AFC Bournemouth confirm Gary O'Neil as head coach

AFC Bournemouth have confirmed their caretaker boss Gary O’Neil as their new permanent manager.

O'Neil has signed a one-and-a-half year contract, which could be extended for a further year. It's his first permanent job in management. 

The 39-year-old joined the Cherries as first-team coach in February 2021 and was a member of the coaching staff as the Cherries regained a place in the Premier League after being promoted from the Championship last season.

He took charge of 12 games on an interim basis at the end of August and helped steady the ship following three defeats.

O’Neil began his tenure by presiding over a six-match unbeaten run in the top flight and was nominated for the Premier League manager-of-the-month award in September.

He was at the helm as the Cherries collected thirteen points from wins over Nottingham Forest, Leicester City and Everton together with draws against Wolves, Newcastle, Brentford and Fulham.

O’Neil’s permanent appointment follows back-to-back wins over Everton in the Carabao Cup and Premier League at the start of this month.

He will return to the dugout following the World Cup break when the Cherries visit Newcastle in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday 21st December.

His full coaching setup will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake told The Club's official website: "Gary did an excellent job on an interim basis and the board are delighted to make his position as head coach permanent.

"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.

"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."

O’Neil enjoyed an illustrious playing career, with 240 of his 542 appearances coming in the Premier League for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, West Ham and Norwich City.