Gary O’Neil adamant Bournemouth have shrugged off agonising Arsenal loss
Gary O’Neil says there has been no hangover for Bournemouth after their agonising defeat at Arsenal last weekend.
The relegation-threatened Cherries led 2-0 against the Premier League leaders at the Emirates Stadium before eventually going down 3-2 following a Reiss Nelson strike deep into stoppage time.
Ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Liverpool, boss O’Neil told a press conference: “I think the moment in the dressing room right after it was the toughest aspect, speaking to the group about how I felt about the game at that moment, understanding where they were emotionally from that.
“But moving past that, this week has just gone back to Liverpool are coming. So from Monday, the lads were ready to work, ready to go, so there was absolutely no hangover whatsoever.
“There is a review of course of things we could have done better, and how well we did to go there and make it as close as it was and be in the game for 97 minutes or whatever we were – making sure we know what happened out there. It was a hell of an effort from everybody, a real big effort.”
Bournemouth, bottom of the table but only a point adrift of safety, take on a Liverpool side who thrashed them 9-0 at Anfield earlier this season, and triumphed 7-0 at the same venue against Manchester United last Sunday.
The first of those demolitions took place in August in the fourth match of Bournemouth’s top-flight return, with boss Scott Parker being sacked three days later.
O’Neil, initially put in charge on an interim basis after that before being appointed on a permanent deal in November, said: “The 9-0 doesn’t come into our mind at all. We were in a very different place then.
“The lads will just prepare for this like it’s another game against a very, very good side. They’re in good form at the moment, obviously have fantastic attacking threat. So it’ll be a tough ask, of course, but we approach the game like it’s a game we need to take three points from, and that’s all.”
Asked what had gone through his mind while watching the Liverpool-United game, knowing his side were to face Jurgen Klopp’s men next, O’Neil said: “A couple of things – I thought it’s not a great time for them to hit top form, and then secondly, hopefully they’ve used up all their goals.
“They’ve changed a little bit recently, using a slightly different structure, so last three or four weeks, they’ve mixed things up, changed how they play. They probably haven’t done that in quite a while while Jurgen’s been there.
“So slightly new look, but same sort of threat. (Mohamed) Salah on the top line, (Darwin) Nunez obviously a huge threat, lots of pace up front.
“It will be a tough ask, but the boys are looking forward to it. Again, an incredible opportunity for us to give ourselves a chance to put another big result on the board.”