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Andy Lonergan taking nothing for granted as number one choice

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
He may be in command of the jersey at present but Andy Lonergan is taking nothing for granted as Wanderers' number one goalkeeper.

The experienced Lancastrian is Neil Lennon's first name on the team-sheet at present and is likely to stay that way at the City ground tomorrow when the Whites take on Nottingham Forest.

But with Adam Bogdan on the way back from his second injury of the season and Manchester United loanee Ben Amos in reserve, Lonergan is not resting on his laurels.

He is determined to keep working hard to keep his spot and relishing the healthy competition between the goalkeepers' union at Wanderers.

Lonergan told the club: "I'm loving it at the moment, playing week-in, week-out.

"All I want to do is play games and I'm really enjoying getting the opportunity to do so.

"It's always been hard work to pit my wits against Adam for a place in the starting XI.

"But we get on really well and work hard together.

"We push each other and I've definitely enjoyed it.

"He's a great talent and whenever he's been out of the team, it's generally been down to injury rather than form.

"But that is what your number two is there for – to step in when required to take the chance.

"It's been tough for Adam this season because he is an absolutely brilliant keeper and he showed his class at Anfield in the first game against Liverpool.

"He's had a lot of bad luck with injuries since I've been here, but I know he'll come back from this latest setback even stronger.

"I don't take anything for granted.

"I take it game by game and I don't get caught up thinking I have earned the position now.

"People get dropped – it is part and parcel of the game and you can't afford to get complacent.

"Obviously, earlier in the season when Adam was initially injured, we had Paddy Kenny on the books and also Ross Fitzsimons who is a really talented and up-and-coming keeper.

"Either of them could have played ahead of me if I wasn't on my game.

"Now we also have Ben Amos in the squad and he definitely keeps me on my toes.

"He's very highly-rated at Manchester United and I won't be taking anything for granted in the immediate future.

"Of course, it's never nice to see your team-mates injured but it's ultimately your job to step in when needed and I'm more than happy to do so."

Like many of his Whites team-mates, Lonergan is enjoying life under Neil Lennon at Wanderers and wants to repay the faith he has shown in picking the ex-Preston and Leeds stopper on a regular basis.

Lonergan added: "We've improved massively in recent months

"Things have been great since the new gaffer came in.

"Everything is at a very high tempo and everything is very upbeat now.

"All in all it's just a good place to be and for me personally, it's good to know the manager has got a lot of faith in me and hopefully I can repay him with my performances on the pitch."

He has certainly done that with another fine display last weekend despite the 4-3 defeat to Watford.

That was Lonergan's 50th league appearance for the Whites but he is more concerned with helping the team get results than any personal milestones.

He said: "I just want to play in as many games as possible and that's the target rather than any number or noting milestones.

"When I've finished playing I can look back and say I've played a lot of games and that is something I'm proud of.

"Right now I want to just keep playing as long as I can.

"I'd love to play in the Premier League one day.

"I'm loving it playing for Bolton and who knows, perhaps we can go up together one day."


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