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Five Things: Bolton Wanderers v Cardiff City

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A resounding three nowt spanking for Cardiff was dished out on Tuesday night by Neil Lennon's rampant Wanderers.

Ian Walton

How good was that?

A dominant 3-0 win for Bolton Wanderers under the command of Neil Lennon was enjoyed by just under 13,000 spectators at a chilly Reebok Stadium on Tuesday evening. It has been a long time since we put the opposition to the sword in the way that we did last night - long may it continue.

So what can we take from the game?

1) Craig F'in Davies

Take a bow son! I've often criticised Davies for a lack of quality, and whilst that may still be true, what you cannot doubt is the lad's spirit.

He was FANTASTIC against Cardiff leading the line like an absolute trooper. It was a performance worthy of the surname as he held the ball up well and kept the Cardiff backline busy throughout the game allowing the likes of Liam Feeney and Chung Yong Lee to make the most of the space freed up by the bustling Wanderers no.28.

Imagine if that was Jermaine Beckford playing that lone role tonight. The ball would not have stuck, the channels would not have been run, and the Cardiff defence would have had all the time in the world to play the ball out and put our side under pressure.

Well done Craig, now if you wouldn't mind unblocking me from twitter please I'd like to chuck some praise your way.

2) Darren F'in Pratley

Take a bow son! I've often criticised D-Pratz for a lack of quality, and whilst that may still be true, what you cannot doubt is the lad's spirit.

Ahem.

Pratley was yet again selected to play in an unfamiliar wide left position and although he has struggled for form lately he provided us with a superb all-action performance full of energy and effort.

His cross to set up Feeney's back-post volley was a thing of beauty and although he couldn't replicate the quality in the dying moments of the game he could be forgiven that act of selfishness in shooting given that he had spent the previous 92 minutes bombing up and down the pitch offering support in attack and protecting the left-back Tim Ream seemingly seconds later.

A hugely encouraging performance for the much-maligned midfielder.

He also floored that prick Ravel Morrison as well - top man.

3) Josh F'in Vela

Take a bow son! I've often criticised Josh Vel.....nah.

The Salford-born midfielder was drafted in to replace the somewhat unfortunate Oscar Threlkeld at right back in what seemed a gamble - but he provided a performance that was full of promise for the future.

Normally a tough-tackling midfielder with a range of passing to impress even the racist idiot who sits behind me in the East Stand Lower, Vela looked as if he'd played at right back all his career.

After a couple of early wobbles in terms of positioning, the Wanderers no.25 grew into the game and by the end was marauding up and down the wing with the sort of quality and energy that you just don't get from old man McNaughton who whilst undoubtedly a better defender is nowhere near as good a footballer as Vela.

Obviously McNaughton was ineligible to play against his parent club, but I think that on that performance he would be fortunate, and Josh Vela incredibly unlucky, if the 54 year old McNaughton immediately regained his place for the upcoming derby against the Wyatt Family. Undoubtedly Callum McManaman and James McLean will offer sterner tests, but why not play Vela?

He deserves it.

4) Neil F'in Lennon

As I was driving to the game, I was listening to the radio and in came the Bolton Wanderers line-up.

I was trying to fathom what in the blue hell Lennon was trying to achieve with what appeared to be some sort of revolutionary 3-4-2-1 formation, or was it a 3-5-1-1? No idea - either way it seemed like a gamble.

Granted, Cardiff City had been making improvements since the arrival of scruffy cap-wearing wideboy manager Russell Slade replacing media darling and weirdo Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but it had appeared that Lennon was taking a huge risk.

Then again, I noted this tweet from a Celtic fan that appeared on my timeline:

I confess to feeling a pang of confidence noting the above - it's interesting that he is not a devotee of any one particular formation to the detriment of all others. It shows that the man is flexible and that he has lovely massive great big balls.

He doesn't care about dropping the captain, he doesn't care about playing formations that baffle even the most advanced tactical brain (mine, in case you wondered) and he doesn't care that people say you shouldn't wear a black gilet with a black jumper underneath.

I think I'm falling in love with Neil Lennon and I don't care who knows it.

I was unsure as to whether we'd stand much of a chance against a strong Cardiff side but the man's tactics and team selection was absolutely bob on tonight and I think we should go into the local derby on Fright night against The Hills Have Eyes FC with confidence and with a win in our sights.

NLSWA!

5) BOLTON F'IN WANDERERS!

We are back baby!

It's been a long time since we took the game to an opponent in the way that we did tonight.

Simple changes made by manager Lennon to the way that we pressed the opposition brought back memories of the Sam Allardyce era.

The introduction of pace on the counter attack brought back echoes of the Bruce Rioch days. It was wonderful to see.

Although only 12,500 Bolton fans were in attendance there was a terrific atmosphere and I am sure that should our improvement in form continue then this will only increase.

I know we are still in the bottom three, but it's a very long season with plenty of points to play for.

Look at it this way, we're only 13 points from the Play Offs.

Friday sees Wigan Athletic and their 250 fans making the short trip to Bolton - let's keep the atmosphere going and let's batter them as we absolutely battered Cardiff last night - because make no mistake, we absolutely battered them and it was THOROUGHLY enjoyable.