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FA Cup: Bolton boss Neil Lennon has faith in Emile Heskey and Eidur Gudjohnsen

Neil Lennon is happy to place Bolton's FA Cup prospects in the hands of a couple of golden oldies this weekend as Emile Heskey and Eidur Gudjohnsen head to Anfield aiming to turn back the clock.

Injury-hit Wanderers will meet Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool on Merseyside and bid to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup, a competition Heskey won with the red half of Merseyside in 2001.

Both he and former Chelsea striker Gudjohnsen, who at 36 is one year Heskey's junior, were in the prime of their careers as two of English football's most potent forwards during the first half of the previous decade.

And while recapturing that form may be beyond the two elder statesmen now, Lennon had no reservations about signing a duo with 140 international caps between them back in December as he stated the case for his two senior strikers.

"There is this myth once you hit 30; it's absolute rubbish," he stressed.

"I've played against (Paolo) Maldini, (Alessandro) Costacurta, (Paul) Scholes, Xavi - all in their mid-30s.

"Xavi, when he was 32, 33, was still one of the best players in the world by a considerable distance.

"Some managers go that way, some don't. I don't. I just see the ability and what they can offer and I know the motivation of the players which I think is very important.

"I'm at a different level from these top managers obviously at the minute but there's no doubt that Emile and Eidur have certainly made us better."

The pair have won just about every major medal between them so could be forgiven for treating yet another trip to one of English football's most famous stadiums without the same level of interest.

However, Lennon believes the two most excitable players in his dressing room come Saturday tea-time will be the duo with a combined age of 73 years.

"I'm hoping with Emile and Eidur that the old instincts will kick in," he added.

"They'll smell the atmosphere and the nuts and bolts of the game. Those two are probably looking forward to it more than anyone else."

While Lennon can attest to the value of players whose careers are entering the twilight years, he has no doubt that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's talent is not waning.

The Northern Irishman, who faced Gerrard twice as a Celtic player in 2003, witnessed the departing Reds skipper against Chelsea on Tuesday night and is saddened that his days on these shores are numbered ahead of his summer switch to America's MLS.

"He's like all the great players, they've got a great presence on the pitch, a great influence," said Lennon.

"Steven wasn't like a Roy Keane type. He wouldn't go around intimidating people - his football intimidated you, his athleticism intimidated you. His ability to shoot 35 yards out from goal and into the top corner, that was intimidating.

"He could do everything. You could play him in the holding role, as an attacking midfielder, he could do the lot. You can play him at right-back, centre-half, centre-forward.

"He is incredible; you think - he's only 34, he's still got plenty in him.

"Maybe it was just all the build up of what he was going to do (about his contract). Maybe he just went, 'I've had enough of this, I want to do something else'.

"For me, it's a shame he's going to end his career in America and wind it down. I still think he can play at the highest level for at least two more years yet."


Headlines for Bolton this week

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  • FA Cup fourth round: Bolton earn replay with Liverpool after spirited performance in goalless draw at Anfield


  • Liverpool were held to a goalless draw by Championship side Bolton Wanderers in their FA Cup fourth-round tie at Anfield.

  • Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli won't be picked until he improves - Brendan Rodgers


  • Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has told striker Mario Balotelli he will not get picked for the squad unless he improves in training.

  • FA Cup: Bolton boss Neil Lennon has faith in Emile Heskey and Eidur Gudjohnsen


  • Neil Lennon is happy to place Bolton's FA Cup prospects in the hands of a couple of golden oldies this weekend as Emile Heskey and Eidur Gudjohnsen head to Anfield aiming to turn back the clock.

  • Transfer news: Bolton striker Tom Youngs has contract cancelled by mutual consent


  • Bolton striker Tom Youngs has left the club by mutual consent after failing to make an impact at the Macron Stadium.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Bolton manager Lennon receives Lee Chung-yong injury boost


  • Bolton have received good news on Lee Chung-Yong's leg injury, with the South Korean only set to miss up to two weeks.

  • FA Cup: Bolton's Emile Heskey looks forward to return to Liverpool


  • Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey is looking to spoil Steven Gerrard's FA Cup dream when he returns to Anfield at the weekend.

  • FA Cup: Bolton striker Emile Heskey relishing return to face Liverpool at Anfield


  • Emile Heskey's recent trips to Anfield have seen him providing analysis for the club's in-house television channel, but the former Liverpool striker will aim to spoil friend Steven Gerrard's FA Cup dream when he returns again this weekend.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Cardiff striker Joe Mason cuts short Bolton loan


  • Bolton have confirmed striker Joe Mason has returned to parent club Cardiff by mutual consent.

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