Neil Lennon prepared for Ewood Park test

Manager offers his thoughts ahead of Wanderers' local derby clash with Blackburn on Friday evening

Neil Lennon has called for his side to start as they mean to go on come kick off at Ewood Park in Friday’s Sky Bet Championship clash with local neighbours Blackburn Rovers.

Set to come up against Rovers in front of the Sky Sports television cameras, Wanderers will be hoping to push on from their last outing which saw them rescue a deserved point late on against Nottingham Forest - a game which had threatened to turn into a frustrating one for Bolton.

And speaking in his pre-match press conference, the manager believes that the team have enough about them on their recent showings to pick up a positive result from the game.

“The match will be exactly what you expect from a local derby,” he said. “It will be tough, it will be physical and I don’t think there will be much in it between the teams.

“We’ve got a lot of experience on our side as well as our younger players – being under the lights and in front of the TV cameras, that always adds a little extra something and a bit of spice to the game.

“It’s a match that we can really get our teeth into – we haven’t had great results there on our last few trips, but we’re focusing on what we have now and Friday is a new game.

“It’s important that we start well and get a foothold in the game, but I’m confident that we’ll do just that.”

He continued: “The team have been playing with confidence regardless of the results and the spirit within the side is very good, alongside the performances.

“We created another volume of chances on Saturday from open play which is pleasing and we got what we deserved in the end which was at the very least a draw.

“It’s given the team a lift ahead of tomorrow night’s game though and it’s one that we’re very much looking forward to playing in.”

Reserving special praise for his defence, Lennon paid tribute to the Whites’ back four alongside reflecting on the arrival of new signing Jose Manuel Casado on Thursday.

“The defence have been outstanding so far this season,” said the manager. “Obviously Prince has come in and done well, Derik Osede has unfortunately been sidelined through injury while Lawrie Wilson has been consistent for us too.

“The arrival of Jose Casado will provide competition for Dean Moxey in the left-back position which is good for him as he’s been playing very well.

“All in all defensively, we look a lot better and a lot less open than we did last season, plus there’s good pace at the back as well which is something that we like to play with as a unit.”

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