Neil Lennon eyeing up positive start against Derby

Manager previews Sky Bet Championship season opener against Rams

Neil Lennon has called on Wanderers to start positively against Derby County in their Sky Bet Championship season opener on Saturday.

Slow-starters in recent seasons, Bolton face a tough start this year with a trip to Play-Off Final runners-up Middlesbrough to follow their clash against the Rams in gameweek two. 

And while Lennon is aware of the task ahead that faces his side, the Northern Irishman believes now is the perfect time to face the pre-season promotion favourites.

“There’s been too much doom and gloom around the place for my liking,” he said. “Hopefully we can hit the ground running. 

“It’s important that we get off to a half-decent start because the last couple of years we haven’t and you end up chasing you tail a little bit. 

“We’ve got Derby and Middlesbrough, who are two of the favourites to go up, but we might as well play them now before they get into any sort of rhythm.”

Lennon continued: “I watched Derby last week and they were pretty impressive against Burton. 

“They’re a big, strong team with experience, quality and strength in depth, which is what you need for this division, and Paul has a lot of experience working with Ancelotti. 

“I wish him well for the season, but obviously not on the opening day.”

Lennon continued: “I think we will give most opposition a really good game this season.

“We’d like to win every game, but if that’s not the case then in every game we want the opposition to come off the pitch thinking “That was tough”. 

“I have an idea of what my team is going to be on Saturday and how I want them to play. We’ll see what Saturday brings.”

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