This was not a memorable match for the most part. The first half was sluggish, and it was only after Neil Lennon made a (dumbfoundingly obvious) tactical switch that Bolton really came to life. But it was an important match. It stopped a horrible slide in form (3 points from 18), a horrible run of defending (16 goals conceded in 6 matches), and a general lethargy that had been creeping into the terraces.
Zach Clough will get most of the plaudits, and they are well-deserved. The 19-year-old scored his sixth goal in nine matches to take over as the club's leading scorer, and it was a fine finish, but the man who really turned heads played the pass to Clough that set up the shot. That man was Josh Vela.
When Vela first returned to the Bolton Wanderers first team earlier this season, it was as an emergency right back. And he did a job there, but we knew it was not his natural position. At the time we had a lot of depth in central midfield, and it made sense. Now, we have little depth in the middle of the park, and Vela is desperately needed there. Some will call Lennon's switch of Vela to midfield at halftime tactical astute, I call it blatantly obvious.
I'm happy with the win and more or less satisfied with the performance, but from now on Josh Vela and and Zach Clough have to start every match in their preferred positions. That is the way forward for this club.