ANDY Lonergan hopes man-of-the-match displays like the one against Nottingham Forest on Saturday will see him retain the Wanderers number one jersey for a few weeks yet.
Lonergan has been between the sticks since first-choice Adam Bogdan picked up a knee injury in a 1-1 home draw with Sheffield Wednesday in October – a run of 14 successive outings.
But Bogdan is edging closer to a return after completing 90 minutes for the Under-21s yesterday in their 4-0 win at Leicester City where goals from Conor Wilkinson, Tom Youngs (two) and Zach Clough sealed three points.
The Hungarian is likely to be pushing for a first-team recall in the coming weeks provided there are no ill-effects following his first outing in almost three months.
But Lonergan is happy to have that competition and to leave the decision-making to manager Dougie Freedman.
The former Leeds and Preston stopper said: “If I’m in the team then I have to keep playing well.
“I know that Adam is a fantastic keeper and he’s looking really sharp.
“I can’t really worry about it.
“I expect a lot from myself and it doesn’t matter whether I have Adam, Arran (Lee-Barrett) or Jay Lynch around me, I know what I have to do.
“He’s (Bogdan’s) an international keeper and the gaffer will have to make a decision. What will be, will be.”
One factor in Lonergan’s favour is his experience – the Forest game was his 300th career appearance.
The 30-year-old has now played 25 times for the Whites since joining in the summer of 2012 His recent run of 14 successive matches has seen him keep four clean sheets and only concede more than once in a game on three occasions – against Wigan, Leicester and Middlesbrough.
His form has certainly been something he has been pleased with, particularly on Saturday against Forest, managed by his old Preston boss Billy Davies.
He added: “I was told that was my 300th career appearance and so I’m glad it went well. It’s a nice milestone to have.
“You’ll always have to do something in a game, you just have to make sure you do it right.
“Any save is pleasing but maybe the best one was the header (from Lascelles).
“If you get too high or excited over a save then I think you’re putting yourself up there for something bad to happen. You have to keep a level head.
“I was pleased when that full-time whistle went and we had got something out of that performance."