O’Neil insists Bournemouth takeover is ‘really exciting’ as Foley ‘wants to push the club forward’
Head coach Gary O’Neil is excited about the new era for AFC Bournemouth following the takeover by American businessman Bill Foley.
Foley is the general managing partner of Black Knight Football Club. They purchased a controlling share in Bournemouth after ex-owner Maxim Demin decided to sell his 100 per cent stake.
The new owner will assume the role of chairman and will attend the Cherries’ next home game against Crystal Palace on December 31.
Before then the Cherries face Newcastle in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup and a Premier League trip to Chelsea on December 27, with Tuesday’s game the first since O’Neil was appointed permanent manager following a spell in temporary charge after Scott Parker’s sacking.
“It’s exciting for everybody, a really exciting time for the club,” O’Neil told a pre-match press conference.
“Bill is committed and ambitious, wants to push the club forward on and off the pitch. There’s lots of work to be done of course, it doesn’t happen overnight, but a really good time to be around Bournemouth, for the staff, players and fans.
“It’s my first experience as a permanent manager so I’m sure there will be questions around your future constantly, but I’ve just come off the back of a spell where I was working week to week and there was absolutely no certainty, so it’s a slightly different situation.
“But the pressure won’t change. I feel big pressure to put results on the board for the club and make sure we push towards our goal, which is to stay in the league and give a real good chance for all the off-field stuff and the development to happen smoothly while we’re a Premier League club.”
O’Neil has defender Lloyd Kelly available again following injury for the trip to St James’ Park, but will make a late decision on his squad after a virus spread through the players in the last 10 days.
Kelly has not played since the 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest in early September after sustaining an injury in training shortly after the game.
“Lloyd is back in full training now and we’re delighted with that, so he is available,” O’Neil added.
“He has done really well to get back so quickly and he’s been training well. It doesn’t look like he’s been away, but he obviously does need game time.
“David Brooks and Neto are also back on grass, but they are not in full training. Hopefully that shouldn’t be too long.
“Chris Mepham and Kieffer Moore both came back from the World Cup fine too, so that was a pleasing aspect.”
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