Rival bosses agree draw was fair result

Bolton boss Neil Lennon
Bolton boss Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon and Mick McCarthy were both satisfied after a goalless draw at the Macron Stadium extended Bolton’s unbeaten run to six games and Ipswich’s to 17.

Andy Lonergan was in fine form for the hosts to keep his third successive clean sheet and deny Ipswich the chance to go top of the Sky Bet Championship.

His Ipswich counterpart Bartosz Bialkowski was far less busy, but Lennon was nevertheless pleased with his side’s ability to dig in and claim a point.

“If you can’t win the game then don’t lose it,” said Lennon, who gave Eidur Gudjohnsen a 30-minute cameo as a second half substitute.

“I thought we had two good chances in the first half and Ipswich came on strong in the second.

“That’s three clean sheets in a row but we just need a recipe for going forward,” Lennon added. “However, we are a bit light on centre forwards with Craig Davies and Joe Mason injured and then Max Clayton twisting his knee. It disrupted the way we wanted to play.”

Clayton was taken to hospital after being stretchered off in the first half while Cardiff loanee Mason faces eight weeks on the sidelines with a torn hamstring.

Gudjohnsen, 36, received a great reception from home fans when he was finally introduced for Darren Pratley and Lennon was pleased with his display.

“Eidur came in and gave us an injection of quality and life because we did lose our way,” he said.

“He will get better. He even got booked so he showed he has got lots of fight left in him which is always pleasing to see.”

Lennon hopes top scorer Davies will be fit for Friday’s trip to Millwall while on Clayton he added: “Fingers crossed it is not too serious.”

Ipswich could have replaced Middlesbrough as Championship leaders had they taken all three points, but it was not to be as Longergan made three top-draw saves to frustrate the visitors.

“The save ‘Lonners’ made from (Jay) Tabb was brilliant but you would expect him to make the other ones,” said Lennon. “But that’s three clean sheets in row and he has played huge part in that. We are gradually clawing our way up the table.”

McCarthy conceded afterwards that a draw was a fair result after his side took control after the break but he felt Bolton shaded things in the first half.

“In the second half we were the dominant team but in the first I thought Bolton were the better side,” he said.

“They were a bit profligate when they had chance to create something and didn’t. But our goalie didn’t have save to make.

“In the second, there only looked likely to be one winner but in this league I was always conscious they didn’t nick one and we got nothing from it.

“But their keeper made two great saves off ‘Tabby’. He has earned his side a point but that is what he is there for. We couldn’t win it so don’t get beat. Bolton are back at it now.”