Gary O’Neil praises Wolverhampton Wanderers character after win over Everton

Head coach Gary O’Neil praises the character of his Wolverhampton Wanderers side after they recorded a 1-0 victory at Everton in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

Gary O’Neil heaped praise on his Wolverhampton Wanderers side after they battled their way to a 1-0 victory over Everton on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the season being just two matches old, the Premier League fixture at Goodison Park was billed as one that neither side could afford to lose after failing to pick up a point.

Everton had the better of the game on Merseyside, witnessing goalkeeper Jose Sa make a number of impressive saves and have a goal disallowed for a marginal offside.

However, Wolves, who had their own second-half strike chalked off, secured all three points after Sasa Kalajdzic, who had only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds, glanced a Pedro Neto cross into the far corner from close range.

The Austria international’s effort ensured that Wolves bounced back from defeats to Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion to make headway up the standings on a week when Nelson Semedo and Matheus Nunes were the latest players to be linked with a move away from Molineux.

From O’Neil’s perspective, he preferred to hand the plaudits to his side as they got their season up and running against a potential relegation rival.

Sasa Kalajdzic celebrates scoring for Wolverhampton Wanderers on August 26, 2023© Reuters

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Englishman said: “I’m not really relieved, I’m just pleased for the lads. They’ve had a real go and we’ve missed chances. Things hadn’t gone our way.

“I thought the performance was good, there is lots of room for improvement. The group showed real character and resilience and stood up to everything Everton threw at them, which you need at Goodison Park.

“We had some moments of quality and we missed some chances then you wonder if it’s one of them days. I’m pleased for the boys because they’ve worked hard for me.”

On Kalajdzic, O’Neil added: “He’s had a tough spell, he’s been working very hard everyday. Similar to the rest of the boys, they’re working really hard on improving habits and how we work.

“They’re a group who commit to things. There’s only so long you can say performances are getting to where we want without the points.”

Wolves are due to play host to Blackpool in the EFL Cup second round in midweek before they square off against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the top flight on September 3.

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