Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Football

Neil Lennon is up for the fight as Bolton struggle

By Frank Brownlow

Published 05/11/2015

Staying put: Neil Lennon will tough it out at Bolton
Staying put: Neil Lennon will tough it out at Bolton

Neil Lennon has pledged to fight on as manager of Bolton Wanderers - despite being four points adrifts of safety in the Championship with just one win in 15 matches.

Lennon, whose side lost 2-0 at Ipswich on Tuesday night, is enduring a nightmare season - in sharp contrast to the success he enjoyed as Celtic manager before quitting Parkhead last year.

The former Northern Ireland midfielder insists he will not step down from his post at Bolton, even though the Trotters are third from bottom with the lowest goals tally, just 10.

But his future at the club could hinge on Saturday's crunch clash at home to fellow strugglers Bristol City, the team directly above Bolton.

Wanderers desperately need a win over City at the Macron Stadium to give themselves a fighting chance of avoiding relegation to League One - which would be a huge setback to a side more used to playing in the Premier League.

"I'll never quit. People say managers lose the dressing room, but they've got to worry about losing me," the Lurgan native said.

"I'm here to fight it out, if the people at the club or the fans want a change, that's something I can't control.

"I don't feel under any pressure, but with performances like that (at Ipswich) people will look at you and ask if you're doing enough, and that's the first question I ask myself after every game."

Lennon has tried to freshen up the side, with former Newcastle United forward Shola Ameobi signing a short-term deal and midfielder Luke Brattan joining on loan from Manchester City.

But the former Celtic and Leicester player has been told that finances at the club are limited.

The defeat at Ipswich was a bitter blow following a 0-0 draw with Preston at the weekend.

"I can't change personnel, we've tried to, but the finances aren't there, so we have to work with what we've got," Lennon added.

"We go from playing pretty well on Saturday evening to looking like total strangers, that's the most bewildering thing about the whole process.

"There's a lack of consistency, there's enough experience in the team, there should be enough hunger but the basics of defending weren't there - if we play like that we will get beaten."

The 44-year-old looked bound for big things in management but his 12 months at Bolton have been tough and his career is now at a crossroads.

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph