Bolton Wanderers lack ‘mental strength’ to win away, says livid Lennon

Bolton boss Neil Lennon believes his side must get tougher if they are to pick up points away from home and improve on a worrying start to the season.

The 4-1 defeat to Huddersfield Town has extinguished any optimism brought about by a four-game unbeaten streak, with Wanderers 21st in the league table after their usually reliable defence finally cracked at the John Smith’s Stadium, and any attacking prowess continued to elude them.

Lennon was unequivocal when it came to assessing their alarming, ‘very poor’, second half performance, but in truth, the Bolton boss could have been talking more generally about his side’s away form, having not won on the road since Easter Monday.

“It’s a lack of mental strength,” Lennon said.

“When we go a goal down, we should re-gather ourselves for ten, fifteen minutes.

“We’ve given away easy goals, but we can’t keep relying on the defence to hold out, we have to do better in the final third.

“There’s a lack of belief in us sometimes.

“We got off to a great start, scored a great goal, played well, but we didn’t work the ball well enough in the second half, and we didn’t compete well enough either.

“We had good control in the first half, we were playing well, and then we went really lightweight in the second half.

“It’s a very disappointing last half hour. We lost our way, and we didn’t look like scoring at times, and we lost the physical battle as well.”

The injury problems continue to mount for Wanderers, with Prince-Desire Gouano falling ill and Emile Heskey picking up a hamstring strain.

While Lennon has previously preached caution when it comes to delving into the market for new players, the Bolton boss knows that time is now of the essence ahead of the visit of league leaders Brighton on Saturday.

“[Emile] went for a sprint and just felt a strain more or less straightaway,” Lennon explained.

“He’s been looking great: he’s been looking good in the games, he’s been looking good in training, so it’s a big blow to lose him.

“We need to get some bodies in, we have to get a physical presence in.

“Size-wise we are struggling a bit.

“With Emile, we don’t know how long he’s going to be, Zach [Clough]’s out, so attacking-wise we are definitely short.”

Image courtesy of Bolton Wanderers, via Youtube, with thanks.

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