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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » I never wanted to quit Bolton - Liam Gordon on getting back in the good books

I never wanted to quit Bolton - Liam Gordon on getting back in the good books

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

I never wanted to quit Bolton - Liam Gordon on getting back in the good books 12978801

Liam Gordon insists it never crossed his mind to quit Wanderers in the summer.

The young full-back had been shipped out on loan to his former club Dagenham and Redbridge in the National League after a difficult start to last season and played no part in the promotion run-in.

But after a heart-to-heart with Ian Evatt, Gordon came back for pre-season doubly determined to change his fortunes and make the best of his big move.

“I was always determined to come back,” he said. “I just said let me get my head down and show what I can do in the National League and then let me prove myself again.

“When I went out on loan I got my confidence back. I had a chat with the gaffer over the summer, he has spoken to me every day since we came back, and he believed in me. He wants me to believe in myself, really, and show what I can do.”

Gordon played 23 times for Dagenham after returning in December last year and scored four goals, often being employed on the left side of midfield as opposed to in the back four.

It was a spell which helped him recover some confidence after struggling to adapt to life with Bolton in League Two, which left him in a seemingly precarious position with 12 months left on his contract.

The defender is now working to improve his own self-belief, buoyed by his own solid start to the campaign.

“I have been enjoying myself this whole season,” he said. “The back of last season wasn’t the best for me, personally, but this has been a great start.

“I think self-belief is my biggest downfall but that will come with playing and showing what I can do.

“I feel like this is a better group. The boys are tight knit, and they kept together a lot of the ones who went up last season. It is a great squad and I feel good being in it as well because I wasn’t involved in the promotion season.

“The boys have welcomed me and trusted me.”

Gordon stepped in capably to replace the poorly Declan John against Burton Albion on Tuesday night, a game dominated by Wanderers which, frustratingly, yielded just a point.

Josh Sheehan’s international absence was also bridged beautifully by Kieran Lee, which could now give Evatt a tougher time picking his team for Ipswich this weekend.

“I have no idea how we didn’t score, it is hard to take,” he admitted after the Burton game. “But I think we can be positive about the performance, I think it was unbelievable. And there’s a clean sheet on the defensive side of it too.

“All the boys, in and out of the squad, know what their jobs are. You can see that by the way we played against Port Vale, even the ones who haven’t been playing regular football know what they are doing. The gaffer has installed that into us.

“And we need that. Everyone has to have competition and nobody’s place is secure in the team.

“If you drop your performances then there is someone behind you waiting to take your turn. When you get the chance, you have to keep your shirt.”

Gordon had already shown signs that his game had matured in pre-season and he believes that working alongside an improving group of players is helping him progress.

“It has been good coming back and training with Dec (Declan John),” he said. “I try to learn from him because he has got a lot of experience playing higher up the league. I try to add my own things to my game.

“As it is with modern day full-backs it isn’t just your defending that you are marked on, it is your attacking as well, the end product, and that is something I can improve on.

“I feel comfortable playing in this team. Even if someone beats me in behind I feel like George will cover, or Rico.

“Playing with Baps in pre-season he’d be talking to me quite a lot and his experience is unbelievable. I learn so much from him.

“To the same extent, George is the same age as me but I trust him and try to learn from him too.”

Wanderers go in search of their first victory at Portman Road in 20 years this weekend, in what has become one of the club’s bogey grounds in recent times.

Tough trips to Charlton and Sunderland also lie ahead, with a home game against another of League One’s promotion favourites, Rotherham United, sandwiched in between.

Gordon is confident that if Bolton can reach the standard they showed against Burton – adding a touch more composure in front of goal – they should have nothing to worry about.

“It’s a tough month but Lincoln and Oxford were in the play-offs last season and we beat both of them,” he said.

“I don’t think we can really look at opposition coming up, just concentrate on what we do.”

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