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Neil Lennon - Passive first half costly

30 January 2016

Manager left frustrated following Emirates FA Cup exit against Leeds

Neil Lennon says a passive opening 45 minutes proved costly, as Bolton exited the Emirates FA Cup at the hands of Leeds United.

After a frustrating opening 45, Bolton found themselves two goals down at half time following strikes from Souleymane Doukara and Toumani Diagouraga.

Darren Pratley halved the deficit late on before Gary Madine hit the post, but in the end Bolton ultimately failed to muster an equalising goal.

“We were way too passive in the first half,” Lennon said in his post-match press conference. “That wasn’t the way we sent the team out to play.

“We conceded a sloppy first goal through a goalkeeping mistake. Ben Amos should have saved it and he has come in at half time and held his hands up.

“But our reaction to going a goal down wasn’t good. You can’t give teams a two-goal lead and expect to get back into the game.

“At times, particularly in the first half, it appeared as if there wasn’t enough leadership. We stood off Leeds far too much.

“The second half was infinitely better and yes, we had a real go in the last 30 minutes, but by then we had given ourselves too much to do. In the end it was the first 45 minutes that were costly.

“When we got the goal it probably came a little bit too late for us, though that said we still had chances to get level.

“We were never going to win the FA Cup, but it would have been nice to have been in the draw. I said that to the players after the game, because I’ve no doubt they’ll be watching the draw with regrets.

“I’m really disappointed because I felt the tie was there for us to win. But we have to now pick the players up and get ready for a big game at Wolves on Tuesday.”

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