James praises strike partner Lee for his contribution
James Vaughan’s fourth goal of the season gave Town a 2-2 draw at home to Bolton Wanderers this afternoon, but the on-loan Norwich City man was quick to shift the credit onto strike partner Alan Lee for his contribution to the 86th minute leveller.
The experienced Irishman expertly guided Jack Hunt’s long diagonal pass into the path of Vaughan, who made no mistake in firing past Adam Bogdan to restore parity in the scoreline in a pulsating game – all after Town ‘keeper Alex Smithies had earlier saved a penalty at 1-1.
“Firstly you have to credit the touch from Alan Lee – it was a terrific piece of forward play,” ‘Vaughany’ told htafc.com after his warm-down. “He laid me in and luckily I’ve finished it, but a lot of the credit has to go to Alan for the goal. As a striker, I really appreciate how good that touch was.
“I’m in the side to score goals at the end of the day and luckily I have done that, but you can’t take any credit away from Alan. He came on today and was an outlet; I’m really grateful for his work.
“I think everyone can see that Bolton are a quality side, but we dug in massively. Alex saved the penalty and we’ve gone onto nick a valuable draw in the end, which is very pleasing.
“We’ve had some talks this week about our reaction to goals that are scored against us and I think it showed today. We all dug in, we never looked down and with ten minutes to get another goal we could have won it in the end.
“When you are a goal up and then you go 2-1 down, I think you need a lot of character to come back from that – especially against a top side like Bolton. We can take a lot of confidence from today into the games coming up.”
Vaughan went closest to a winner for either side with an added time piledriver that was saved in stunning fashion by Bolton ‘keeper Bogdan, but he was honest enough to admit that would have been cruel on the Trotters.
“It was a fantastic save at the end, but in general I think a draw was a fair result. We’ll take that and move on.
“You can accept that result when you’re playing a team like Bolton. When you look at their squad, most – if not all – of them have played in the Premier League and we’ve shown we can stand up to that.
“I’m sure it was great to watch, but it was even better to play in! You’ve can’t get any better than playing on a Saturday in front of a crowd like that – it was a very good atmosphere. Hopefully we can give them some more moments to cheer for the rest of the season.”
Today was Vaughan’s first start after an eight game lay-off with a thigh injury and he admitted that he still has some catching up to do to reach peak physical fitness.
“I’m tired, but I try and leave everything I have out on the pitch. I was pleased to get through the 90 minutes and now I’ll rest up ready for next week. I’m still getting back to full fitness; I’m doing my thing in the gym with the physios, who have been great in helping me get back; hopefully if I keep doing it, I can keep playing.
“The squad here is a very tight-knit group. We are always together and when I couldn’t play, I turned into our biggest supporter. When we do well we’re all in it together and it’s the same when things go badly. I think that shows.”
Next up for the Terriers are difficult away days at high-flying Hull City and Crystal Palace, but former Everton trainee James is relishing the challenge.
“Hull and Palace away are tough games, but I am looking forward to them and I’m sure everyone else in the team is. We won’t go into those games with any fear, but we know they will be tough games.”
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