LENNON LAUDS HIS TINY TEEN
Rochinha stars on his debut
GOOD things come in small packages according to Neil Lennon after being impressed by diminutive midfielder Rochinha on his Bolton debut.
Rochinha, who stands at just 5ft 7in, joined Wanderers on loan from Benfica in January and made his first appearance during Tuesday night’s 1-0 loss to Ipswich.
The Portuguese looked dangerous throughout and almost marked his debut with a first-half goal – a mesmerising run and neat one-two with Craig Davies ending with his shot rolling agonisingly wide.
Trotters boss Lennon is keen to extend the 19-yearold’s stay at the Macron Stadium beyond the end of the season and believes the youngster was a class apart at Portman Road.
“It was his first-ever game in English football and Rochinha was the outstanding footballer on the pitch,” explained Lennon.
“It is just a shame he missed that chance as it would have been one of the goals of the season.
“He is only small and it has been difficult to throw in kids under these circumstances. He needed to get up to speed but it was a good opportunity to play him and he was outstanding.
“We are hoping we can bring him back to Bolton next season.”
While Rochinha proves that his future is bright, Bolton’s recent results have seen them become firmly entrenched in the bottom half of the Championship table.
And Lennon has warned his under-performing players to up their game or risk being out on their ear.
“We have a problem with the depth of the squad but I am expecting more from the players who have had the opportunity to show what they can do,” added Lennon.
“They are not doing it, so they won’t play. I need my players to step it up now.”