Lennon rues Chung-Yong Lee absence

Bolton Wanderers boss Neil Lennon was rueful about the loss of South Korea midfielder Chung-Yong Lee ahead of the AFC Asian Cup.

Lee has been among Bolton's top players in the past few months, but Lennon has accepted he may be without the 26-year-old for the whole of January.

He said: "It's something we've known was going to happen, and now it's staring us in the face.

"Depending on how well South Korea do in the competition he could miss the whole of January but we'll have to concern ourselves with other things now. There are important games coming up, starting with Wigan.

"Of course it's a blow losing a player of that quality – it would be silly to suggest otherwise – but there isn't a lot the club can do about it, I'm afraid, and we've got to look to regroup."

Lee will be gone for at least three games and possibly as many as five depending on how well South Korea does in the tournament. The Taegeuk Warriors will first play a friendly against Saudi Arabia on 4 January and then their first group match against Oman 10 January.