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Lennon: Why I Selected Josh Vela at Right Back

It was a surprise move, but one that paid off spectacularly

Charlie Crowhurst

Before the game it was a common theme on social media to see fans questioning the decision made by Bolton Wanderers boss Neil Lennon to ignore traditional common-sense thinking when it came to selecting his starting XI.

When faced with the dilemma as to who to choose instead of regular right-back Kevin McNaughton against Cardiff City, who was unavailable due to league rules about playing against your parent club, Lennon took the somewhat left-field approach and selected young midfielder Josh Vela in the position instead of fellow academy graduate Oscar Threlkeld who had occupied the position against Norwich City last Friday night.

Obviously it was a masterstroke.

Vela was superb in the unfamiliar role, keeping the dangerous Craig Noone quiet whilst also finding the energy to supplement the Wanderers attacks with his energetic forward running.

Speaking to the club website after the win, Lennon said:

"We decided to put Josh in at right-back because we feel he's probably a little bit more mature on the ball at this moment.

He was very cultured on the ball and was excellent all evening."