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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 14, 2007

Lee pleads for patience from Bolton faithful

Sammy Lee has asked Bolton's supporters to give him time to stamp his mark on the club.

A home defeat by Newcastle was not the start to the season he was looking for after replacing Sam Allardyce as manager.

Lee now wants his team to bounce back in the Barclays Premier League match against Fulham tomorrow.

He is set to hand a debut to former Portsmouth defender Andy O'Brien - one of 12 new signings.

Lee said: 'We have made a lot of changes and most of the players have had five to six weeks to work together.

'But it may take time to get things the way I want and I hope people are patient.

'That is not to excuse the performance against Newcastle as we just did not turn up in the first half.

'I am now aiming for a response at Fulham. They will be looking to get at us as it is their first home game but we have to cope with that.'

Bolton were three goals down at half-time against Allardyce's Newcastle but then raised their game and pulled a goal back through Nicolas Anelka.

Lee said: 'I have not stopped thinking about that game and neither have the players. They did not do themselves justice.

'But we now have to look at the next match where there will be different obstacles. We have to try to overcome them.'

O'Brien could line up at the back alongside Abdoulaye Meite, who has recovered from a back problem.

Lee believes the Republic of Ireland international will give the defence a little bit of much-needed steel.

Certainly Bolton looked vulnerable at the back at the weekend and O'Brien brings lot of experience to the table.

El-Hadji Diouf looks set to win a recall to the starting line-up as strikers Kevin Davies (hamstring) and Ricardo Vaz Te (knee) are ruled out through injury.

Senegal striker Diouf complained about being left out of the side against Newcastle and is anxious to prove a point.

Zoltan Harsanyi is also pushing for a place in the team after scoring twice for the reserves in the 2-1 defeat of Manchester City in the Manchester Senior Cup last night.

Summer signings Christian Wilhelmsson and Daniel Braaten could come into contention at Craven Cottage after run-outs against City.