He’skey to Bolton success: Emile rolled back years in Blackburn win, says Lennon

Emile Heskey inspired memories of his Leicester City days during his second-half debut as Bolton beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at the Macron Stadium, says his new manager Neil Lennon.

After coming on at half-time for his first appearance in English football since May 2012 the ex-England international slid home Eidur Gudjohnsen’s cross to cancel out Josh King’s opener.

Darren Pratley’s winner three minutes later ensured that Wanderers extended their unbeaten run to eight games and rose to 14th in the Championship table.

Lennon was delighted with the 36-year-old’s display but admitted he was surprised by the good condition the striker arrived in after leaving Australian side Newcastle Jets in the summer.

“Emile was full of running and full of power today, and was a real focal point for everything we did in the second half,” said Heskey’s former Leicester teammate.

“I told him he looked like he was back in his Leicester days in 1996, he rolled back the years. He’s come in and lifted the place.

“He’s in a better physical condition that we thought and he revolutionised the game for us. I didn’t expect that from him, if I‘m honest.

“I thought he was fantastic and I think everyone will be going away from the stadium today talking about him.”

Lennon suggested that there may have been more than a few people questioning the decision to bring in two strikers with a combined age of 72 in Heskey and Gudjohnsen.

However, he believes the two players’ link-up play during Heskey’s 45-minute cameo will have gone some way to proving the doubters wrong.

“A lot of people raised their eyebrows as to why we brought Emile and Eidur in, but I think this afternoon they showed exactly what they are capable of,” he added.

“It is a great story because maybe people have been laughing about us bringing these two guys in. But you can see the qualities they still have.”

Heskey expressed his joy at being able to partner Gudjohnsen up front, and believes Wanderers should be aiming high for 2015 ahead of Sunday’s trip to Huddersfield.

“Eidur Gudjohnsen is a class player, and it’s great to be here,” said the former Liverpool, Wigan and Aston Villa man. “No-one else on the pitch would’ve spotted the run I made for the goal.

“When you’ve got players like Eidur who have played at the top for years and years he sees the passes that other people don’t – all you have to do is make the run and he’ll find you.

“The game’s getting quicker but experience will always help you. I’ve still got a little bit left to give and to pass on to the younger lads, which I think is important.

“We can go all the way. Lenny’s installing a lot of belief in the players and you can see that in the performances they’re putting on the pitch – the sky’s the limit.”

Main image courtesy of Bolton Wanderers FC via YouTube, with thanks.

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