After winning over his Premier League doubters, Johan Elmander now has to do it in front of the Bolton supporters. Elmander has scored as many goals this season as he did in the whole of the last campaign. But his damage appears to have been done away from the Reebok. The Swede has scored just once on home soil in the league since his debut back in 2008.
"It's nice to have the fans with me," said Elmander, 29, after scoring the equaliser in this draw with Wigan on Saturday. "I have always believed in myself, but this season has started well for me. I was actually asked in the dressing room why I'm always scoring away from home, but that's the way it is.
"I've never been a 20-goals-a-season man. I've always been a striker who scores between 10 and 15 goals a season and makes goals and works hard. That's what I did last season when I didn't score many goals. In the Premier League if you score goals you get more accepted and I hope I can carry it on."
Elmander's manager, Owen Coyle added: "Johan came to Bolton as a very good player. He never lost that, he just lost a bit of confidence."
Elmander, who has now scored five times this season, cancelled out Hugo Rodallega's second-half strike in this Lancashire derby. But Wigan can take heart out of another improved display that warranted more than one point.
Wigan, who lost James McCarthy to a serious-looking ankle injury, even indicated how they are up for the fight after a late flare-up between Steven Caldwell and Antolin Alcaraz. "In a way I was delighted to see that because it showed how much players are starting to care about playing for Wigan," said their manager, Roberto Martinez.
Wigan Athletic (4-2-3-1) Kirkland; Boyce (Stam, 52), Alcaraz, S Caldwell, Figueroa; McCarthy (Diame, 30), Thomas; Gomez (Cleverley, 83), Di Santo, N'Zogbia; Rodallega. Substitutes not used Nicholls (gk), Watson, Boselli, Moses.
Bolton Wanderers (4-4-2) Jaaskelainen; Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson; Lee (Moreno, 65), Muamba (M Davies 87), Holden, Petrov (Taylor, 65; Elmander, K Davies. Substitutes not used Bogdan (gk), Ricketts, Blake, Cohen.
Booked Cahill, Robinson.
Referee H Webb (South Yorkshire).
Man of the match N'Zogbia.
Match rating 6/10.Reuse content