Tim Ream believes Bolton Wanderers’ recent defensive showings have given the whole squad a lift heading into the final months of the season.
A 0-0 draw on the road against promotion-chasing Derby County saw the Trotters extend their recent unbeaten run to five matches.
And while the game may have been short of goals, Ream revealed the Whites were happy to secure another clean sheet and claim an equal share of the points against one of the Championship’s leading sides.
“It was different to the last three wins that we’ve had, but you expect that when you come on the road and play a team like Derby,” Ream told bwfc.co.uk
after the match.
“It was never going to be a pretty game and I think most of the guys are pretty happy with a clean sheet and walking away with a point.
“Keeping clean sheets is something we have struggled with all year long, so to have kept three in our last four matches is just brilliant.
“It gives the entire team a boost and a lift and it gives them assurance that they can go forward and get goals and that we’ll shut the door at the back.”
Having seen the Rams taste defeat in their last two matches, the Bolton backline needed to be at their very best to prevent a Derby response.
Fully aware of the stern test that Steve McClaren’s side would provide, the American was pleased to see the Bolton defence pass with flying colours.
“Derby were always going to put a little extra into it, especially after coming off after Saturday against Millwall and getting hit in the gut at the end of the match,” Ream said.
“They came out flying and it was just a matter of weathering the storm in the first half, and then getting a bit more from us in the second half.
“Unfortunately we still did not break through, but we will take a clean sheet and point on the road any day.”
Having lined up at left back in recent weeks, Ream was restored to the centre against Derby County.
And while he admitted the change in role had kept him on his toes, the 26-year-old was happy with his overall performance, revealing he is happy to play wherever Dougie Freedman needs him.
Ream admitted: “It was strange moving back into the middle after playing at left back for so long, but it is one of those where I am happy to be playing wherever it may be.
“It was a little bit of an adjustment for me in the first 10-15 minutes, the manager knows that, but I settled in and did a fairly decent job manning the back.”