Whites manager offers reaction to Liverpool defeat
Neil Lennon praised his players’ effort but was unable to hide his frustration as two late goals saw ten-man Wanderers exit the FA Cup at the hands of Premier League side Liverpool.
Eidur Gudjohnsen had fired the Whites ahead on the night in the fourth round replay, however, having seen Neil Danns earlier sent off for a second bookable offence, goals inside the final ten minutes from Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho ensured Bolton exited the competition.
And with his options limited by injury, the Trotters manager was left disappointed as his side were edged out in the dying embers of the match having kept Liverpool at bay for 176 minutes over the two ties.
“We were excellent,” Lennon said after the match. “I know what I’ve got in the dressing room – I’ve got a fantastic group of players who are giving me everything and they gave me everything again tonight.
“We had to defend for our lives because we were down to ten men. Against a team like Liverpool who can pass and move, then you have to defend.
“But when you come up against a team like Liverpool, then it is a step up in class and you have to concentrate for 95 minutes.
“We could have comfortably been 2-0 up if Eidur scores the header. Tie over. Then the sending off changes the game.
The Northern Irishman continued: “There is a deflection on the second goal but it is a great hit but the first goal certainly could be avoided though. We got caught ball-watching.
“That to me is really disappointing from our point of view because we had been perfect defensively for the first game at Anfield and today as well.
“The boys are very disappointed but we have to move on. Hopefully some of the younger players in particular will learn from tonight.
“Tonight is gone, we can’t get it back. We have a big game against Derby at the weekend coming up. The Championship is now our focus and priority.”