Allardyce plans for younger squad at Bolton

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The Independent Online

Sam Allardyce aims to change the Bolton landscape in the close season by drafting in young and hungry players.

He believes the club needs a new direction after narrowly missing out on a place in Europe.

Allardyce has in the past brought in foreigners who had lost their way at domestic level, and that policy has been successful. That strategy is about to alter, however.

"We do need a stronger and younger squad," the Bolton manager said. "All my focus will be geared to bringing in the players we need to improve our standing. This season has shown that we need more quality. An extra 2-3 per cent could have been the difference in getting back into Europe or reaching a major cup final."

Allardyce is planning a major reshuffle of his squad. "We need to strengthen in all departments," he said. "The whole focus is to bring in younger players, who have the experience in playing top-flight football and are willing to adapt to the English game quickly."

The Middlesbrough defender Franck Queudrue hopes to be back for the start of pre-season training after knee surgery.

The 27-year-old Frenchman is to have an operation this week to repair minor cartilage damage he suffered during the Uefa Cup final defeat by Seville.

However, Gaizka Mendieta, who fractured a metatarsal at the beginning of last month, may need a little longer before he can resume training.

Elsewhere, the Czech Republic international Libor Sionko has arrived in Scotland where he is expected to complete his move to Rangers today.

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