Jimmy Phillips Hopes to Restore Pride by Fielding Youth

  • March 17, 2016 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/8a210

Jimmy Phillips hopes to use his time as interim manager at Bolton to restore pride at the club, as well as providing young players with a platform to impress.

Phillips is expected to remain in charge of Wanderers for the rest of the season, stepping up from his role within the academy to fill the void left by Neil Lennon's departure as manager on Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's game at Bristol City, Phillips paid tribute to Lennon's gamble on talent such as Zach Clough, Josh Vela and Rob Holding, and admits he would like to bring some more fresh faces into the squad before the end of the campaign.

"This time round I think we're in a completely different set of circumstances compared to the last time I did the interim manager role," Phillips told BBC Radio Manchester.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge - it certainly will be a challenge - and I think that challenge is to get a bit of pride back for the club between now and the end of the season.

"Hopefully we can get the supporters smiling again and it's a case of putting the team out, winning as many games as we can and we'll take it from there.

"From my early days as a 16-year-old apprentice, John McGovern was manager and I remember him having to run marathons to raise transfer funds for the club. He signed a lot of his players from non-league and did make some signings who ended up being good players for the club.

"We've seen the heady heights of the top Premier League finishes and the European competitions, so I've seen all sides of things.

"Unfortunately the club's obviously going through a downturn, but one thing we certainly can build on is the emergence of some of our younger players which I think is credit to Neil Lennon, who gave the young players an opportunity.

"Rob Holding has done very well. Zach Clough has scored a good number of goals for us. Josh Vela has played out of position at right-back but has been very steady.

"I think there are still some younger players who, hopefully, between now and the end of the season we will be able to give a chance to, but you can only play young players in the first-team when they are at the top of their game.

"Irrespective of how the first-team is playing, the young players need to be at the top of their game in order to rise to the challenge of playing at a higher level of football.

"We'll see how those young players are coping in training over the next few weeks and if we can blood any more, I'm sure we will do."

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
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