Chris Wilder takes Boro training as odds shorten dramatically on taking over at Bournemouth

Chris-Wilder Middlesbrough September 2022

Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder took training at Rockliffe Park on Monday amid increasing speculation he was heading to Bournemouth.

Bookmakers have slashed their odds on Wilder taking over on the south coast after he was linked with the Cherries at the start of September. Former Sheffield United boss Wilder is heavily odds on to succeed Scott Parker.

However, according to the Evening Gazette, there has been no approach from the Premier League side for Wilder. And the 55-year-old was working with his players and preparing for Saturday’s trip to Coventry City on Monday.

Former Boro midfielder Gary O’Neil is currently in interim charge at Bournemouth. And he has expressed an interest in taking the job permanently after guiding the club to a win and two draws in his three games in charge.

A win over Nottingham Forest and draws against Wolves and Newcastle had followed on from the 9-0 humiliation at Liverpool. That ultimately led to the sacking of Parker, whose comments afterwards did not go down well with Bournemouth owner Maxim Demin.

Boro boss Wilder dismissed the speculation at the start of the month though.

“I signed a two-and-a-half year deal nine months ago so I’m deep into that,” said Wilder. “I enjoy working at the football club as you’ve seen. We are working extremely hard in terms of what we are trying to do and what we are trying to achieve.

Wilder’s head been turned?

“I’m not going anywhere. I’m here and got my head down and working towards the weekend.”

But Boro’s form has seen them slip into the relegation zone this season with 10 points from 10 games.

Wilder, who took over on Teesside in November last year, was previously linked with the Burnley job. He was also mentioned in connection to the Stoke job.

Sean Dyche was axed in April and Wilder was believed to be under consideration until Vincent Kompany got the Clarets job.

Wilder went on to guide Boro into seventh place last season, five points behind the play-offs. And an assault on the play-offs was expected this time around but defeats to QPR, Cardiff, Watford and Reading have seen them slump into 18th place.

Boro fans have pointed to the fact that Wilder has taken his eye off the ball. In fact Boro’s record since the Burnley speculation started in April is played 17, won four. And after a positive start, his departure would not prompt such a huge outcry.