Post-Match: Lennon on Bolton's Defeat at Middlesbrough

  • August 15, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Neil Lennon took full responsibility for Bolton's performance, as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Diego Fabbrini and a brace from Kike gave Boro a commanding lead inside 31 minutes at the Riverside Stadium and extended Wanderers' run without a goal to five games in competitive action - their worst run since March 1990.

Speaking after the game, Lennon admitted the blame is on his shoulders and also revealed the reason why Emile Heskey was forced to feature as a lone forward while Zach Clough and Gary Madine began on the substitutes' bench.

"I have to hold my hands up," Lennon told the club's official website. "I take full responsibility for the first half performance. I set the team out and selected the formation and it didn't work.

"The players didn't get to grips with what we wanted them to do very well and we let Middlesbrough dictate and dominate the game.

"The first goal we can stomach, because it's a fantastic individual goal, but the second and third goals are disappointing.

"Even with the responsibility of the taking the blame, we still expect the players to compete and press which we did well against Derby (County) and Burton (Albion). We didn't do that this afternoon.

"I have to apologise to the supporters for the first half performance because it wasn't good enough.

"We lost Gary Madine this morning, who wasn't quite right after a fitness test. Zach Clough had a bit of hip strain yesterday, so, again, he wasn't ready to start the game.

"We went with a back three and tried to flood the midfield to stop them from playing. That clearly didn’t work and Middlesbrough capitalised on that.

"Even with a full strength squad, it was always going to be difficult to come here. I've been encouraged by the start we've made, aside from one half of football this afternoon.

"We've got a game to look forward to on Tuesday night, and we have to focus on that now."

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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