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Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Barnsley: Five Things

Jonny gives five key talking points from Wanderers’ win against Barnsley

West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Great win. Out of the bottom three. Let’s get straight into it.

1) Mark Little is my new hero

What a game this guy had. I gave him Man of the Match for a few reasons, but he really was outstanding. He’s deserved a goal for a few weeks now but I genuinely believe he didn’t put a foot wrong against Barnsley. He gets stuck in, he’s quick to support the attack and is pretty much always solid defensively, plus he scored and assisted, all from full back! It’s been a long time since we’ve had someone who naturally fits into the right back position, but I think Little is the man for the job. Long may it continue.

2) Ben Alnwick

Narrowly missing out on Man of the Match, Alnwick was another stand-out player from our victory. He made at least three key saves in the second half, all of which would’ve resulted in Barnsley goals. He was very unlucky not to keep a clean sheet as Barnsley never really looked like scoring from open play. I said last time I wrote Five Things that I really think he's a top quality player for us. If he keeps doing what he's doing, Mark Howard doesn't stand a chance of playing again this season. I pray to God we can keep him fit.

3) Mark Beevers is back!

After an uncharacteristically slow start to the season, Mark Beevers finally showed some of his League One form against Barnsley. He was solid at the back and, whilst he didn't win as much as usual in the air, he worked well with Reece Burke to ensure we defended as a unit and kept things nice and tight at the back. I'd be sad to see Burke drop out of the team but once Wheater returns from suspension, there really is no better defensive pairing than him and Beevers.

4) Adam Le Fondre, birthday boy

Did you know it was Le Fondre's 31st birthday yesterday? As good a time to play him as any, you might think. Parky obviously disagrees. I don't know what he's got to do to get a game but he must be doing something seriously wrong in training, otherwise there's just no excuse for it. I genuinely believe he should be in the team week in, week out, or at least allowed 30-35 minutes to make an impact. Alas, it isn't to be at the moment. Let's hope he gets on and scores sooner rather than later - prove the doubters wrong and cement a starting place.

5) Gary Madine, goal machine

A double! A Gary Marine double! It's been a long time since I've seen that, but I was absolutely ecstatic when I did. This must be the thousandth time I've said this, but for all the shit Madine gets, the system we play cannot function without him. Whether or not he's the right man to play in his position isn't for me to decide, but two goals out of three in a home win that took us out of the bottom three for the first time since August is no mean feat. It's high time people realised how important he is and stopped giving him so much stick.

I could go on for hours about this game but I'll leave it there. Onto next week against Forest, where I really think we could nick something.