Championship: New Bolton Boss Neil Lennon Won't Rule With An Iron Fist


Bolton's players have been assured by Neil Lennon that he is not “a dictator”, even if the new manager has already banned hats for training at the club's Euxton base.

The fiery Northern Irishman experienced a string of controversies during a trophy-laden four-year spell at Celtic and, although he maintains that stint helped him mellow, the 43-year-old has not lost his burning desire to succeed.

Lennon met many members of Wanderers' squad for the first time on Monday following confirmation of his appointment 24 hours earlier and one of his first acts was to get those wearing woolly hats – including Owen Garvan and Max Clayton – to remove them.

“I don't want players training in hats because you don't play football in hats,” he argued.

“It's just a little thing. Once they run around they're soon pretty warm.”

Lennon was keen to stress he will not rule over his new charges with an iron fist, though.

“It's demands, but demands within the realms of their abilities,” the 43-year-old added.

“I'm not going to ask them to do things that they can't do, but I will demand that they come in and train and do things the right way, whether it be training or a match on a Saturday.

“I'm not a bully, I'm not a dictator. I don't work that way because I don't think that's the way you get the best out of players. You have to evolve with the times.

“I have to understand the culture of the dressing room and get to know the players better. Once they get to know me, it shouldn't be a problem.”