A look back at December in a month which saw Eidur Gudjohnsen and Emile Heskey both arrive at Macron Stadium
Unbeaten throughout November, manager Neil Lennon was nominated for the Sky Bet Manager of the Month as Wanderers continued that form into December, boosted by the return of one of their favourite sons.
Having previously left the Whites to sign for Chelsea back in 2000, Eidur Gudjohnsen re-joined Bolton at the start of the month, though fans would have to wait to see the Iceland international make his second debut for the club.
Facing Reading without the veteran, Conor Wilkinson made his Whites league debut as a substitute away at Reading in the Trotters’ first game of the month, fresh from signing a new contract with club, before being handed his first start the following week at home to Ipswich Town.
The clash with the Tractor Boys also saw Gudjohnsen make his first appearance for Wanderers for 14 years as they fought out a second-successive 0-0 draw.
Darren Pratley’s well-taken goal ensured the Whites went into the festive period off the back of a win away at Millwall, before Christmas came early for Bolton fans as former England international Emile Heskey joined the club on Christmas Eve.
Ex-teammate of Lennon and first team coach Garry Parker at Leicester City, Heskey wasted no time in endearing himself to supporters as he made his debut at home to local-rivals Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day.
Joining the action at half-time, the forward poked home Gudjohnsen’s pass to mark his maiden appearance with a goal just short of the hour-mark, before Pratley’s second strike in two games saw the Trotters extend their unbeaten run to eight matches.
Pratley was on the scoresheet again, inside the opening 60 seconds, in Wanderers’ last game of 2014 away at Huddersfield Town, however, it was not enough to earn a share of the spoils as a late goal saw the Whites finish the year with a defeat.
D 0-0 v Reading (A)
D 0-0 v Ipswich Town (H)
W 0-1 v Millwall (A)
W 2-1 Blackburn Rovers (H)
L 2-1 v Huddersfield Town (A)
“It feels great to be back. I had my doubts in the summer about whether I should actually continue my playing career, but this opportunity came up and I didn’t think twice about it. I have some great memories from my previous time here and I now hope to make some more.”
Eidur Gudjohnsen on his decision to re-join Bolton Wanderers 14 years after his last appearance for the club.
Darren Pratley 3
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Having ended November with a clean sheet against Huddersfield Town, Andrew Lonergan continued that form into December as he started the month with a further three shut-outs.
Continuing to shine in the absence of Adam Bogdan, the goalkeeper’s performances in Wanderers’ five matches throughout the month saw him also nominated for the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for December.
Lonergan claimed 50 percent of the vote to clinch the accolade, with Darren Pratley and Lee Chung-Yong finishing second and third respectively.
Community review: December
Season in photos: December