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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Neil Lennon narrows list of summer contract negotiations

Neil Lennon narrows list of summer contract negotiations

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Neil Lennon is seriously considering making significant changes to his squad this summer after watching another injury time nightmare.

The Wanderers boss revealed he has made contract offers for Matt Mills, Adam Bogdan and Darren Pratley this week but other players appear to be treading on very thin ice after Gary Hooper’s 92nd minute winner on Saturday.

After turning a corner in Monday’s win against Cardiff City, Whites fans were left with that familiar sinking feeling as they trudged away from the Macron Stadium in the early hours of Saturday evening.

Asked if there was an air of accountability in the dressing room, the furious boss did not mince his words.

“I look for answers but I don’t get them – they can’t look me in the eye,” he told The Bolton News. “It’s not good enough. I need to change it and I will.

“I need to get players who can defend for 93, 94, 95 minutes. But up until then we were excellent.

“I wouldn’t have minded it if was some type of wonder goal but it’s as sloppy a goal as you’ll see all season. They shouldn’t be playing through us like that.

“Our goal was top quality – it was a great ball and a brilliant finish.

“For all the good things I saw out there, I have to be on top of them, I have to be more demanding.

“Our collective conviction needs to get better and if players here can’t do it, then I need to find people that will.”

On the contracts already offered, Lennon hoped for a speedy conclusion to talks with Bogdan, Mills and Pratley before moving on to veterans Eidur Gudjohnsen and Emile Heskey.

“The ball is in their court now, we’ve made them good offers. There will be a bit of to and fro now but I need to make changes. It’s costing us.

“I don’t want to stand here in front of you guys and have the same conversation every two weeks.”

Lennon has been criticised in some quarters for ‘going on the defensive’ in the last 15 minutes but the manager made no apologies for the tactical changes he made.

“We have brought players on just for some fresh legs, because a few looked tired,” he said. “Even that annoys me because they shouldn’t be tired, well maybe you could exclude Eidur and Emile from that.

“At 1-1 it would have been four or five unbeaten but again it’s just sloppiness.

“I don’t think we passed the ball anywhere near enough in the first half but that improved and we moved to four at the back just to see the game out.

“Sometimes it works, like it did at Cardiff last week, and sometimes it doesn’t – but you can talk about formations and tactics all you want, it comes down to players whether you get a result or not.”

Tom Walker was the stand-out performer for Wanderers in the first half but Lennon was less than impressed that the wing-back’s input deteriorated as the game went on.

The 19-year-old was substituted 10 minutes before the end of the game but Lennon was disappointed with his performance in the last third of the match.

“He played well but I’m not happy that he’s blowing up after 60 minutes,” he said. “I’m sick of watching him fade with half an hour to go.

“That might be a youth thing. I’m delighted with his talent, and with the quality of his play, some of it is very good but he needs to finish games better.”

At the other end of the age scale, Emile Heskey was one of Wanderers’ better performers on the day, drawing praise from his manager.

“I just wish he was five years younger,” he said. “Emile was outstanding again for us up there and he’s setting a real example to the other players.”

Source

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I'm pleased that Lennon is prepared to openly admit that his players aren't fit enough and should be able to last 90 minutes. I'm also pleased he singled out Walker who should be ashamed that he can't play for more than 60 minutes.

I'm less pleased he has offered Mills a contract. That really is stupid.

Keegan

Keegan
Moderator
Moderator
I don't see why Emile gets as much praise as he does. The highlights of the Norwich game confirmed to me that I don't want him on the books next season.

https://forum.boltonnuts.co.uk

Boggersbelief

Boggersbelief
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@Natasha Whittam wrote:I'm pleased that Lennon is prepared to openly admit that his players aren't fit enough and should be able to last 90 minutes. I'm also pleased he singled out Walker who should be ashamed that he can't play for more than 60 minutes.

I'm less pleased he has offered Mills a contract. That really is stupid.

You obviously don't know how difficult it is to play on a pitch of that size, for 90 minutes as a wingback. It's non stop running in that position

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Heskey works very hard and puts himself about but he has no real goal threat. He is one of those players that fans aren't keen on but his fellow players love.

Personally i wouldn't keep him next season but i reckon Lennon will.

i hope there is a big clear out in the summer with the likes of Spearing, Medo, Andrews, Trotter, Beckford and Baptiste leaving which should free up some funds

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@Boggersbelief wrote:

You obviously don't know how difficult it is to play on a pitch of that size, for 90 minutes as a wingback. It's non stop running in that position

You're right, all wingbacks only last 60 minutes. Especially teenage ones with energy to burn.

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
if we are going to stick with the 3 at the back then we need to get some players who can play the wing back role properly and not use wingers like we are now.

If we could keep Janko he would be great as a wingback on the right.

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Lennon is in danger of turning into Dougie - rather than tailor the tactics towards the players he has, he expects the players to play his tactics. This wingback bollocks will never work with players like Feeney and Walker. And it doesn't matter how many centre-halves you have, if they're all as shite as Mills and Wheater then you're still going to get beaten.

The way forward is four at the back, 5 in midfield with Pratley/Mavies pushing forward, and one up top.

Guest


Guest
'You'll never be promoted playing one up front in the Championship' - Natasha Whittam 13/14

karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@Norpig wrote:if we are going to stick with the 3 at the back then we need to get some players who can play the wing back role properly and not use wingers like we are now.

I hope not!

That's like going on Canal Street with your under crackers already down, bent over waiting for it!

The defence is shite as it is, we need 4 at the back at least! Very Happy

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
bwfc1874 wrote:'You'll never be promoted playing one up front in the Championship' - Natasha Whittam 13/14

That would have been mildly amusing had you been able to quote a direct post.

Regardless, unlike our recent managers I would play to our strengths, and they are Pratley supporting a lone attacker. I would prefer to play with two upfront but as those two could be Heskey and Eidur I'd have to pass on that.

Guest


Guest
Certainly not intended to be amusing, but again shows how fickle you are.

You said it after every single match Dougie played one up front, I don't need to waste time digging up a direct quote.

Guest


Guest
Although for what it's worth I'm glad you've finally seen there's more to formations than 442.

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