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Keith Andrews blogs on managerial changes at Watford, Bolton and Cardiff

Football League Focus blogger Keith Andrews gives his thought on a successful weekend for new managers at Watford, Bolton and Cardiff.

As part of our focus on the Sky Bet Football League, Watford midfielder Keith Andrews provides insight into life at Vicarage Road under new manager Slavia Jokanovic, and also discusses the good starts made by Neil Lennon at his parent club, Bolton, and also Russell Slade at Cardiff City.

New managers aplenty

"It was a good weekend for new managers getting off to good starts, with Neil Lennon at my parent club Bolton Wanderers, Slavia Jokanovic at my current club Watford and Russell Slade at Cardiff City all gaining much-needed three points for varying reasons.

"There’s been a lot of negative hype around the managerial situation at Watford this season but it’s very hard to argue with the direction the club are going in under the ownership of Gino Pozzo as we went top of the league on Saturday tea time.

"On paper being on our forth manager of the season would seem to be slightly bizarre. Even us as players truly don’t know what goes on behind the scenes a lot of the time but we have to put our trust in the powers that be at the football club to make the right decisions. They want the exact same outcome us as players and all the fans - to gain promotion.

"They have been both a pleasure to deal with on a near daily basis and also don’t leave any stone unturned in terms of player needs. We prepare and recover for matches as well if not better than any Premier League club I have been involved in, whether it’s the magnificent food we are served daily in the canteen, flying to a lot of away games or using cryotherapy chambers the day after matches for optimum recovery.

"It’s been very frustrating to have been injured since the new manager’s arrival but I have been impressed with his hunger for success. He has worked a lot on the training ground to tweak certain areas both he and us as a group know we need to improve on.

"He has inherited a very talented squad that wants to succeed this season. Nobody is getting carried away just because we went top of the league on Saturday but it is a nice feeling and one we want to try and maintain.

Bolton appointment

"My parent club Bolton appointed Neil Lennon during the international break and I instantly thought it was a good move.

"There’s no getting away from the fact that it’s been a very difficult few seasons for Bolton after the relegation from the Premier League and then failure to deal with life in the Championship. I signed my contract with Bolton just after their relegation with the clear intention of everybody concerned of promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt and with the squad we had I was very confident - otherwise I genuinely wouldn’t have signed.

"I struggled a lot in my first season with a niggling Achilles injury that ultimately cut my season short. I was back and raring to go for Dougie Freedman’s first full season in charge but the club clearly had other intentions as they agreed a season-long loan deal with Brighton within a week of the season starting.

"It’s a manager’s prerogative to have a preference towards certain players or want to wheel and deal in the transfer market and maybe balance the books, but it’s not in my nature to just hang about so it was an easy decision to leave for the south coast as I think it suited all parties concerned.

"I was disappointed at how it was dealt with but I have absolutely no bitterness towards anybody at the football club as I’ve been in football long enough at this stage to not really hold grudges and nothing can really surprise you.

"I really don’t know why Bolton have struggled over the last couple of years, though, as the squad there is so much better than where their league standing suggests. However, once you get on a downward spiral it’s very difficult to reverse it.

"They have a manager in Lennon that I’m very surprised wasn’t snapped up sooner after his departure from Celtic, following four successful seasons in Scotland, though. I think Lennon will bring a really fresh approach to things there and, knowing the players quite well, I’m sure they will buy into his methods and climb the league quite quickly.

"No club has a divine right to success and to bounce back to the Premier League - you only have to ask Wolves or Sheffield Wednesday fans about that - but now it’s imperative that everyone involved at Bolton, whether it’s the players, the coaches, the directors or the fans realize exactly the position they are in right now and that the only way they can achieve anything is by having solidarity, belief and positivity."


Headlines for Bolton this week

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  • Keith Andrews blogs on managerial changes at Watford, Bolton and Cardiff


  • Football League Focus blogger Keith Andrews gives his thought on a successful weekend for new managers at Watford, Bolton and Cardiff.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Charlton v Bolton team news


  • Charlton are set to be without top scorer Igor Vetokele when they host Bolton.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Bolton boss Neil Lennon keen to appeal any ban


  • Bolton manager Neil Lennon has confirmed he will appeal any ban which may be handed out to him after he was sent to the stands in his side’s 1-0 win at Birmingham on Saturday.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Neil Lennon guides Bolton to win at Birmingham


  • New Bolton manager Neil Lennon made a typically explosive start to his English managerial career as he was sent to the stands while his rejuvenated side took three Sky Bet Championship points from 10-man Birmingham.

  • Rumours in the Press: United warned off Ronaldo


  • Man United have been told to forget about Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo Brozovic could sign for Arsenal, and Andre Ayew wants to move to England.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Bolton boss Neil Lennon to appeal his dismissal


  • Neil Lennon refused to let his dismissal from the touchline spoil a winning start as Bolton manager following his struggling side's 1-0 Sky Bet Championship victory at Birmingham.

  • Sky Bet Championship: New Bolton boss Neil Lennon eyes Kris Commons swoop


  • Bolton boss Neil Lennon has admitted he would love to be reunited with Celtic midfielder Kris Commons at his new club.

  • Regional Rumours in the Press: Stoke private on Ryan


  • Stoke remain quiet on reports linking Man Utd to Ryan Shawcross, Newcastle have identified two targets & Winston Reid continues West Ham talks.

  • Championship Chat: Lennon to lift Bolton


  • James Dixon discusses Neil Lennon's appointment at Bolton, hails the league's youngsters and singles out Leeds United's Lewis Cook for praise.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Bolton manager Neil Lennon pleads with fans for patience


  • Bolton's supporters have been warned it may take some time for Neil Lennon to get the results he craves as he bids to discover which formation best suits the current squad.

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