Scouting Report: Lonergan

Wednesday 8 July 2015 09:00

Marc Iles, Chief Football Writer for The Bolton News, discusses the attributes of former Trotters goalkeeper Andy Lonergan.

Were you surprised to see Andy Lonergan leave Bolton in the first place?

At one stage last season, Neil Lennon and some of Lonners' teammates reckoned he was the best keeper in the Championship - so to see him released was a bit surprising, yes. Lonners had played the majority of last season as number one, as Adam Bogdan (now at Liverpool) was injured, but he got concussed in a defeat at Nottingham Forest and things slid away after that. Ben Amos came in on loan and did terrifically well, then Bogdan won his place back. I felt a bit sorry for him in the end - but Wanderers are restructuring things financially too, so that will have played its part.

How did he do during his three years at the club?

Lonners was unlucky at times. He went head to head with Bogdan for the keeper's role at Bolton for three years and never let anyone down. I think he played his best football last season when he got a proper run in the team under Neil Lennon.

What are his greatest strengths as a goalkeeper?

He is a very good shot stopper. I've seen him make some incredible saves in the last few years. I know the club always rated his distribution skills too - he can definitely spot a pass.

Was he popular with the Bolton fans?

Very. They had a chant for him to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's Mrs Robinson: "And here's to you Andy Lonergan, Bolton loves you more than you will know..." etc. As I say, he never let anyone down and I think fans respected that.

Do you think he can challenge Marcus Bettinelli for the number one spot at Fulham?

Bettinelli is clearly a good young keeper, so Lonners finds himself in a similar spot to the one he was in a few years back at Bolton. He had to wait for his chance up against Bogdan and took it when it came along.

Did you interview him much during his time at Bolton?

I had the pleasure on a number of occasions. He's very honest, straight-talking, doesn't hide away from difficult questions. Put it this way, Wanderers got hammered 7-1 at Reading - a game in which he was the only player to walk off with his head held high - and a week later he stood up and did an interview with the local press. I wish him the best of luck down there.

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