Neil Lennon believes the combination of experienced new assistant manager Steve Walford and Bolton Wanderers’ mix of cultures can help the club climb the Championship table.
Lennon has moved quickly to bring in a new number two following the departure of Johan Mjallby last week for family reasons as 17th-placed Bolton prepare to face Huddersfield, a point behind in 20th, on Saturday.
And the Wanderers manager believes that the 57-year-old’s lengthy career alongside one of his most trusted former managers will be of immense benefit to his side.
“I’ve known Steve for a long time – he’s got a wealth of experience,” Lennon said ahead of the 3pm away kick off.
“He worked under Martin O’Neill for the last 20 or 25 years, and I worked with him myself for 10 years as a player at Leicester and Celtic.
“I’ve always kept in touch – he knows the way we work and he’s worked at every level of the game.
“It was a huge blow to lose Johann but we’ve got an able replacement certainly in Steve, and he will add valuable experience to what we’re doing here.”
With financial restraints hampering Lennon’s recruitment, the Bolton boss has been forced to look abroad, but the continental blend of his squad, including his centre-half pairing of Prince-Desire Gouano and Derik Osede, has given the boss considerable cause for cheer.
“Their attitude is fantastic.
“The way they look after themselves is great, and they just love playing football.
“I don’t want to build them up too much because it’s very early in their careers here, but the two have certainly made us better.
“British players look after themselves as well, but it’s just a different mentality sometimes.
“Maybe we overlook that with the British players sometimes because there are some fantastic pros here as well, but the way they’ve integrated and their attention to detail, it’s very good.
“We have an English tutor here who’s helping them along.
“Sometimes when you’re telling them off they claim they don’t understand, and other times when you’re praising them they take it all in!
“[Jose Manuel] Casado and [Francesco] Pisano, they need a bit of work on their English.
“It’s good having these different cultures and different styles coming in and integrating with what we’ve got already, and I think both sets can feed off each other.”
Image courtesy of Bolton Wanderers via YouTube, with thanks.