Just a start

Lonergan on the draw - and clean sheet - at Preston

"It is just a start" – that was the view of keeper Andy Lonergan as Wolves went back to basics with more solid foundations in Saturday’s goalless draw at Preston.

Lonergan, making his first competitive return to the club where he made over 200 appearances in more than a decade, had very little to do as a determined team performance got Paul Lambert’s tenure off and running with a first clean sheet in ten attempts.

The keeper admitted it was far from a classic, but was necessary, as Wolves look to create a base from which to climb the Sky Bet Championship table.

“It wouldn’t have been a game for the purist to enjoy,” he said.

“I imagine any neutrals might have left after half an hour!

“We had a plan, we stuck to it, and possibly could have grabbed it at the end although they then had a chance as well.

“All in all we are pleased with how we played and we defended very well from the front.

“It gave our defence less to do than they had for a long time.

“I always say that clean sheets are a team thing and that was what it was about at Preston.

“I probably made five or six saves against Derby and let in three.

“I didn’t make a save at Preston and we kept a clean sheet and that shows it is all about the team.

“I am very proud of how we dug in and defended and on another day we could have nicked it.

“It was all about setting a foundation.

“We said in the dressing room that it is a start, and that is all it is.

“Preston have been doing well and I think we matched them.

“A point away from home and a clean sheet is always a positive.”

Lonergan admitted it was nice to be back at Deepdale where he had some ‘good times’, and he was warmly received by the home fans.

But then it was all about putting into practice the fortnight’s work under the new Head Coach which yielded an immediate improvement in solidity.

“There has been a lot of upheaval here but we have had a good two weeks training,” said Lonergan.

“Everything the gaffer wanted we did – we went to Preston to get a result and we got one.

“I think everyone ran that little bit more – we play how we are told to play.

“It hasn’t been a lack of effort, everyone has a way of playing and the gaffer is high intensity and that is what we did.

“It was a good team performance.”

Lonergan says he knew what to expect with the straight-talking Head Coach, and is confident he will get the best out of the Wolves players.

“We all speak to friends in the game, and a good friend of mine was with the gaffer at Colchester and Norwich,” he says.

“We know what to expect – if we do well we will get praised and if we don’t we will get a rollocking – and that is how it should be.”