Neil Lennon - Positives to take

Manager hopeful of a lift both on and off the pitch and Bolton comeback to draw at Charlton

Neil Lennon praised the battling qualities of his players and hopes their two-goal comeback against Charlton Athletic on Tuesday evening can provide a lift to everyone both on and off the field.

Emile Heskey and Josh Vela were both on target after the hosts had raced into a two-goal lead at a wet and windy The Valley.

And speaking in his post-match press conference, the manager said there was plenty of positives to take from the evening’s performance.

“We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t take all three points, but I’m pleased the character and quality we showed tonight,” Lennon said.

“After going two goals down I actually thought we were unfortunate not to go in a goal up at half time. We were really in the ascendancy at that stage and we had more chances after the break.

“But overall I was really pleased with the character the lads showed. At 2-0 down you’re looking down the barrel of a gun and given the situation we are in we maybe feared the worst. But we dug in and played our way out of it.

“We scored two excellent goals and as the game wore on we were the better side. Zach had a great chance at the end and we may have even won the game on another day.

“It was a risk to throw Zach back in there and there may have been a bit of tiredness towards the end as he hasn’t played much football recently. That said, you could see his presence gave everyone a lift.

“We had three academy graduates in the starting line-up and one on the bench tonight. They’ve all done the club proud and we’re really pleased with their contributions at this moment.

“At the other end of the spectrum Emile Heskey was superb. We sometimes wonder how long we can keep him going, but if he continues to play like that he can certainly make a massive contribution. His influence around the place is huge, both on and off the pitch.

“Hopefully the result can be a bit of a lift to everyone, particularly the fans. Even at two goals down they were loud and backed their side tonight. That is wonderful to see.

“What we must now do is look to build on that positive response with three points against Fulham at Macron Stadium on Saturday.”

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