Neil Lennon relishing Wanderers' Brentford challenge

The manager offers his thoughts ahead of Wanderers' latest league outing against Brentford this Saturday

Neil Lennon has called for his players to play with freedom when they take to the field against Brentford this weekend, with the manager believing that the pressure in Saturday’s clash falls firmly on the shoulders of the Bees.

Wanderers make the trip to the capital having emerged victorious the last time they were on their travels with a 3-0 win over Cardiff City on Easter Monday, with Bolton set to visit Griffin Park for the first time in two decades this weekend.

Eager to ensure that his side finish the current campaign strongly, Lennon has called for the squad to prove their worth against a Brentford side currently still fighting for a place in the Championship’s top six.

“We’re looking forward to the game,” said the manager. “Brentford are still in the mix for a play-off position and they’ve been in and around those places all season long which is a credit to Mark Warburton and his players.

“They’re a very attacking side – they’re very forward thinking and creative. They have a good energy and quality at the top end of the pitch, so there’s no denying that we’ll have to be at our best to get something out of the game.

“We play them and Bournemouth before the end of the season and we want to spoil a few parties – our aim is to get to 59 points which will mean winning the next three games.

“They’ve certainly got something to play for themselves – all the pressure is on Brentford which will suit us and we’ll be looking to capitalise on that.”

Coming into the clash with the Bees off the back of a 1-1 draw with Charlton Athletic in midweek, Lennon admitted that while disappointed with the final result against the Addicks, he has every faith that the application shown by his players will reap dividends sooner rather than later.

“At the moment, especially in recent games, we’ve been playing attacking football and a style that is easy on the eye, but unfortunately the results haven’t been reflecting that.

“We lacked a bit of composure against Charlton the other night, but had we come away having scored two or three goals nobody would have begrudged us that.”

He continued: “One consistent thing about us this season is that we’ve been inconsistent, so we need to find a consistency of performance.

“We’re not far away from that in all honesty, but obviously the injuries have rocked us this year, especially to important players which is unfortunately something that you can’t do anything about.

“We know that we’ll need to make changes ahead of next season, but we have a good base for the new campaign.”

With no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game, the manager paid tribute to Mark Davies who made his return from a lengthy injury lay-off against Charlton on Tuesday afternoon, citing the midfielder’s inclusion in the matchday squad as a boost for all involved. 

“We would hope that Mark Davies may be able to start the game, but we’ll have to see about that,” he explained.

“He’s a quality player who we’ve missed over the course of the last five months and there’s no question that he’s somebody who makes us a better team.

“If we can keep him fit next season, then that will be fantastic. We have to act softly with him though – he’s looked after himself very well and that can only bode well for both us and Mark himself.”

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