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Five & A Bit Things: Bolton Wanderers v Ipswich Town

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Twas a cold and frosty afternoon in December And all of me money it was spent. Where it went to, Oh Lord, I can't remember.

Long ball yeah?
Long ball yeah?
Tony Marshall/Getty Images

A hard-earned but deserved point at home to a tough Ipswich Town was a reasonable return on a cold Macron afternoon.

The game was somewhat overshadowed the return of a certain Icelandic forward, but had a few moments of excitement to drag attention back to the match itself.

So go on then, I hear nobody ask, what can we take from the game? Hold my hand dear reader and let's find out together:

1) Neil Lennon's Tactical Tinkering

Prior to his appointment as Bolton Wanderers manager, Glasgow Celtic fans couldn't wait to get in touch to tell us of Lennon's willingness to be flexible with his tactical approach to the game. It appears that they weren't wrong.

Saturday saw perhaps Lennon's most head-scratching line-up.

Some called it Dougie Freedman-esque.

Was it a 2-2-2-3 with no fullbacks? Three centre halves to deal with Daryl Murphy's aerial prowess? Tim Ream and Liam Feeney as wing backs?

No idea.

The return of David Wheater (who I don't especially rate) was a concern for me given that I've seen milk turn quickler, but in Lennon we trust, right?

The negative tactics on display from both sides contributed to a somewhat lacklustre performance, but had you offered me a point beforehand then I would have been happy, so I can't moan too much.

It was a boring game, but I don't think it's exaggerating to suggest that we'd have lost that game under the previous manager(s). Three clean sheets in a row is nowt to sniff at.

More importantly we look really tough to beat at the moment and that is very encouraging.

2) Limited Striking Options Laid Bare

It came as no surprise to learn that we're the fifth lowest scorers in the Championship, with four other teams being the bottom four teams in the league.

The absence of Craig Davies was keenly felt, with Conor Wilkinson handed his league home debut in place of the Welsh striker.

I am probably not alone in feeling somewhat disappointed in the performance of the young striker of whom much has been said lately.

He looked a little out of his depth, if truth be known. His head went down following a few poor early touches and it didn't help when the crowd began to get on his back when he showed signs of struggling.

I was impressed in that he didn't go hiding - he was always asking for the ball, but perhaps Saturday came a little soon for the young man. I'm sure he'll get more chances soon and hopefully once that first goal goes in then his confidence will flow.

In the meantime let's hope Davies is fit by Friday. The injuries to Max Clayton and Joe Mason could not have come at a worse time.

3) Tyrone Mings

A fine example of nominative determinism.

He certainly does.

Rinsed by a below-par Liam Feeney, the supposed £10m rated left-back was atrocious and was lucky not to be sent off following a series of fouls against the Wanderers winger.

4) Andy Lonergan is Undisputed Number One

Another series of fine saves from the Preston-born goalkeeper who against showed his class with a dominant display.

I wrote earlier about how Adam Bogdan is likely to regain the no.1 shirt in the coming months - perhaps I was mistaken.

Lonergan appears to have ironed out the problems that plagued his game last season, and it is encouraging that Wanderers have two quality goalkeepers on their books at this moment in time.

5) The Return of the King

Eidur Gudjohnsen made his return to the Reebok Stadium after 14 years away, and immediately showed that he might not have the legs, but that he has certainly lost none of the class that he showed as a precocious 22 year old back in the day.

His initial touches were greeted with cheers the likes of which I've not seen since they printed that paedophile's address in the papers.

A neat turn, a backheel and a set of crisp passes linked the midfield and attack in the way that we were desperate for, and boy was it great to see.

I would have liked to have seen him play 20 yards further up the pitch but time will tell as to whether he has that in his locker at the ripe age of 36. He just needs games. I think the squad need games WITH him too, given one or two misunderstandings when Eidur's clever play wasn't read by those around him. Must have been frustrating for him but that was always likely when you consider the standard of player that he must be used to.

Darren Pratley is no Lionel Messi. A bold statement, I know.

Overall it was an encouraging second debut. Class is permanent it seems, and we're all the better for it.

Emergency 6) Jay Spearing

Really sad to see the decline of the former captain.

On the field he's a total liability and should be the last choice to come on in future.