Neil Lennon hails Mick McCarthy as the best in the business

Bolton boss Neil Lennon has hailed his Ipswich Town counterpart Mick McCarthy as the Championship’s ‘best manager’ ahead of the two teams’ meeting at The Macron Stadium tomorrow.

McCarthy – having previously guided Sunderland and Wolves to second-tier titles – inherited a Blues team that was rock-bottom of the table two years ago. Now they are second in the standings as the halfway stage of this campaign fast approaches.

Former Celtic boss Lennon faces a similar task at Bolton. He took over a team that was second-bottom in the middle of October. Since then they have won five, drawn two and lost two to quickly climb to 17th.

“Personally I think they have got the best manager in the Championship,” said Lennon. “Mick has been there and done it.

“He has built Ipswich up again. It has taken a bit of time but he seems to be in a good place with the team right now.

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“He knows what it takes to get out of this division and he’s made Ipswich a real force in the Championship.

“This will be the toughest test we’ve had since coming into the club. This will show me how far we have come.”

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Meanwhile, former Town loanee Keith Andrews – a Bolton player who recently faced the Blues as a Watford loanee – was also full of praise for McCarthy’s men.

“They are an extremely tough team to play against as they don’t give you an inch and invariably any points you get off them are very well earned,” said the Irish midfielder.

“Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick have taken their strike partnership to a new level. Their link-up play and hard work is probably the most exciting in the division.

“And it’s clear to see why there are huge clubs sniffing around Tyrone Mings. He’s a thoroughbred athlete that chews up the turf in an effortless manner and is very comfortable on the ball. It’s only a matter of time before we see him gracing the Premier League.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for all the latest Blues news.

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