Neil Lennon: Bolton Wanderers manager hopes to lift fans

Neil Lennon
Neil Lennon led Celtic to three league titles in Scotland

New Bolton Wanderers manager Neil Lennon says his first aim is "lift" everyone involved in the club.

Bolton are bottom of the Championship with just one win in 11 league games.

"The two most important facets of football are the supporters and the players," he told BBC Radio Manchester. "So to get both onside, we'll try and do that as quickly as possible."

Lennon, 43, has replaced Dougie Freedman, who left Wanderers by mutual consent earlier this month.

The former Northern Ireland midfielder had been out of work since leaving Celtic in May after four years in charge, and has agreed a three-year contract at the Macron Stadium.

"Bolton is a hot bed of football," he continued. "If we can get them [the fans] onside, there could be a tidal wave of support coming.

Recent Bolton managers
Sam AllardyceOctober 1999 - April 2007
Sammy LeeApril 2007 - October 2007
Gary MegsonOctober 2007 - December 2009
Owen CoyleJanuary 2010 - October 2012
Dougie FreedmanOctober 2012 - October 2014

"They need a lift, the players need a lift and the people who are at board level who love the club and put so much into the club, they need a lift - so that's my job to try and do that."

Lennon - who played for Crewe, Leicester, Celtic, Nottingham Forest and Wycombe - takes over a Bolton side who have lost their last five games in all competitions.

Lennon led Celtic to three league titles and two Scottish Cups, as well as taking them to the last 16 of the Champions League, in what was his first managerial post.

Neil Lennon's managerial career at Celtic

Asked what had persuaded him to become Bolton boss, Lennon added: "First of all, the chairman. When I met Phil [Gartside] on Wednesday evening, I really liked what he was saying.

"I felt I could work with Phil going forward, and then obviously meeting [Bolton Wanderers owner] Eddie Davies at the weekend, and the meeting went really, really well.

"Speaking to [former Bolton manager] Owen Coyle a fortnight ago, he told me what a great club it was. I've left a great club with a great history and tradition, and I think I've joined another one here."

You can hear more from Neil Lennon on BBC Radio Manchester's Monday Football Hour from 18:00 BST on Monday, 13 October, or listen again on the BBC iPlayer.

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