll look forward to having my first ever pre-season with a group, although having been through the numbers the other day, there won’t be too many of them there.

“Unfortunately most of them will be away on international duty, but I’m still looking forward to having my first ever pre-season as a manager because I guess we’re trying to prevent the deja vu.”