Why I had to sell Petrov - Freedman

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

DOUGIE Freedman has lifted the lid on his reasons for selling Martin Petrov.

The veteran Bulgarian winger should finalise his move to Espanyol early this week after two-and-a-half years at the Reebok.

Some fans have been left disappointed at the enigmatic star’s exit but Freedman insists the decision was made for the good of the football club, and is now looking to recruit younger replacements.

“We’ve got to face the facts that Martin is in the latter years of his career, earns a lot of money at this football club, and I think the best thing right at this minute is to try to bring in some new, young blood, and try to bring them on,” he said.

“That is where we are and, hopefully, everyone understands that decision.”

Wanderers drew 1-1 with Millwall on Saturday to fall 10 points behind the play-offs. Keith Andrews and Andy Keogh traded penalties in the first half and despite creating several second-half opportunities, the Whites could not find a winner.

Youngsters Tom Eaves and Josh Vela were named on the bench but there was no place for new signing Craig Davies, who had joined the club in midweek from Barnsley.

Freedman explained his absence as a fitness issue.

“He’s not quite there in terms of intensity,” he said. “He will possibly be there in a week.

“He had missed a couple of games for Barnsley and I wouldn’t like to throw him in if he’s not where I want him to be. I’d like his testing – speed, endurance – to be at a better level.”

Freedman will continue his recruitment drive alongside preparations for tomorrow night’s FA Cup third round replay against Sunderland.

The Whites boss wants to bolster his defence but is determined to make the most out of the limited finances at his disposal for signings.

“We haven’t got loads of money to spend in terms of going and just buying who we want to,” he said. “I have got to make good decisions. I don’t want to put this great club into financial difficulty over three or four years, I want to make sure that we do it correctly. The buys that are coming in have to be value for money.

“We are looking around and seeing what we can do. There are one or two things possibly this week but I will not be rushed into buying players just because of the situation we find ourselves in at the moment.”

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