First-team run a timely chance for Lonergan
ANDY Lonergan did not know whether to stick or twist in his Wanderers career but now feels he’s on the verge of a jackpot.
The ex-Leeds United keeper admits he considered moving away from the Reebok to get games, having been consigned to the sidelines since he arrived at the club last summer.
But when regular number one Adam Bogdan was ruled out with a groin problem, the Hungarian’s bad luck provided Lonergan with his big chance – and one he has taken with both hands by keeping clean sheets in both of his league starts thus far.
The 29-year-old insists he was not ready to his Whites career but after featuring in only a handful of cup games, felt he may of needed a change in scenery.
“I wanted some games,” he said. “I wasn’t getting frustrated but as a footballer you want to play.
“We are paid to play and if you are not playing, you feel like you are not doing your job.
“So, this has come at the right time for me.
“The manager had mentioned after the Everton game that if I was getting frustrated come and see me and we will see what we can do.
“I didn’t know whether to take that as he was going to let me leave, but he then quickly said: ‘you just need to get a couple of games.’ “I didn’t want to rush in and go anywhere. This is a great place to be so I just thought I would stick at it and see what happens.
“Throughout my career I have been the one keeping someone out. So, to play this role has been tough.
“Adam is a great guy and he has done fantastically well. So, I have no complaints in that regard.”
Lonergan was instrumental in helping Preston into the play-offs in 2009-10 and sees a similar pattern emerging in Wanderers’ current form.
“If we can win at home and grind out results away, you have hell of a chance,” he said.
“We feel we are on the verge of something special. I was at Preston and we won our last four games and sneaked into the play-offs by one goal.
“Momentum is a big thing.”
“Throughout December and January we didn’t get many good results,” he said. “But we were training to all hours trying to get it right. We didn’t leave the training ground until 4pm. To many people that may not be long but for a footballer, it’s a good shift. We are reaping the rewards now.
“There is only so much you can do on a pitch. But we have had a lot of meetings; video sessions, gym sessions, yoga; you name it we have done it.
“It’s good though because it is obviously working. But it’s probably the hardest I have been worked.
“But you expect to do it. It’s your job. If you are told to come in at 6am, you come in. We have a great life. If it’s for the benefit then you don’t mind doing it.”