Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Adam Bogdan on verbal abuse... and Wotsit all about
FLAME-HAIRED and dressed from top to toe in neon green, it is hard to miss Adam Bogdan in the Wanderers goal these days.
The Hungarian keeper with the unmistakable appearance knows full well he stands out a mile – in fact, that is just the way he likes it.
And he is happy to front up a Wanderers side in desperate need of strong characters at the moment.
It is three-and-a-half years since Bogdan made his debut, a night on which he was ribbed mercilessly by Southampton fans in a League Cup tie. But then the man who is now Wanderers’ longest-serving professional has come a long way since being branded a “Wotsit” by the St Mary’s faithful.
“At the time, I swear, I didn’t hear it,” he told The Bolton News. “I didn’t even know what a Wotsit was.
“I grew up with this hair, so I know it’s a target, and as a keeper you tend to be near the away fans so they will always pick up on something.
“But it doesn’t bother me – I’m watching the game and trying to win it.
“All I concentrate on is my performance, so what people say or shout – it doesn’t concern me.”
That theory could be put to the test this afternoon at Millwall, a venue that tests the strongest-willed away sides, let alone one on such a poor run of form.
Bogdan has been with Wanderers for nearly seven years now – his eastern European accent now betrayed by English slang and Americanisms. But he still remembers enough about Hungarian football to prepare him for anything that will be thrown his way at The Den today.
“When I go abroad with the national team I don’t understand what they are chanting at me, so that’s great,” he says with an air of self-deprecation.
“At home they are usually rooting for us... ‘Rooting’ that’s very American. But you know what I mean.
“In Hungary they chant things that I couldn’t possibly say – wow, it’s horrible.
“Over here when fans start swearing it doesn’t go on for very long. I’m used to it, they are just jokes.
“Millwall has been okay for me. They make fun of me – but that’s more the Leeds fans.
“I had a good experience down there when we won in the cup and we went on a good run after that.
“Last season we lost 2-1 and it was Owen Coyle’s last game, so that’s a bad memory, but I don’t ever remember anything happening to me personally.”
Bogdan found himself back in goal and, somewhat surprisingly at the time, preferred to close pal Andy Lonergan in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Bournemouth.
He has responded with two solid performances but refused to crow about his return to the team out of respect to his team-mate.
“Me and Lonners are good friends and we support each other,” he said. “Whoever gets the shirt gets the support.
“I did it for him and he’s doing it for me – we both know it’s down to the manager and we don’t have a say.
“Lonners played really well but unfortunately for him he had a couple of situations and maybe that gave me a chance, but it’s not for me to comment on it.”
During his spell out of the side, however, Bogdan found himself in the headlines when a television interview he gave in Hungary was translated into English and seemed to indicate he was considering leaving the club if he continued to be left on the sidelines.
Taking time to qualify his comments, the 26-year-old insists he is in no rush to leave the Reebok but will take stock after the season has finished like any other player in the squad.
“It’s a general thing,” he said. “I think after every season you assess where you are going, how did you play, where is the team going?
“I’ll be in the last season of my contract but I’ve said many times that I love the club and I’m really happy here.
“I know it sounds a bit crazy because it isn’t happening at the moment but I do want to take the club back into the Premier League. It’s frustrating that we’re not there but I still hope we can turn our form around.”