Gary O’Neil evaluates 'strange' Wolves theory in ‘do both’ message

Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Gary O'Neil has responded to the claim his side only perform well as underdogs.
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Wolves made it four consecutive home games unbeaten against clubs in the top seven as they stunned title challengers Tottenham Hotspur with a sensational 2-1 comeback victory on Saturday. Just one week earlier, however, the Old Gold suffered a 2-1 defeat away at relegation fighters Sheffield United. Points were also dropped away at Luton Town at the end of September.

It's been a complex theme for Wanderers as you'd expect sides with worse squads to be easier to take points from but it's not quite worked out that way. Two wins at home and two wins away suggests it's not a matter of being better in front of the Molineux faithful, either. O'Neil wants his side to be able to 'do both' sooner rather than later.

Gary O'Neil wants Wolves to improve against the sides in the bottom half of the Premier League.Gary O'Neil wants Wolves to improve against the sides in the bottom half of the Premier League.
Gary O'Neil wants Wolves to improve against the sides in the bottom half of the Premier League.
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“Manchester City, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Spurs – we’ve genuinely gone toe-to-toe with some top teams. The next test is consistency," O'Neil admitted on Saturday. "We played Luton and Sheffield United and weren’t able to get three points for various reasons. There are some games coming up where we might have to be the team on the front foot. It’s about making sure we can do a bit of everything.

“I hope we're not [just better as underdogs]. I really liked – and this is going to sound strange – but the 45 minutes at Sheffield United. It wasn’t enough of course, but they were in a back five, difficult to break down and we created four clear-cut chances and other situations.

"I think there’s enough there for us to be good against teams that are not as high up the table. Because of our fixtures, we get to practice that less at the moment. We’re generally the team that understands we need to be good off the ball and then take our moments. I’m hoping to get the group to a place where they can do both," O'Neil concluded.

An international break is now upon us, enabling Wolves to recoup some energy ahead of a slightly more favourable fixture run. Next up is Fulham on November 27, before clashes with Arsenal, Burnley and Nottingham Forest. A better idea of whether Wanderers can start to beat the sides in and around them may form from three of those four.

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