English football club Bournemouth on Sunday appointed Gary O’Neil as their head coach on a permanent basis following his spell as interim boss.
The 39-year-old took the helm at Vitality Stadium after head coach Scott Parker was sacked in August. He has signed an initial one-and-a-half-year contract, which has the provision to be extended for a further 12 months.
Bournemouth have earned 13 points from wins over Nottingham Forest, Leicester City and Everton together and with draws against Wolves, Newcastle, Brentford and Fulham with O’Neil in interim charge, and are 14th in the Premier League.
He also guided the Cherries to the fourth round in the Carabao Cup courtesy of a 4-1 win against Everton. It was followed by a 3-0 league win over the Toffees in their final game before the World Cup break.
‘We have been impressed with the way he has conducted himself from the moment he joined the club and feel he has earned this opportunity to continue to take the team and the club forward,’ AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said in a club statement.
‘Gary has worked tirelessly and diligently on the training pitch and the players have responded by producing some excellent performances and results.
‘It was evident from the reception he received from our supporters following the Premier League win against Everton that they have also appreciated his efforts and we are all looking forward to continuing our working relationship with him,’ he added.
O’Neil will return to the dugout following the World Cup break when the Cherries visit Newcastle in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on December 21.
As a player, O’Neil enjoyed an illustrious career, with 240 of his 542 appearances coming in the Premier League for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, West Ham and Norwich City. He was also capped by England at under-19, under-20 and under-21 levels and captained his country at the 2003 FIFA Under-20 World Youth Championship.
Crowned as Player of the Year at Bolton in his final season, O’Neil took up his first coaching role when he was appointed assistant manager by Liverpool under-23s in August 2020.