Manager admits his side didn't start the game well enough, though feels a key decision went against Bolton in the first half
Neil Lennon believes the decision not to award Bolton a penalty in the game at Rotherham was key in his side’s defeat at The New York Stadium.
Josh Vela was sent tumbling in the area towards the end of the first half with the score at 2-0, though the referee waved away the penalty appeals.
Moments later Rotherham went up the other end and added to their lead.
Liam Trotter and Matt Mills scored in the second half for Bolton, though the goals were too little too late.
And whilst the manager admitted his side didn’t start the game well enough, he feels they showed good battling qualities in the second half.
“The exertions of Saturday’s FA Cup tie certainly caught up with us a bit this evening,” Lennon said after the game. “We looked very leggy out there tonight and were lacking any real energy and urgency which is understandable.
“We weren’t helped by a very poor refereeing decision. I think everyone in the ground saw it was a penalty when Josh is tripped when the game is at 2-0.
“That decision seemed to change the course of the game. The decision goes against us, they go up the other end and score right before half time.
“Maybe we could have freshened things up a little bit more, but you’re always mindful of making too many changes.
“We can’t start games as poorly as we did tonight. Rotherham probably couldn’t have played us at a better time. We’ve had very little time to prepare for this game.
“There are some players who are giving me everything at this moment in time, they’re just running on empty.
“We’re always disappointed when you concede goals. It was a very poor start for us and Rotherham came at us with a lot of energy and freshness about their play.
“We never really got going and the manner in which we conceded the goals early on was disappointing from our point of view.
“We do feel the penalty decision changes the course of the game. If that goes our way, we feel we’re in with a real shout going into half time.
“That moment changed the phycology of the game.
“I was pleased with the way the players battled in the second half, but unfortunately it was too little too late for us.
“We now definitely need to get some bodies in. We’re hoping to do some business this week because our injury list is getting bigger by the day.”