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Former Hammer ready for a special night

Bournemouth coach Gary O’Neil admits it will be “a bit special” to lead a side out to face his former club West Ham United on Monday evening (8pm).

O’Neil enjoyed two-and-a-half seasons with the Hammers as a player between 2011 and 2013.

Sadly. he was part of the squad which was relegated from the 2010-11 season after arriving halfway through the campaign but helped fire them back to the topflight at the first time of asking from the Championship, via the play-offs.

Reflecting on his time with the Hammers, O’Neil said: “I loved it.

“I suffered a bad injury which sort of changed my career for me.

“But I managed to come back from it and still play afterwards, which was a bonus.

“I managed to get back into the Premier League with them with promotion.

“There are some good people there, it’s a great club, I have real fond memories of my time there. Obviously at a different stadium now, but looking forward to going back.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to Monday, of course. Going back to an old club was always a bit special when I was playing and I’m sure that will feel the same again now I’m managing.

“I’m extremely proud to stand at the front with the boys in every game.”

Asked what reception he expects to receive from the West Ham fans, O’Neil said: “I’m not sure. I’m not really expecting a reception, just to do business really.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon