GUDNI Bergsson says he can sense a familiar feel in his beloved Bolton Wanderers.

The Icelander routinely keeps a close eye on events in his adopted hometown, where he spent eight successful years playing under Bruce Rioch, Colin Todd and Sam Allardyce.

When the club fell on hard times, Bergsson kept abreast of the issues via The Bolton News and his ties with the Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust.

Fiercely critical of the Ken Anderson regime, the 56-year-old has a better opinion of the club’s current ownership and the direction it is heading.

“I certainly feel a difference,” he said after Sunday’s game. “The last time I was here was four or five years ago and we were then in the Championship but the feel around the club wasn’t right.

“It is different now. There is optimism, there is spirit, there is togetherness. Everyone associated with the club from supporters, owners, staff, managers, players are all behind it, we’re going upwards and in the right direction.

“We need to be patient. We need to be clever and make the right decisions. But we’ll stick together and I think Bolton Wanderers are back.”

Bergsson’s last-ever game for Bolton was a 2-1 win against Middlesbrough alongside the likes of Jussi Jaaskelainen, Jay Jay Okocha, Ricardo Gardner, Ivan Campo and Henrik Pedersen, which secured survival for Sam Allardyce’s men in 2003.

Stepping back out on the pitch allowed the memories to come flooding back.

“It has been fantastic for me to come back here, for such a good cause, and to get the lads back together to play,” he said. “I was fortunate to play with some of these fantastic footballers back in the day and to be able to bring back that bond with the supporters made it just a very special day. It was a great moment for everyone involved.”

Bergsson’s day ended prematurely – with injury forcing him off the field after 10 minutes – which meant a much longer shift than planned for Sam Ricketts.

Short though his return proved to be, the former defender was more than happy to help out.

“It was a fantastic feeling to put my boots on again and run out there,” he said. “I haven’t played a game in maybe 10 years and it was a very short one – but it was 0-0 when I came off, and I did point this out to the guys.

“But it was all about contributing to a great cause and my thoughts are with the family and sufferers of Motor Neurone Disease, so hopefully the money which has been raised will come in handy.”