Time is running out, warns Bolton Wanderers keeper Andy Lonergan
ANDY Lonergan admits time is running out for Wanderers to salvage their shattered season.
Pressure is building on Dougie Freedman and his side to start climbing the table despite arresting a run of defeats to remain unbeaten in their last five games.
Lonergan returned in goal as a replacement for the injured Adam Bogdan in Saturday’s frustrating 1-1 home draw with Ipswich Town and shares the fans’ concern that victory slipped through their fingers yet again.
“There isn’t anything to celebrate,” he told The Bolton News.
“You should try and take positives from games but after restricting them to very little, Bolton Wanderers at home – and this is no dis-respect to anyone else – but we should win. I’m sure the manager feels the same.
“We should be higher in the league. That’s a fact.
“Now we need a win and we need it quickly.”
Bogdan’s knee injury means Lonergan is guaranteed a run of Championship football for the first time in six-and-a-half months.
His last spell in the side overlapped with Wanderers’ best run of last season and it came as a surprise to many that he was taken back out of the side on Bogdan’s return.
Lonergan is not thinking too far into the future with the Hungarian potentially four weeks from a return, but while he is regarded as number one the former Leeds stopper wants to get the club back on track.
“Adam does not deserve to be out of the team,” he said.
“I had it last season where I felt I had done everything I could but I didn’t play – but it’s the old cliché for me now. Just one game at a time.
“I just have to do what I can and if Adam comes back in then good luck to him.
“Hopefully I’m a good luck charm right now, though things feel a bit different. Last season we did what the gaffer wanted from Christmas, followed instruction, but unfortunately we’re not executing that right now.”
Life as a back-up keeper has been difficult for Longergan, who was first choice for several years at Preston and then Leeds United before coming to the Reebok the summer before last.
But the 30-year-old stopper insists he has not had cross words with manager Freedman and still sees his future at Bolton.
“I’ve spent the best part of the last 10 years playing every week but once you are not in the team – for Adam’s performances rather than anything I have done – then you do start questioning yourself," he said.
"You think ‘can I still do it?'. I know I can. I try and prove it every day in training. It’s just a case of playing games.
“I want to play the next 40 games and it’s only natural I’d be disappointed if I don’t.
“But I read something about me and the gaffer having a falling out on one website which could not be further from the truth.
“I have got a great amount of respect for him and I think he has for me, the way we talk, he understands my situation.
“I spoke to him recently and said ‘I have to play’. But I am at a big club in Bolton Wanderers and I knew that when I came here.
“I don’t want to jeopardise anything and I want to be here for a long time.
“I have got ambition but throughout every game a team needs a number two keeper who stays positive and keeps going. You can’t let people down.
“I think I can play both roles if they need me to.”