Player-coach Andy Hughes believes whoever is appointed as Dougie Freedman’s successor at Bolton Wanderers will inherit a ‘wonderful’ squad.
After Freedman left by mutual consent on Friday, Hughes and goalkeeping coach Lee Turner were placed in temporary charge of the Trotters.
However, a gutsy Wanderers performance could not prevent them losing 2-1 to ten-man Bournemouth at the Macron on Saturday.
The latest defeat sent the club to the bottom of the Championship table with the club having accumulated just five points from a possible 33.
However, Hughes is adamant that whoever next takes up the managerial role on a permanent basis will be a lucky man.
“Whoever is the next manager is going to inherit a wonderful squad,” said the caretaker boss. “I look down our squad and I think ‘wow’.
“I’m sure there will be high-class managers looking at this job and chomping at the bit. With this facility, the training ground, the academy and the fans, I would be.
“We need someone to come in who is going to lift the lads. The next manager is getting a driven, hungry bunch that are ready to work hard.
“The players are going to work hard for the town, work hard for each other, and first and foremost, work hard for themselves.”
On whether he saw himself as a candidate for the job on a permanent basis, Hughes insisted that he would be delighted to remain at the club in any capacity.
“It was a great honour to be asked to lead the team. I will do whatever is asked of me going forward and it will continue to be a very good experience.
“It’s not that I’m after the job, I’m just an old player coming to the end of my career. I’m learning to be a coach but it is a wonderful opportunity.
“If whoever comes in still wants my help still as a senior player then I’d be honoured to help.”
The atmosphere at the Macron was noticeably less hostile after the departure of Freedman, but a spirited performance on the pitch was not enough.
Despite Bournemouth going down to ten men with Yann Kermorgant’s first-half red card, Bolton could not make the most of their share of pressure and possession.
Captain Jay Spearing scored a long-range equaliser for the home side but two Callum Wilson goals secured victory for the Cherries.
Despite the result Hughes was delighted by the fight and courage shown by his side’s players in their heartening performance.
“It wasn’t the result we would have wanted but I got everything else I wanted from the game,” he explained.
“There was energy, endeavour, honesty and leadership from the senior players and, the biggest one for me was the fans getting behind the team.
“I feel like I got the best out of the lads today. I really did. Whoever comes in will look at that and take the positives.
“We need wins, it is as simple as that. However, every player can go home today with their heads held high.
“There is only one way for this club and that is up. And it will stay up.”
Main image courtesy of Bolton Wanderers FC via YouTube, with thanks.