Jay Spearing hails 'Supermac' Kevin McNaughton after he extends loan stay
JAY Spearing has hailed the extension of Kevin McNaughton’s loan from Cardiff as an important step on the road to recovery for Wanderers.
The experienced Scottish full-back will remain with the Whites until January and, claims Spearing, has been a big factor in the club’s recent defensive improvement.
“The lads were buzzing when we heard he was going to stay until January,” he told The Bolton News. “Macca (McNaughton) has done really well since he came in, and one-on-one there haven’t been many people who have beaten him.
“It’s a big signing for us because he has been really solid.
“I think that on the defensive side we’re good enough to keep teams out, we just need to make sure that we start killing teams off now when we are creating so many chances.”
Wanderers head to Bournemouth for the first time in 20 years this weekend and despite being unbeaten in five, the lack of progress in the league table is starting to rankle with the club’s fans.
Spearing denies there is any issue with confidence among the squad despite currently sitting just a point above the relegation zone.
“The mood isn’t down among the lads, we honestly feel like we are playing well and it’s five undefeated now so that is definitely an improvement on the way we started the season, picking up too many defeats,” he said.
“It’s a long trip on Saturday but I don’t think we look at it any differently than if we were nipping down the road to Blackburn. We are going there for three points, to kick on, continue the unbeaten run we have started, but I know we need to start turning those draws into wins.”
After Yeovil nearly sprung a nasty surprise at the Reebok, Spearing is not underestimating the threat of another newly-promoted side in Eddie Howe’s Cherries.
“They are at home and they’ll be confident,” he said. “We saw with Yeovil and I think it happens with any promoted team that they have that confidence so we need to get there, set our stall out straight away and put them under a lot of pressure.
“I truly believe that if we carry on like we are and keep on creating these chances that we are going to come out on top soon and beat someone well.”
After Saturday’s game, Spearing has his eyes on an individual prize as one of three nominees for the North West Footballer of the Year for 2013.
Blackburn Rovers’ striker Jordan Rhodes and Blackpool’s Thomas Ince are also shortlisted for the award, which will be decided by a panel of independent judges.
The Wanderers midfielder, who has captained the side in Zat Knight’s absence, has thanked the Whites fans for voting him into the final three.
“I’d no idea I was up for it until a fortnight ago,” he said. “I loved every minute of last year and I still think we were unlucky not to be in the play-offs at the end.
“I’ve got the nomination but I wouldn’t have been playing well if the team wasn’t playing well. Whatever happens next week I’m still very proud to have got into the final three.
“The fans have been brilliant for me, last year when I was here on loan, and then this year when I signed. They have backed me so I’d say a big thanks to them for voting and fingers-crossed if I win anything then a big part of that goes to them.”