All the praise, but no points, a feeling that is becoming annoyingly common at Bolton Wanderers this season.
Not for the first time, Ian Evatt’s men walked away from a game with a glowing recommendation from the opposition manager and a list of statistics which show their attacking brand of football is functioning well. But the score-line tells a different story.
It was definitely not the Hillsborough homecoming that Kieran Lee had planned and he would have gladly sacrificed a few of the plaudits for a point.
“Everyone is gutted,” he said after the final whistle. “It was quite quiet at the end because we feel like we have put on a good performance, again, but not put the chances away, again.
“We have gone into games and scored four, then you get games where we can’t get one, so we’re disappointed we’re not putting them away.
“And I don’t know what to put it down to because it has happened too many times. It happened last season as well.
“I had a chance, and it was spread out – not down to one person – but we need to start putting games to bed.”
It was the fifth time in 12 league games this season that Bolton have failed to score, and it was not for the want of trying, as 12 shots rained in on the Wednesday goal.
Wanderers will once again rank highly on the expected goals lists, and any other attacking metric you could care to mention, but the frustration of having nothing to show for their efforts at Wednesday was clear to see on the players’ faces.
“It is driving the manager mad, I’ll tell you that,” Lee said. “If you weren’t creating the chances then maybe we’d be a little bit more worried. But we know we have to start putting them away, start getting the wins, because we need to keep looking up.
“We can take positives from the performance but from Monday we have just got to get back on it, back training, and score more goals.”
Lee had spent eight seasons in the Owls’ engine room before leaving in the summer of August 2020 at a time of empty stadia.
Fans mobbed him as he entered the building and the midfielder admitted it had been nice to say a proper farewell to the Wednesday faithful.
“The fans weren’t here when I left so it was good to say goodbye, I suppose.
“It was just disappointing that we didn’t come away with a win.
“There were a lot of younger fans there so it was good to give something back.
“It was hard going the way I did but good to come in and see some of the kids and the fans that I used to see all the time. They made the effort for me.”