Ireland coach Steve Walford set to take on Bolton role

Neil Lennon says he’s hoping to appoint Irish man as his new assistant in the coming days

Ireland coach Steve Walford is set to become Bolton’s assistant manager. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Ireland coach Steve Walford is set to become Bolton’s assistant manager. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

Bolton Wanderers boss Neil Lennon has confirmed that he is hoping to appoint Republic of Ireland coach Steve Walford as his new assistant over the coming days.

“We’re hoping to conclude a deal to bring Steve Walford in as our new assistant manager,” said the former Northern Ireland international at a press conference this morning. “He’ll bring a wealth of experience.”

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill is said to be “absolutely fine” with Walford taking on the role and the FAI has confirmed he will continue to work with the national team for next month’s critical Euro 2016 qualifiers against Germany and Poland.

The intention is that Walford’s role in the Ireland set up will be unaffected by the new job at Bolton where he is set to replace former Swedish international Johan Mjällby who, it is reported, wanted to return home for family reasons.

Wanderers are 16th in the Championship having secured only their second win of the new season at the weekend when they beat Wolves. Lennon, who knows Walford from his time at Leicester City and Celtic, was speaking this morning at his pre-match press conference for Tuesday’s game against Sheffield Wednesday.

O’Neill had previously suggested that he was relaxed about his coaches taking on other jobs as the one with Ireland is on part-time although Roy Keane quit a similar role at Aston Villa in order, he said, to concentrate on his job as Republic of Ireland assistant manager.

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