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Five Things: Bolton Wanderers 3 - 4 Watford

The first home league loss under Lennon was in a thrilling encounter with an excellent side

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Bolton Wanderers had enjoyed a fine run of home form since Neil Lennon came in to replace the hapless and hopeless Dougie Freedman in October - losing only to Liverpool in an FA Cup replay.

That run ended yesterday in dramatic circumstances at home to promotion chasing Watford. So what can we take from the game? Let's see:

1) A Bit Too Much Tinkering?

We know that Neil Lennon is a fine tactician, unafraid of changing things from game to game - but I wondered yesterday whether the tinkering mid-game cost us.

When Wanderers went 2-3 down with 15 minutes to go, the manager switched Liam Feeney to right back, replacing the ineffective Saidy Janko, pushing Josh Vela into midfield. This robbed Wanderers of a useful outlet on the counter. Feeney is a keen runner, and his pace on the break was sorely missed.

Obviously there was be a reason behind the switch, but for me it was the wrong move.

The decision to bring on Tom Eaves came five minutes too late as well, as by the time he came on the game was already lost - it might have been braver to take the game by the scruff of the neck once Zach Clough had made it 3-3 in the 84th minute.

It was always going to risky to invite a quality side like Watford on to you, ignoring the problems that our wide players caused them in the first half.

2) Just How Good is Zach Clough?

What a player we have on our hands. It remains Dougie's biggest crime that he held back the development of a young player who has been ready for the first team for two years now.

He was our best player by a mile - his vision and awareness, his touch and his distribution was all a thousand miles better than any other man in a white shirt.

I love the way that he caresses the ball when shooting - I've yet to see him blast the ball. Yesterday I was given the comparison with former Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi. The Italian forward has a similar build to Clough, and plays in the same way with a cleverness and intricacy that belies his stature.

I don't know how long we can hold on to the lad, but with his contract running for another couple of seasons at the very least then we should be able to enjoy his talents as they continue to flourish.

He should start every single game that he's available for, from now on.

3) Defensive Woes

For all our attacking prowess (at times), when it comes to defensive work we're just not that good.

The downfall of Dorian Dervite continues apace, this time his fellow defenders saw fit to twice bawl him out for his suspect positioning. He is drawn to the ball far too often, leaving huge gaps in the centre of our defence. I would be quite content for him to take a couple of weeks off once Matt Mills returns to form.

The uncertainty at right back continues to be a worry. Obviously Lennon doesn't rate Kevin McNaughton, and to be honest neither do I, but I think the time might have come to bring the on-loan Cardiff man back into the fold. Josh Vela has been a decent alternative in that position, but his own form is a concern at the moment, and Manchested United loanee Janko is too good going forward to be restricted to a full back role.

David Wheater had a reasonable game, but struggles when the opposition play an intricate passing game, such as that of Watford yesterday. His lack of pace is often a concern, too.

Tim Ream is perhaps the only defender whose position can be guaranteed at the moment. His habit of drifting into the centre of the field has been eradicated from his game, and he remains perhaps second only to Clough in our side in terms of being comfortable on the ball.

4) We Really Miss Darren Pratley

Imagine that.

The energy and drive of the former Swansea City man are both sorely missed in this Wanderers side. With the present starting eleven looking a bit flat, the injury suffered to Pratley came at a terrible time for the club.

He is due to be out for another month, and I can only imagine that the manager will throw him straight back into the team given how we are sorely missing his presence.

The midfield struggled with Watford's quick passing game yesterday, and the workload being placed on Neil Danns appears to be weighing heavy on his shoulders. A little backup would no doubt help him at the same time.

5) We Really Miss Craig Davies

Imagine that.

We know that the striker is hardly Lionel Messi - but he could be key to our success in the final third of the season. Used as a battering ram, he could really bring out the best in Zach Clough and Adam Le Fondre who, dealing with the knock downs that Davies can provide, can themselves go on to capitalise and take advantage.

ALF had a good game yesterday, but I'm sure he'll be frustrated with how he scored his most difficult chance, but missed three relatively simple chances afterwards - all of which came at a time that would have put Wanderers out of sight.

The addition of Davies will give a somewhat small Bolton frontline another dimension, and his return cannot come quickly enough for me.