After suffering a shaky start to his Bolton career, Josh Emmanuel looked like a completely different player in last night’s hard-fought 0-0 draw against Blackpool.
The Wanderers right-back hardly put a foot wrong and must surely be considered among contenders for Bolton’s man of the match.
That’s something we never thought we’d say after seeing him first pull on a Bolton shirt where he looked slow, lazy and a defensive liability. Whatever Keith Hill has done to change that has clearly worked as Emmanuel looked a changed man.
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Emmanuel undoubtedly looked out of sorts in his first few Bolton games but now looks far more comfortable in the side.
While Emmanuel hasn’t been shy from bombing down the right-wing and getting forward, it’s meant that he’s left gaps in Bolton’s defence.
However, against Blackpool, he was quick to recognise the danger and recovered back to his position well on numerous occasions.
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Emmanuel’s gutsy performance against Blackpool completely nullified the threat of returning Wanderer Liam Feeney who had been touted as one of the Tangerine’s biggest dangermen in the run-up to the game.
It’s pleasing to see that the work on the training ground is paying off for Keith Hill and his players.
The manager in question certainly seemed pleased with the team’s efforts as he appeared proud as punch of his two full-backs, Emmanuel and Adam Chicksen, after the final whistle against Blackpool, sharing a joke and a smile with his players.
Seeing players smiling after a game has been a rare, rare sight at Bolton in recent years. More of the same please, Keith!