Neil Danns hopes to go out with a bang at Bolton Wanderers
NEIL Danns does not know whether tomorrow will be his last chance to play at the Reebok in Bolton colours, so he is determined to make the most of it.
Frozen out completely at Leicester City, the hard-working midfielder, who has proved a surprise hit at Wanderers since his arrival in October, has no idea where his future lies.
He will face Charlton and then travel with Dougie Freedman’s squad to play Barnsley on Boxing Day before the terms of his loan prevent him from playing against his parent club on December 29.
But Danns insists he leaves the Whites in a better position than he found them, and if this is to be his final hurrah, he wants to make it count in front of a home support he holds in the highest regard.
“I’ve been amazed by the support the fans have given – home and away,” he told The Bolton News.
“When I first came here I don’t think we had won at home all season and people were talking about a negative atmosphere, but that has changed now.
“I think there seems to be a more positive feel about the place.
“I never really got to see the bad side of things through that first nine games because we were undefeated.
“Three points is the most important thing but it would be nice for me, with it possibly being the last game I play at Bolton, to sign off with a win and maybe a goal.”
Rather than being down in the dumps after defeat at Wigan on Sunday, Danns reckons the feeling of injustice at the two Latics goals on the day provoked a much different response in the Wanderers dressing room.
“You are always going to be gutted when you lose to local rivals but sometimes you get decisions against you – the second goal being offside and that harsh decision against Millsy (Matt Mills) for the handball, given by a linesman 30 yards away – and you just think ‘they just can’t happen all the time’.
“The defeat was disappointing but at the same time we know we made chances, kept going and by the end of the day they were just camped in their own half.
“Decisions like that won’t always go against you and we know we were the better team.”
Consistency is now the buzz word for Freedman and his squad, who know the poor start to the season will continue to be an anchor that restricts them to mid table unless they can start stringing wins together.
It is easier said than done – but Danns still thinks a play-off spot is a realistic aim if the Whites can keep themselves within touching distance of the top half of the table over Christmas.
“A lot of teams’ seasons are made or broken at Christmas, we all know that,” he said.
“Everyone talks about consistency but when you look up and down the leagues nowadays, no one has got it.
“The games are so close these days. It used to be that you could pick four or five teams from each division and know they’d be up there but it’s not like that any more.
“Teams can come up from League One, like Southampton, and get promotion right away.
“I look at it this way – we win two on the bounce now and we could be six points off the play-offs with 20-odd games to go.”