Dougie due at Euxton - but unveiling of new boss could be delayed

DOUGIE Freedman’s grand unveiling could spill into next week, as the managerial situation at Wanderers remained somewhat unclear last night.

The Scot is currently in London and due to arrive in the North West tomorrow morning to meet his squad for the first time at Euxton.

But it is understood that he will take a watching brief from the stands in Saturday’s Championship clash with Middlesbrough, while caretaker boss Jimmy Phillips continues at the helm.

That means Freedman’s duties would begin, in earnest, on Monday, with his first game in official charge on November 3 against Cardiff City in front of the live television cameras.

Wanderers are expected to make a statement before the weekend clash at Boro to clarify the situation, once the agreement between themselves and Crystal Palace has been finalised.

But whether that will include a deal for the Glaswegian’s backroom staff at Selhurst Park is now a matter of much conjecture amongst Whites fans.

Lennie Lawrence and Curtis Fleming took charge of the Eagles in Freedman’s absence on Tuesday night and have been instructed to hold the fort by joint-owner Steve Parish until a replacement manager is found.

Sources at Palace claim the club wants to make a quick appointment, but whether it comes in time for Freedman to bring his staff in by the start of next week looks unlikely.

It is also unclear what the arrival of Freedman’s mentor, Lawrence, or first-team coach Fleming would mean to the three Wanderers boot room boys who have taken four points out of a possible six available since the sacking of Owen Coyle.

Phillips is likely to return to his role as head of the Academy, but Sammy Lee and Julian Darby - who had also been working at Lostock - could be kept on first team duties.

“I think Sammy and Julian have done very well,” said Phillips, who takes his side to face former club Middlesbrough this weekend in his last game in charge. “Dougie Freedman, I’d imagine, will have his own plans, and whether that involves using some of the existing staff, I don’t know.

“Whether he wants to use their services or bring his own people in, only he can answer that.”

In what has been his first taste of the managerial hotseat, Phillips has impressed Wanderers fans by bringing a newfound spirit to a team that had been floundering after relegation.

And the Bolton-born coach admits his appetite has been whetted after enjoying success in his first two games in charge.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said. “I feel that we’ve helped the players and added a bit if discipline to their team play.

“We know that conceding goals is a problem but I think it’s one that will take a bit longer to fix, and perhaps longer than we have got.

“But we said from the outset that we’d do it for as long as we’re asked to do it for.

“Many people would have thought after the Wolves game that would have been it, but we’re fixed to go into the Middlesbrough game, and that’s what we’ll do.

“I think the players have enjoyed working with us, and we’ve enjoyed working with them. Hopefully, come the Middlesbrough game, we can get a few more points too.”

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