Bolton boss Neil Lennon thinks Eidur Gudjohnsen’s illustrious career reached a new high point this week as he celebrated an international return and becoming a dad again by scoring a stoppage-time equaliser against Blackpool.
The 36-year-old former Chelsea and Barcelona forward followed up his goal-scoring comeback for Iceland by getting the last touch on a scrambled Wanderers leveller which came in the fifth minute of time added on in a 1-1 draw.
It rounded off a memorable few days for Gudjohnsen, who also had a new daughter on Wednesday, meaning Lennon opted not to start him in a game which almost ended the Seasiders’ long wait for an away success.
However, with the Tangerines seconds away from a first triumph on the road in 12 months, Gudjohnsen cancelled out Michael Jacobs’ opener by nodding beyond Joe Lewis from a Neil Danns volley after Emile Heskey appeared to have missed from virtually on the line.
“He’s something else; he’s had a glittering career but I’d say this week would be right up there with one of the best,” Lennon said of Gudjohnsen.
“It’s a great story. He was playing semi-pro, just drifting and we met him in Manchester and said, ‘we think you’ve got a bit in you, come and train with us and see how it goes’. He’s been a brilliant signing.
“His motivation was to get back in the Iceland team, he’s done that, he’s scored and he’s had a baby this week and only flew back yesterday.
“That’s why we couldn’t start him because he didn’t meet up with us until yesterday afternoon. Then he comes on and gets us a goal when we really needed it which, on the balance of play, we fully deserved.”
Blackpool picked up just their seventh point of the season from the 60 they have had available in away fixtures.
However, given Gudjohnsen’s equaliser came so late in the day to extend their long wait for a success on the road, manager Lee Clark and his players were left feeling crestfallen.
“We’re disappointed, we’re frustrated,” Clark admitted.
“I’m really pleased with the level of performance of the players but we want wins on the board, just to get some confidence levels back to where they should be.
“It’s a strange one because we’ve played so well and we’ve got a draw, which you’d normally take away from home, but it feels like a defeat because of the late, late goal.”
Gudjohnsen’s dramatic intervention also inched them closer to an impending doom which Clark has accepted for a while.
A Rotherham victory on Easter Monday would ensure Blackpool will be playing League One football next season, but Clark admits he has been preparing for life in the third tier since a home defeat by Wigan at the end of February.
“Since Wigan I’ve probably been aware of the situation that we’re planning on being in League One next season,” he added.
“That’ll just confirm it whenever it happens but I’ve been working on that for a couple of weeks now.
“Before that, I always thought we had a chance but when we didn’t take that opportunity against Wigan to overtake them it became more and more difficult for us.”