Neil Danns believes Bolton Wanderers have to keep the core members of their squad together for next season

Neil Danns

Neil Danns

First published in Sport

NEIL Danns has urged Wanderers to keep hold of their “core” this summer if they want a faster start next season.

Dougie Freedman has lamented the 10-game winless streak – the club’s worst start for more than 100 years – as the chief reason for missing out on the play-offs this time around.

Wanderers spent just one week in the top half of the table, playing catch-up from that point.

But Danns, pictured, who arrived on loan from Leicester nine games into that run, believes those same early problems will be avoided if Freedman can keep together the mainstay of his squad in the coming months.

Speculation over key players such as Chung-Yong Lee, Mark Davies and Tim Ream has already begun but Danns, who signed a 12-month deal to stay with the Whites next season, hopes Freedman can keep the whole group together.

“The boys have gelled well in the last few months and the core of the team have been brilliant,” he said.

“If we can keep that for next season, then there is no doubt in my mind that we can continue the sort of form we have been in at the end of this one. Next season starts afresh. We’re on the same points as everyone else.

“There has been a transitional period and spells where maybe not everyone has known each other but I’m at the stage now where we’re definitely starting to gel now and that can only be good news for next season.”

Danns is also eyeing improvement after feeling he too was playing catch-up for a large portion of the season.

The midfielder had been completely out of the frame at Leicester, playing just two games for the Foxes in the first two games of the season. And the 31-year-old is looking forward to a fresh start now he is officially a Bolton player.

“I only came here nine games in and it took me a little while to get fit,” he said on Tower FM. “It will be brilliant to get that full pre-season and then start on the same levels as everyone else.”

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