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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Le Fondre lifts the lid on a miserable 18 months at Cardiff City, Wolves and Wigan

Le Fondre lifts the lid on a miserable 18 months at Cardiff City, Wolves and Wigan

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Unwanted at Cardiff City, side-lined by Wolves and ignored at Wigan Athletic – Adam Le Fondre has few happy memories of the last 18 months of his football career.

One act of kindness does stand out, however, for the striker who this week signed a two-year deal to cement his future at Wanderers.

Despite being consigned to the bench for most of his time at the DW Stadium and cutting a frustrated figure in a Latics team heading for relegation, Le Fondre acknowledges a debt to chairman David Sharpe for engineering his loan move to Bolton in January.

Wigan had already taken on a hefty chunk of the striker’s wage from his parent club Cardiff City but when Phil Parkinson enquired about a loan move, the Whites’ Lancashire neighbours had to put rivalry aside to push the transfer through on deadline day. In effect, the Latics subsidised Le Fondre’s move to League One, where his goals helped Wanderers replace his former loan club in the second tier.

Speaking to The Bolton News, the 30-year-old revealed some of the problems he encountered before finally laying down some roots at his spiritual home.

“It has been a difficult couple of years,” he said. “In the end, I have to thank Wigan because the chairman was excellent in making sure I could get to Bolton in January.

“I wasn’t really doing anything for them. I was being chucked on the wing for a few minutes.

“Wigan agreed to pay a lot of my wages to get to Bolton, and Yanic (Wildschut) going to Norwich probably subsidised it too.

“I had to take a major hit on my pay from the Cardiff side but I was looking beyond the loan, I knew if I could work hard at Bolton there could be a contract for me longer term.

“People know what I think of the club. I’m not here for money. I’m here to knuckle down.

“Getting it done with four weeks to go until pre-season gives me some peace of mind but it was always about finding the right deal for myself and for the club.”

Le Fondre makes little secret of his disappointment at the way he was treated at Cardiff and Wolves – the other two destinations sandwiched between his two loan spells with Bolton.

His £3million move to the Bluebirds from Reading in May 2014 was supposed to be a ticket back to the Premier League but quickly turned sour, leading to his first loan stint at the Macron.

The following summer Russell Slade was forced to move him on again to keep costs down. But an appetising move to Molineux also quickly lost its appeal, leading to another loan at Wigan the following year.

“I went to Wolves and I don’t think I strung more than three games together at once,” he said. “I might have played 10 games, at a push. It still hurts me because it looked like a good move at the time.

“I thrive on playing every week and when I’ve done that at Bolton and Reading, I think the clubs have been rewarded.

“Being locked away in a shed wasn’t great for me and it meant the momentum I’d built up on loan at Bolton the previous season just faded away.

“Cardiff just didn’t want me. I’d spoken to Paul Trollope, who had been the assistant, and said ‘let’s just wipe the slate clean’ – and I told him I’d love to have stayed. But the club didn’t want me and in the end, he couldn’t do anything about it.

“When I went to Wigan on deadline day I’d hoped things would change for the better.

“I liked what Gary Caldwell had to say. I trained hard, scored on my full debut against Wolves but then got dropped the week after because I had run too hard.

“I’d play one game and then be out the next. When Warren Joyce came in I thought things would change. He liked my style, said lots of nice things, but couldn’t fit me in. At 29, I don’t want to hear excuses. I just want to hear that I’m playing.”


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