Bolton Wanderers score first. They have become quite good at that. The trick is keeping that lead. For most of this season, the Trotters have not kept those leads. Today was an opportunity, away from home, to finally keep the lead, to finally keep a clean sheet. And if that means Zat Knight comes on for Chung-Yong Lee late in the match, so be it.
The clean sheet is critical to success. I know all of the talk is about the strikers. I know all of the fans love goals. But successful sides keep clean sheets. Successful sides defend well. For proof, just look to last season. It was only in the final few months, when the back line, led by Craig Dawson, got their act together, that we started to have success.
David Ngog and Jermaine Beckford scored at Bournemouth. That's great news. But the clean sheet is what I am excited about. More clean sheets will put Bolton in a good position. Our back four is finally coming together. Tim Ream and Matt Mills seem to have formed a good partnership in the middle. Kevin McNaughton and Alex Baptiste have settled into the fullback positions. Medo Kamara and Jay Spearing are still leaving a bit too much space in the center of the pitch, but the improvement is there.
All in all, it is a happy day for the Mighty Bolton Wanderers. A clean sheet. A second consecutive away win. Now we have a home match against Millwall next Saturday. Can we make it 7 unbeaten? Can we get our first home win of the season? Come on!