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5 Things: Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Millwall

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The Whites are back on track and look to have ended any talk of being dragged into a relegation scrap with this strange-at-times Macron win over doomed looking Millwall. I tackle five talking points that emanated from the game.

Paul Thomas/Getty Images

1) Tom Walker

An unfortunate arse injury (Lennon called it a glute, it's an arse in my book) to Saidy Janko in the warm up meant 19 year-old Tom was thrust into the spotlight and told to play with the big boys.

Walker is a much taller and bigger player in stature to Zach Clough but boy has he got a similar level of confidence and an ability to get away from his marker.

Took his man on at every opportunity, which in your own half is obviously a little naive but that is to be expected on his first senior start. He has quick feet, a cultured left foot and a nice turn of pace too.

I'm not sure if Adam Le Fondre let him take that free-kick at the end or if Walker told him he was having it but with Le Fondre on a hat-trick too it showed me that Walker has great belief in his own ability and he backed that up with a cracking effort that needed tipping over by Millwall FC goalkeeper David Forde.

It's a great feeling to have another player come through the academy and make his debut right in front of you and this lad is clearly ready for more.

2) Eidur Gudjohnsen

The return of Eidur isn't discussed as much as it could've been due to the barmy nature of our season and all the talking points since he came back to his beloved Bolton.

It has pleasantly surprised me that he has stayed fit and contributed so many minutes to the cause.

His assist for Le Fondre's second goal was simple but the pass had to have the right weight on it to allow Le Fondre to run onto it and get straight on his front foot to give him the time to shape his body to curl the beauty in.

Eidur's influence in the dressing room must be huge and I really don't see a 36 year-old out there, he plays more like someone just turning 30.

We must sign him up for another year as I really can't see why he couldn't play on until he is 40, such is his ability on the ball and no lack of pace still. Still feel he may be better in central midfield in the long term and I really think we can somehow fit him, Clough, Mark Davies if he ever stays fit and even Barry Bannan into the same team next season.

What a thought that is!

3) The atmosphere

Let's be honest, it's not fantastic is it.

I sit in the Lofthouse Lower near the pitch and I barely hear a chant all game around me. I don't honestly know what the answer is, free transport to the ground and free beer might work but I highly doubt the club will plump for that one.

Okay, an almost meaningless game against Millwall isn't going to set the pulses racing but I honestly think that we should have a bigger attendance than the 14,719 hardy souls who turned up yesterday. It was a strange game in a way which sort of meandered to it's conclusion which meant that there wasn't an awful lot to get excited about apart from Le Fondre's excellent strikes.

More fans doesn't necessarily mean a better atmosphere either but the club did put in place their 'bring a friend to the game for a fiver' scheme for this game, which possibly may have swelled the attendance by a few hundred.
I do think we are a little unimaginative as a fan base with our chants and songs for players and I also don't think we are by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.

It's such a lazy chant and walking down the Manny Road is a much better song which should get more airing.
The fanzone initiative is a good idea (I've only been once however) and the club are progressive and improving in their attitude towards the fans.

How do we really get the place rocking like Selhurst Park for example though, which always seems to be a cauldron of noise.

Answers on a postcard please...

4) A clean sheet!

Yes we churned out a zero in the goals against column and it was mainly down to the two new men in our back line that we did so. Step forward Paddy McCarthy and Ben Amos.

Amos looks the part. He just goes about his business with no fuss and I'm really starting to think he's the long term answer to the Lonergan/Bogdan conundrum. Who'd of thunk it?

Two quick thinking and alert saves that reminded me of Schmeichel in his pomp in the way he came out early and spread himself. Feel harsh on Lonergan really but I feel like he was playing above himself earlier this season and it was only a matter of time before he messed up. I don't have that feeling with Amos but I suppose it is early doors for him still.

McCarthy was fearsome and fearless yesterday. This is how a central defender should be. Take note, Matt Mills. We don't expect every ball he plays to be perfect but two atrocious passes put us in 2 on 3 situations which we luckily recovered from, so it didn't become a major talking point luckily for Mills.

McCarthy keeps it simple and his headed clearances are as good as David Wheater's, which I didn't think was possible.
He is the closest thing we've had to Craig Dawson since, well Craig Dawson. We still need to add some proper goal threat from set pieces though and I expect McCarthy to score from a corner in his time here.

Maybe Dougie was right in going for Crystal Palace reserves after all, as in McCarthy and Barry Bannan we've found a couple of belters.

Now where's Owen Garvan's number...

5) Tim Ream

I really thought he was excellent again yesterday.

The biggest compliment I can pay him is that the Ream 'out of position' topic is never broached anymore, such is the quality of his performances there.

He is so consistent now that I do think a Premier League club may come calling in the summer.

Tony Pulis likes a tall full-back and West Brom are playing Chris Brunt there at the moment and the aforementioned Dawson on the other side, to illustrate my point about his penchant for tall full-backs.

He is our most saleable asset, except maybe Clough now, which may tempt Gartside & Eddie Davies to cash in if the price is right.

Hopefully he is flying under the radar as our defensive performances as a unit have been particularly poor recently. Tim has not been to blame for many goals that I can remember, although I don't go to every away game to be fair.

He will be the front runner to take the player of the year award again and richly deserves the plaudits he is receiving now after a tough baptism at the Wanderers.