Lonergan the hero as Wanderers continue climb up table

Bolton Wanderers manager Neil Lennon
Bolton Wanderers manager Neil Lennon
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Neil Lennon hailed goalkeeper Andy Lonergan after Bolton’s 1-0 Skybet Championship victory ensured the Macron Stadium has been home sweet home since replacing Dougie Freedman as Wanderers manager.

In-form striker Craig Davies scored his fifth goal of the season after 67 minutes to settle the outcome of a dour contest.

But new dad Lonergan’s “world class” save from former Trotters loanee Jacob Butterfield early in the second half tipped the contest Bolton’s way.

“The first goal was always going to be crucial and that looked a goal for me,” agreed Lennon. “It was a brilliant save and that’s why I congratulated Andy after the game.

“Sometimes these things get overlooked. He is in the team to make saves obviously but that was pivotal.

“When you are trying to be consistent and trying to win things, you need your goalkeeper. I had a great one at Celtic (Fraser Forster) and Peter Schmeichel did it for years at Manchester United.

“I hope Andy continues in the same form. All good teams have great goalkeepers. I am not saying Andy is great by any means but he has been excellent since I came in.

“He is brave and a better goalkeeper than I thought.”

Bolton, whose win takes them above Huddersfield on goal difference, have won all four home games since Lennon’s arrival.

Davies hit the bar in the first half and might have won a penalty when brought down by Mark Hudson. However, his six-yard tap-in ensured Huddersfield have now gone four games without a win.

Lennon added: “It was a huge win and as the game wore on we got stronger and better.

“I didn’t think Craig was great in the first half and I gave him a reminder of what his responsibilities were.

“He was excellent in the second half, as was Liam Feeney, as was Max Clayton.

“We have given Craig an opportunity to lead the team. We feel he has good attributes and we are getting him in central positions a lot better.”

Lennon confirmed Wanderers are still hopeful of signing old boy Eidur Gudjohnsen. The Icelandic international, 36, is due to play a reserve game next week and could even feature at Reading next Saturday.

Huddersfield started the afternoon seven places higher than their Lancashire rivals, leaving boss Chris Powell to rue what might have been but for Lonergan.

Powell said: “That save was the turning point. It was quite even in stats.

“A similar chance for Bolton goes in and ours hits their keeper. We just have to dust ourselves down and believe we are doing the right things, even though results haven’t gone our way.

“I have a disappointed changing room because we were very much in the game. It’s a game you look to take something from because of the position of both teams.

“We knew Bolton had an uplift in form since Neil came in but we felt comfortable coming here and playing the way we did. The chances were there for us to take something.

“I think a draw would have reflected the whole game.”