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Neil Lennon: Free week gives Bolton Wanderers chance to regroup

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Neil Lennon hopes a rare blank midweek will allow him to get bodies back for Wanderers ahead of Saturday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

For the first time in a month, the Whites have a clear week of training ahead and Lennon believes it will allow his squad to recharge their batteries.

But he is also hoping to get strikers Emile Heskey and Craig Davies back in the thick of things ahead of a testing away double header in the space of four days next week - with a trip to promotion-chasing Middlesbrough following the Forest clash.

Lennon told The Bolton News: “We have a free week this week so it’s a good opportunity to get some bodies back.

“We look a little bit lightweight at times and that’s been a concern for me for a while.

“Once we get a few more of the big hitters back we should improve.

“Davies and Heskey will hopefully be fit for next week.

“We have a chance to get some of the newer boys more up to speed as well as others back.

“Hopefully, it will mean we have a bigger squad to pick from next week.

“The team will go away for a few days to train which will be good for them psychologically and then hopefully we will kick on again.”

Another player Lennon hopes will be back against Forest is skipper Matt Mills whom he had hoped to include in Saturday’s 4-3 defeat to Watford – Lennon’s first at home in the league.

But Mills did not make it after a knee problem, though Lennon is confident it was the right decision not to risk the centre-back.

The boss added: “Matt Mills trained on Friday but just didn’t feel right.

“He made the right decision because we can’t afford any more long-term injuries.

“We will see how he is this week but hopefully he will be back at the weekend.”

Next up after the blank midweek is a trip to the City Ground and a date with a Forest team now under the stewardship of Lennon’s predecessor Dougie Freedman.

But he is not focusing on the managerial clash, preferring to concentrate his team on a response to the Watford defeat.

Lennon added: “We should feel confident in going to Forest and scoring goals and playing well.

“There’s nothing different for me facing a team managed by the former manager here.

“It’s just another game we have to try to win.

“Dougie did some really good things here but it happens in football where you can lose your job.

“He’s found another niche now and got off to a good start at Forest.

“So we have to be careful, because they will be a dangerous team at home.”



Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Great if Mills is fit and can sort out the defence but would Heskey or Cavies improve the front line? A different option maybe but having nippy strikers like Clough and Fondue seems to be working relatively well so why change it?

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