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Bolton boss Lee holds crunch Speed talks

Bolton Wanderers boss Sammy Lee has held talks with player-coach Gary Speed over their strained relationship.

The Guardian says Speed initiated the meeting after Lee had omitted the midfielder from the squad for Sunday's game against Chelsea. Several senior players have been unhappy with Lee's methods since he replaced Sam Allardyce towards the end of last season, and he made it clear to Speed that he had expected more loyalty from a member of his backroom staff.

The two men plan further talks today to determine whether they can carry on working alongside each other, and the Bolton chairman, Phil Gartside, is expected to be involved along with Speed's agent, Hayden Evans.

Speed, whose misgivings about Lee's tactics have been supported by some of the club's more influential players, had provisionally agreed an extension to his contract a few weeks ago that would have made him assistant manager, but it is not clear whether that offer is still available.

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