Bolton Wanderers penalty hero Adam Bogdan won the mind games against Wigan Athletic
ADAM Bogdan reckons his penalty heroics to save a point against Wigan were all in the head.
The Hungarian keeper’s mind games worked a treat as he psyched out Jordi Gomez in the final minute of the derby.
Nick Powell had equalised with two minutes left on the clock and it looked like being a double sting in the tail when Alex Baptiste conceded his second spot kick in two appearances with a trip on Callum McManaman.
But Bogdan pulled off a marvellous stop after performing the same goal-line ritual he did a fortnight ago at Yeovil, when Ishmael Miller shanked his effort from 12 yards off the outside of the post.
“There is a bit psychology in it but I will keep it to myself because at the moment it is working,” he said. “I like to think I put him off.
“It was a save at a crucial moment because we were right at the end of the game.
“I have been trying different things and I always liked to think I was okay on penalties. But last season was a bit of a blow for me. I did not manage to save any.
“This season I have managed to play mind games with players and I have managed to put them off.”
Comparisons with Bogdan’s former mentor Jussi Jaaskelainen were inevitable – and the 26-year-old has seen enough of the Big Finn’s highlights to understand the significance.
“I think the most famous was against Blackburn away,” he said of the legendary double penalty save at Ewood Park back in 2006. “That was the season Bolton finished very high and he was extraordinary. If you check on YouTube that is probably the first game that comes up.
“They say there is nothing to lose for a goalkeeper in a penalty kick. There is more pressure on the striker because everybody expects them to score.
“When you make the save it is a great buzz, although I would rather not have a penalty to save. I would prefer a quiet night. “But I am glad we are talking about this because it means I managed to save it and save the point.” Dougie Freedman also piled praise on his keeper, who came back into the side in February to replace Andy Lonergan and has not looked back since.
Bogdan has had to win over his doubters this season – but his manager believes the keeper is now becoming an integral part of the team.
“Adam has had his unfortunate days, so it is good to see him get the plaudits,” he said. “He has come through those spells when he has had difficult moments. “I do not ever look to blame players and there has been no blame when he has had those difficult times. “I am changing the way we play at this club and we try to play it out more from the back. Adam is part of that. His distribution, with throws and kick, can be part of that when he is quick off the mark.”