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Manager rues 'tentative' defensive performance

14 February 2015

Neil Lennon says his side must do better defensively following home defeat against Watford

Neil Lennon believes his side should have had enough about them defensively to claim at least at point against Watford at Macron Stadium.

In a topsy-turvy game Bolton initially fell behind before turning the game on its head before half time thanks to goals from Zach Clough and Adam Le Fondre.

After the interval Watford hit back to regain the lead before Clough doubled his tally to draw Bolton level late on, only for sub Troy Deeney to net a stoppage time winner for the visitors.

“We feel we should have won the game,” Lennon said in his post-match press. “Going forward, I thought that we were brilliant, but defensively we were a little hesitant. 

“When we’ve managed to get the game back to 3-3 we should just see the game out and take the point. We didn’t do that, and the fourth goal has come from one of our attacks.

“In the entirety of the attack that led to Watford’s goal, we never laid a glove on one of their players. Yes, we were initially attacking, but we had plenty of numbers back to deal with the Watford attack.

“We have to be mentally stronger. We should have enough experience at the back to deal with that.

“You simply can’t score three goals at home and lose the game. It’s very disappointing.

“We don’t take any heart from the fact that it was a great game of football. I said to my backroom staff after 20 minutes that the game had the hallmarks of a classic.

“Zach took his two goals really well. He’s been a revelation in recent weeks, though there are still a lot of areas where he needs to improve. His decision making at time was a little off, but you expect that with someone who is just a few games into his professional career.

“There were a lot of good things from an attacking point of view, but we were a bit tentative defensively all afternoon. Rather than being on the front-foot, we backed off a little. 

“We should have won the game. Overall, we feel Watford got a little lucky today.

“We’ve shown we can match the top teams in this division. We just need a few more bodies back, because I think in recent weeks we’ve looked a little bit lightweight during games.

“We’re still looking over our shoulder at the bottom three. That gap is certainly something we have to be mindful of.

“I think the fans are appreciating what we’re trying to do here. They were fantastic once again this afternoon and have been since we came in through the door.”

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