Belfast Telegraph

Bolton manager Neil Lennon turns to O'Neill for advice

By Gary Carter

Neil Lennon has admitted he turned to former Celtic boss Martin O'Neill in an attempt to turn Bolton around.

The former Parkhead chief is seemingly swimming against the tide as Wanderers remain rooted to the bottom of the English Championship.

A lack of cash has crippled his attempts to bolster his squad properly, he saw ex-Hoops hot-shot Gary Hooper head to Sheffield Wednesday on loan this week.

Now as he tries to save Bolton from third tier football, Lennon has revealed he has sought guidance from his mentor, the current Republic of Ireland manager.

"I'd be foolish not to," said former Northern Ireland international Lennon.

"I worked with the man for 10 years and he's always been a port of call for me. He wants myself and all his old players to be successful. If I remember back to my time at Leicester, Martin had a tough time initially and there were calls for his head.

"But then we went nine games unbeaten, made the play-offs and got promoted at Wembley.

"So I talk to him about that as it wasn't plain sailing and Steve Walford's here at Bolton as well so I can draw on that."

Lennon is now starting to get grief from Bolton's fans, although chairman Phil Gartside remains public enemy number one.

Defeat against Preston tonight (6pm) will only make calls for his head louder and they could be marooned at the bottom.

But one or two famous managers have been closer to the sack and turned things around, so he sees no reason why that cannot happen at the Macron Stadium.

Lennon added: "Howard Kendall was one game from the sack but won at Oxford and never looked back and Sir Alex was the same at United in his formative years.

"You don't get that amount of time these days. I know we need results sooner rather than later.

"But I'm hoping it will be the case for us and we get a break and a result."

Lennon comes up against a familiar face in tonight's Lancashire derby at Deepdale in former Leicester team-mate Simon Grayson.

And if the technical areas are anything like the Foxes' dressing room when they were both playing, then expect fireworks.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph