Barnsley v Bolton: Immediate Reaction

Matthew Lewis

Anna is happy today!

Let's just start off with saying 1) Andy Lonergan is a hero 2) Neil Danns made my day and 3) Mark Davies played all 90 minutes.

That could be the happiest sentence I've typed in a while, come to think of it.

Sure, we were still a bit slow to start today, but the most important bit (for me, anyway) was that once we found our rhythm, we kept it. We managed to keep a clean sheet, which alone is brilliant, but we managed to win too. Andy Lonergan is no doubt a very large part of that result, and I hope that Dougie Freedman is smart enough to keep him around for a very long time. If we can't score very often, at least we'll be conceding less.

I'd be lying to you all if I said I wasn't a bit nervous about Zat Knight playing for Matt Mills today, because I was. It's not even an insult to Knight anymore because when I think about it, I'm always a bit nervous for this squad. We've lost any "edge" we had when the fans started losing hope and I'm not sure how to even begin addressing that issue. But, that's for another day, when we've lost and we're already bitter.

A win is lovely, but for me at least, today was all about Danns.

It's fitting that his last foreseeable game as a Wanderer left him with a goal. And yes, as I've told many of you already, I don't think that he'd play for us when (and if) we ever get ourselves sorted. But I want him to play for us now because he's been the one that week in and week out has seemed to care more than a lot of the players on the pitch. We have the talent, both in our manager and in our players, to be a good squad. We really do. It's the heart that's missing. And maybe that's Phil Gartside's fault and maybe it's just a super bad really long-lasting streak of bad luck, but it's happening and we've unfortunately got to deal with it.

But for now, it's a Boxing Day miracle and Dougie's been granted another week. We can stress about everything on Sunday, can't we?

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