‘Desperate’ O’Neil needs first win as Wolves head to ‘tough’ Goodison Park for Everton test

News Desk
Gary O'Neil applauds the fans.
Gary O'Neil applauds the fans.

Gary O’Neil is “desperate” for Wolves to pick up their first Premier League win of the season as they prepare to face Everton on Saturday.

Both clubs have made a stuttering start to the campaign having lost both of their opening two games but will now meet each other at Goodison Park in search of respective first victories.

Wolves would have counted themselves unlucky when they came away from Manchester United with no points but were booed off the pitch by their own fans following a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Brighton last week and O’Neil is eager to taste his first victory as boss.

O’Neil told a press conference: “At this moment in time, we’re desperate to put our first win on the board and hopefully we can start taking our chances because we’ve created an unbelievable amount of opportunities so far.

“It’s a tough place to go. Everton at home always have a good atmosphere there, they’re always very aggressive in front of their home fans and a direct team, a lot of long balls and balls into the box and a big set-play threat.

“But hopefully we can impose our style and our game on them, keep creating these big chances and I’m pretty sure if I give the team the right structures and we keep arriving in the right areas then the lads will start to do their bit.”

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O’Neil was only appointed as Wolves manager five days before they kick-started their season, after Julen Lopetegui left the club, leaving both coach and players hardly any time to prepare before the season opener.

The 40-year-old thinks he has made big progress with the squad in training this week but admits his players are not at the standard he wants, just yet.

He continued: “The team’s not where I want it yet in terms of understanding-wise, structure-wise and that’s to be expected because I only did about eight days with them before the Brighton game.

“We’ve made big strides this week, but large parts of the Brighton game were positive; the commitment of the players, the chances we created, the xG.

“Brighton had some big chances and were clinical, we had some big chances and weren’t. The scoreline exaggerated the gulf between the teams because I didn’t really feel there was one on the day.

“If I saw a team doing absolutely everything I asked for and everything I expect to see and we were losing 4-1, then it would be a real concern, but the fact there are obvious areas which we still need to improve and still need to work on mean the answers are in the group.

“We understand that it’s a results business and it’s two results that we can take stuff from, but we need to start adding points.”

Wolves have seen some key players leave Molineux this season but have added to the ranks with the permanent signing of Matheus Cunha and Boubacar Traore but O’Neil does not think their summer transfer activity has finished just yet.

He said: “There are things going on and we’re hoping to add and make things a little bit stronger over the next week or so.

“We’re trying to be active in the market within our budget and within what suits the club, but it’s not dependant on others leaving.”

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