‘We’re not a last-placed side’: Lennon says Bolton not far off after Shola strike stops rot

Neil Lennon believes that his Bolton Wanderers side are not far from turning performances into points after the 1-1 draw with Leeds United on Saturday.

New signing Shola Ameobi opened the scoring in the first half, before an error from Prince-Desir Gouano saw him dismissed as Mirco Antenucci dispatched the resulting penalty.

But after stopping a run of three consecutive defeats with a solid defensive performance, the Bolton boss believes that his side are finally getting the rewards that their displays deserve.

“The quality of performance was excellent, and we don’t look like a side that are bottom of the league, but the reality of it is that we are,” Lennon said.

“We have to start turning the draws into wins, and when we start doing that we’ll move quickly out of trouble, because we’re not playing badly at all.

“I’m really pleased with David Wheater, he’s playing really consistently, and I’m pleased with Jose Manuel Casado as well, I think he’s been a great find for us.

“Once he gets more adapted to the English game he’ll get better, but he looks a very good, accomplished player at the minute.

“It’s a good point in the context of being down to 10 men, but on the other side of it, it’s a point that could have been three.” 

Lennon was delighted with the performance of Ameobi, as his new striker opened the scoring soon after replacing the concussed Gary Madine.

The former Newcastle man’s arrival was widely met with scepticism on Friday afternoon, but the Wanderers boss believes that Ameobi can contribute on and off the field.

“Shola was terrific in his link-up play, his aerial play, his goal – it’s a brilliant finish – his experience, and his presence with the players in the dressing room will be pretty important.

“He’s slightly younger than Emile Heskey and Eidur Gudjohnsen who made a really good contribution last year, so if he can make that sort of contribution to us then we’ll be delighted. 

“Getting the goal on his debut will give him a huge fillip, but he’s a handful, and the more he plays, I’m sure he’ll get better.”

Image courtesy of BWFC via YouTube, with thanks.

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