Express & Star

Gary O'Neil outlines lesson his Wolves players need to learn

Gary O'Neil insisted Wolves must learn to handle their hectic fixture list despite it pushing them to the limit.


The boss admits the turnaround to face Brighton in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday will stretch his small squad.

Wolves beat Sheffield United 1-0 to go eighth in the Premier League on Sunday but O'Neil knows they face a testing turnaround.

He said: "The schedule isn't great for us, a game on Sunday when we had an FA Cup game on Wednesday wasn't ideal. It means Brighton get an extra day recovery on us.

"Going into Saturday's game against Newcastle, they get an extra day of recovery on us and the group is a small squad.

"It will be tested this week. I'm going to need to be really switched on and I've already had good conversations with the medical staff about how to use everyone.

"In an ideal world, everyone is fine to go 90, 90, 90 but there will be situations to manage through the week to get the best from the group.

"In a short turnaround, a day makes a big difference. Playing Saturday-Tuesday compared to Sunday-Wednesday, the lads would feel an awful lot better by the time Wednesday comes if they are playing Saturday.

"It doesn't mean it has to make a big difference on the game. We've played games where we've had less recovery and looked like the team with the most energy."

O'Neil remains without Matheus Cunha - who is out with a hamstring injury - but has no fresh concerns following Sunday's win over the Blades.

He added: "We reviewed the game but Brighton will be very different.

"I watched it back and we were very good in the first half, creating chances and getting an extra man to join the attack. But in the second half it wasn't so tactical and there were some uncharacteristic errors.

"A few lads had an off time with the ball. What I did like was the grit and determination. They refused to let it slip.

"Fans and players all dug in and you could feel that at the end. I feel more positive than I did after the game but Brighton will be a different test."