Leeds United: Gary Neville stunned as 'manager of the season' Gary O'Neil and Bournemouth dump Whites in danger
Gary Neville has been left stunned by the turnaround at Bournemouth under Gary O’Neil and now has “real worry” for Leeds United.
After the Cherries won 3-2 at Tottenham on Saturday (15 April) the Sky Sports pundit has branded their form “sensational” and the job of their manager “unbelievable”, having won three of their four matches in April to catapult them up to 14th and six points clear of the bottom three.
That has left them in a strong position to survive and dragged the Whites back into the scrap, which Neville expects to end very painfully for some of the big clubs now in danger.
Speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast on Sunday (16 April, 30m 15s) he said: “If [O’Neil] keeps Bournemouth up he’s my manager of the season… Everybody who I spoke to two weeks ago going into the international break had Bournemouth and Southampton going down.”
He went on: “I had [Nottingham] Forest, Southampton and Bournemouth as my three [to go down] a few weeks ago. I think that Bournemouth now will pull out of that unless something completely about-turns, and I think you’re starting to look at Everton, Leicester and Leeds with real worry.
“And they’re big clubs and a couple of them won’t like going down from a financial perspective. It’ll be painful for them and hurt badly.”
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The relegation battle is surely going down to the wire as every week the picture seems to change entirely for at least one club, so two or three results can make a huge difference.
It was just under a fortnight ago (4 April) that Leeds United came back to beat Forest at home and apparently put themselves in the driving seat for safety.
But the 5-1 capitulation to Crystal Palace five days later has changed that heading into the clash with Liverpool (17 April) where another defeat would make things very uncomfortable again.
Javi Gracia has picked up 10 crucial points since his arrival but he will have to start adding to that quickly if the likes of O’Neil are going to up the pace so significantly elsewhere.
If any of the clubs who currently look down and out suddenly find a spark in the same way as Bournemouth then it will lift them out of danger fast.
So with the Cherries, Palace, Wolves and arguably even West Ham suddenly putting a few results together the pressure is hugely on everyone else to find form.
With everything that rests on remaining in the top flight at Elland Road the club cannot afford to take their eye off the ball again after the damaging loss last weekend or some of Neville’s fears could be coming true.
In other Leed United news, a player who wants to leave the club may now be set for back to back loans.