Gary O’Neil has been cut to 15/8 from 12/1 to be Bournemouth’s next permanent manager after the Cherries’ rousing comeback against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Bournemouth trailed 2-0 at the break to the Tricky Trees, triggering bet365’s 2 Goals Ahead Early Payout Offer, but whatever was said by O’Neil at the break clearly worked, with Philip Billing and Dominic Solanke levelling before Jaidon Anthony secured all three points late on.
While Maxim Denim will no doubt be delighted to see the side pick up four points from two games – crucially winning the six-pointer in Nottingham – but the results may be flattering to deceive; despite a goal difference of +1 since O’Neil took temporary charge, the xGD is -1.4, and they could perhaps count themselves fortunate not to have lost either game.
The results certainly haven’t done O’Neil’s chances of getting the job full-time any harm, however; the former Portsmouth midfielder was 12/1 to get the job a week ago, when Sean Dyche was even-money favourite, but with no progress on that front, and O’Neil picking up points, it may be that the caretaker gets the job full-time.
Luton’s Nathan Jones has emerged as 4/1 third favourite, after impressing hugely across two spells at Kenilworth Road, though the side may have plateaued after last season’s play-off exploits, and you imagine the 49-year-old would be at least interested in a step up to the top flight should the opportunity arise.
Previous second favourite Kjetil Knutsen has drifted to 10/1, with Chris Wilder and Anthony Barry both 16/1.
It’s commonplace these days that a manager is hired in the immediate aftermath of a departure, but it’s now been a week since Scott Parker’s departure, with no noise coming out of the Gtech Stadium, suggesting that owner Denim doesn’t have a clear name in mind, and that O’Neil will get the game against Brighton on Saturday – and possible the trip to Newcastle – to further enhance his credentials.