1:30pm Monday 7th January 2013
By Marc Iles
DOUGIE Freedman has backed himself to help Marvin Sordell beat a Twitter “obsession” and rescue his Wanderers career.
The England Under-21 international scored against Sunderland on his return to the starting line-up for the first time since August as the Whites drew 2-2 in the FA Cup third round.
After the game, Freedman revealed that he was helping Sordell overcome the problems he had experienced since his £3.2million move from Watford a year ago – including the persistent use of the social networking site.
Since the manager’s arrival in October, the Wanderers squad has been issued with guidelines over use of Twitter, Facebook and the like, although it is understood they are not banned outright.
Sordell’s tweeting has become a concern, however, and Freedman believes it could be linked with the homesickness he has experienced since moving to the North West from London.
“It has been quite a move for him and he’s not quite settled,” the manager said. “There have been small issues off the field with his tweeting, let’s not hide, and we’re trying to deal with it.
“It could be bordering on an obsession with Twitter and Facebook and all the things that go on with these kids.”
Sordell has been persistently linked with a move away from the Reebok in recent weeks, with Cardiff City – the club he turned down to join Bolton – said to be at the head of the queue.
But Freedman insists the Team GB star is not being pushed out of the club and says his own experience of working with youngsters at Crystal Palace gives him confidence that a corner is about to be turned.
“We are trying to work with him – by taking his phone off him!” he joked.
“He’s never had a problem on the field. He works very hard at training, he’s fit, and against Premier League opposition I thought he did reasonably well.
“We have just got to get him settled down and help him with some of the off-the-field antics.
“With my background working down in London with a lot of young kids.
“I’m just as qualified as anyone to do that, so we’ll give it a go.
“I’m really excited to get one or two of the younger lads in the team and Marvin is only 21 so it’s going to take time.
“I have been here a couple of months now and I think we’re seeing glimmers of hope now with him.”
Freedman added that he would have no issue pitching Sordell into action against Millwall next weekend.
The 21-year-old reported racist abuse after the two sides had met at The Den earlier this season, which resulted in a 13-year-old boy being banned from the ground.
Six Lions fans were also arrested a few weeks later after unfurling an abusive banner aimed at the Wanderers man in a game against Derby County.
“Whatever happened down there is nothing to do with me,” Freedman said. “Maybe Marvin was in a different place before.
“I was pleased with his quality today and he’s worked very hard for two or three months on the training ground. So it might be something Marvin is looking forward to – we’ll have to discuss it.
“If it comes down to a footballing decision, he’ll be in the reckoning for that game.”
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