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BLOG: The Importance of Being Amos

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Chris ruminates on how good it is to finally have a keeper we can rely on.

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Before we get too carried away, I would like to make it clear that I like, respect and am a fan of both Andy Lonergan and Adam Bogdan.

The two have served Bolton Wanderers with distinction over the past seasons, with both also showing considerable patience in being back-up to the other, especially over the past three campaigns in the Championship when they have swapped and shared the number 1 (or #24) shirt with distinction.

That said, there's a new kid on the block. I say new, he's actually 24 - soon to be 25. Ben Amos joined Bolton on loan from Manchester United back when Bogdan suffered his latest injury in January 2015. He has since gone on to replace Lonergan between the sticks back when the former Preston North End and Leeds United keeper suffered a nasty concussion away to Nottingham Forest.

It's a chance that Amos has taken with both hands.

Reliable in his handling, accurate in his kicking, confident in his decisions and with a maturity of performance that belies his relatively sparse CV, the Macclesfield-born goalkeeper has impressed everyone since arriving at the club - nobody more so than manager Neil Lennon who said:

"He's been excellent and made two very good saves against Blackburn the other night,"

"There is a calmness about him which I like and I think despite losing in the manner we did, and I'm sure he'll be disappointed, there were plus points."

We saw against Millwall FC this past Saturday just how important Amos has become, as he made two superb saves in one-on-one situations which arguably was as important as Adam Le Fondre's clinical finishing was at the other end of the pitch.

With the contracts of Lonergan and Bogdan due to expire in May, as is, coincidentally, the Manchester United contract of Ben Amos, there will soon arrive a decision which requires making. Do we persevere with the renewal of both (or either of) Lonergan and Boggers, or do we go with form and reward Amos with a permanent deal?

I know it's early days yet, but Amos has brought a confidence in the goalkeeper's position that we haven't felt in some time. He seems to fuse the positive characteristics of both competitors for the role, and seemingly doesn't suffer from the shaky kicking of Bogdan, or the suspect handling from crosses of Lonergan.

It's going to be a tough call for Lennon, but for what my opinion is worth (not much, I hear you say/write), he could do a lot worse than sticking with Amos. He's a young keeper, arguably with another 15 years and a lot of miles still on the clock.

Let me know your thoughts and comments below the line.