Express & Star

Gary O'Neil gives damning verdict on Wolves performance

Boss Gary O'Neil described Wolves' loss to Bournemouth as their 'worst performance of the season'.

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His side stretched their run without a win to seven games as they were beaten by a Bournemouth team without a Premier League win in three themselves.

Antoine Semenyo's goal just before the break was the game's pivotal moment, but The Cherries had ample opportunities to increase their lead both before and after the break.

O'Neil was disappointed with the way his side lost the ball when in possession and the way they struggled to cope with Bournemouth's direct style of play.

"Probably our worst performance of the season," he said. "I thought there were too many individuals that were below the normal level or below the level they have been able to reach so far this season - especially first half.

"Just turning the ball over so many times under no pressure. Not being able to cope with duels. Bournemouth went long a lot into (Dominic) Solanke and (Antoine) Semenyo and we were not able to really win the first one cleanly and the second one they landed on better than us. So if you couple losing a lot of the duels with turning the ball over with an unbelievable amount of times - probably the most this season under no real pressure - yeah that is surprising.

"A long way below the normal level for the first half, second half we managed a bit of a response, the subs had a good impact I thought, tried hard and created a few moments but did not quite do enough."

There was controversy in the second half when Hwang Hee-Chan thought he had equalised for Wolves, only for his goal to be chalked off by VAR after an alleged elbow in the build-up from Matheus Cunha.

But the boss was reluctant to get drawn into criticising the officials, insisting his team's performance was not up to the standards they have set.

He said: "I don't have any thoughts on it. I think it is really important that I focus on my team and Wolves. And when we perform like that.

"I have spent a lot of time this season answering questions about VAR and decisions, and I don't have any thoughts on it at all.

"I think everyone else will have seen the incident and can make their own decisions on what they think of it - my focus remains fully on us and trying to be better."

O'Neil also revealed post-match that Santi Bueno has a minor hamstring problem, and they could not risk him in the second half.

He said: "We lost Santi today to a hamstring, which is disappointing. Not a big hamstring - he wanted to give it a go after half-time but felt we couldn't lose anymore for a sustained period. That would leave only Max and Toti available for us in those positions, and for a team that plays with three centre-backs to have two fit would be tricky - but it is the situation we are in."