1) One in a Emillion
How could I honestly start anywhere else other than the return of Emile Heskey to English football. I must say I was very surprised to see what the big man could offer. I did believe he would have some left in the tank but the extent to which he caused problems to Blackburns defence was staggering.
The complexion of the game changed quite dramatically as Bolton effectively used the big man as a fulcrum with Eidur Gudjohnsson particularly profiting as he was able to gain possession in much higher positions, a major reason Bolton were able to turn it round.
Heskey's ability to maintain possesion under heavy pressure will be vital, more so away from home and he showed good touches to free up players in particular Josh Vela who would have had a lot of success down the wing had it not been for the pace of Josh King tracking back for Blackburn.
Despite his well taken goal,It was not a perfect return for Heskey and the the big man admitted himself that his fitness is not where he would like it to be (he was gassed after 30 minutes), having said that, there were a lot of encouraging signs and I am very pleased to have Heskey, who turns 37 next week, with our side.
2) Eidur Good-job-son
I know, I'm capable of better puns but we have two games in three days and if I don't get this out quickly Dennis Chase and Chris Manning will have me so that's what we have to work with.
Eidur was simply magnificent.
At this level we have a real player capable of winning any football match and a touch of class other teams do not have. He passing was slick, there were glimpses of the old pace and his assist to Emile Heskey has received the sorts of plaudits the Champions League winner has heard throughout his illustrious career.
With him playing deeper or a 'false 9' (cheers Chris) he is particulary effective as he is able to move around the pitch and pick up the ball in space where he can do some damage.
The only concern I have is regarding the reliance we may already be developing on Eidur as we have in the past on creative players and Eidur's fitness may not be there for him to compete week in week out but with the transfer/loan window opening shortly, cover will be much welcomed.
3) Boltons Number L-ONE-rgan
That's more wordplay but I think we can roll with it.
Andy Lonergan has shown once again he is able to step in from the likely departing Adam Bogdan and made a string of important saves and was part of a Bolton Wanderers defence who managed to frustrate their opponents and restrict their potent attack to a solitary goal.
Lonergan has a real ability to read the striker and has a lot of success without comitting early seen in quite some depth in the first half of the boxing day fixture.
'Lonners' has really stepped up to the challange and in truth I had my doubts of whether the man who Darren Ferguson valued at £20m during their mutual spell at Preston North End had it in him to perform consitantly and eradicate the mistakes that have cost him dearly the past.
One thing that requires attention immediately is his distribution skills, particulalary his kicking, which is awful, up there with the worst I've ever seen. It really could of cost us yesterday as numerous times Lonergan kicked straight to dangerous Rovers' players in threatening positions.
4) Yaya Pratley
What a strong performance from Darren Pratley who really drove Bolton forward and was really taking the fight to their performance. Pratley gets a lot of stick and some of it I can really understand but yesterday I believe he showed his true value to Bolton as he battled in the midfield.
Blackburn Rovers on paper are a much better side than Bolton but it was the real fight opitimised by Pratley that got Bolton over the line in the end. His winning goal was a fitting end to a good performance and no doubt the likes of Gudjohnson and Chung-Yong had nice word to say to the workhorse after the game.
5) Looking Upwards
Walking down to the game from beautiful Horwich, my whisky fuelled comments felt that the play-offs were beyond us and we should really focus on consolidation and make a crack at the FA Cup, on Saturday as I look at the league table, I feel very differently.
We have done more than enough now to stop worrying about what is behind us and consider ourselves outside contenders for the play-offs and won't be surprised if others feel the same way. I felt from the festive trio of games (Millwall, Blackburn and Huddersfield) that 4/6 points would be a good return, we could now be on to take the full 9 and propel ourselves into the chasing pack.
Neil Lennon, I loved you in Green and White, but I am infatuated with you now.