Bournemouth coach speaks on Zemura “betrayal”

Bournemouth coach Garry O’Neil has for the first time reacted to Jordan Zemura’s imminent departure at the club.

Zemura will join Italian Serie A club Udinese on a free transfer.

The Zimbabwean defender signed a four-year deal after refusing to extend his stay at the Cherries beyond this season.

He received numerous offers but turned them down, forcing the club to freeze him out of senior squad.

The 23-year-old was earlier this week informed he would no longer be allowed to train with the first team, instead being sent to work with the development squad.

Asked if he feels let down by Zemura for the way his departure has transpired, Cherries head coach O’Neil told the Bournemouth Echo: “All of it is out now, so you all have a real clear picture of the situation.

“I don’t feel any way about it. As a footballer you have decisions to make and you make them and you do what you think is best for yourself.

“My responsibility is to do what I think is best for the team and the group and the club.

“It is the same with any situation that I deal with really. No real feelings about it, just what is best for the group and how do we give ourselves the best chance of staying up at the end of the season.”

Asked if Zemura’s situation had been a distraction to him and the squad, O’Neil insisted: “No. Nothing will distract me and the group from the task at hand, I can guarantee you that.

“There will be no shift in focus. It will be 100 per cent, from the moment that I took over until the end of the season.”

O’Neil added: “I think you guys know most of it now, if not all of it. I think it’s all out.

“The club have always been really aligned in how we see it.

“Jordan will move on and play for another club next season. As always, my focus is on the group and making sure that everybody is ready for the weekend.

“We’ve made decision that it’s best at this moment for Jordan to train with the under-21s and that will remain until it doesn’t.”

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