Simon delighted with his side’s part in a great game
Simon Grayson described Town’s 2-2 with Bolton as a great advert for the npower Championship.
“There was excitement right to the very end – which was no good for me as the manager,” said Simon. “We started the game well against a very strong Bolton side; they have got Premier League quality throughout their team. We had to hang in there at times and then could have won it at the end.
“They came out of the traps quicker than us and passed it better. After the first five minutes we got a grip of the game and retained the ball. We created some decent opportunities and should have maybe got another goal in the first half when Lee Novak hit the bar.”
At 1-1 Alex Smithies produced a great save to deny Chris Eagles from the spot and keep Town in the game.
“Alex was disappointed with the goal that he conceded last week, but that didn’t concern me because he has been fantastic since I arrived at the Club. He showed today that he is a top, top goalkeeper with a couple of great saves to keep us in the game. I never thought about dropping him - that would have been a very harsh decision. He has won us a lot more points than he has lost us. He knows that he has got to produce because he has got Ian Bennett pushing him all the way.”
Eagles redeemed himself by sending Bolton in to the lead before James Vaughan fired low and hard to earn Town a point.
Speaking about Vaughan, Simon said: “He gives us a presence in attack and I am delighted that he managed to last the 90 minutes. He showed what he was capable of today. We were bold in attack with Novak and Simon Church in attack alongside Vaughan and at times we caused them a few problems. James' finish was superb to get us back into the game and then he almost won it for us right at the end.
“When people come off the bench they have to make an impression. I said to Alan (Lee) before the game that he was unlucky not to be starting because he was one of our best players last week. He understood my decision and it was brilliant that he came on and had a hand in the goal.”
To finish Simon updated htafc.com on the fitness of Jermaine Beckford and Joel Lynch.
“Jermaine’s injury is coming along nicely and he is upping his work with the physios. We will assess him every day before next weekend’s game. Joel Lynch failed a fitness test on Friday, which was a blow, but he should be available for the Hull game.”