DOUGIE Freedman reckons we will soon be seeing a lot more of Marvin Sordell than the late cameo he got against Millwall.
The England Under-21s striker came off the bench and nearly snatched a winner to silence the Lions fans who had been trying to wind him up all afternoon at the Reebok.
There had been bad blood between Sordell and the Millwall contingent stretching back to October, when the Wanderers man reported abuse aimed at him from the stands to police, resulting in a young fan being banned from The Den. But while fears that the banter from the away end may go too far proved unfounded, Freedman was happy with the response he got from Sordell when he got out on the pitch.
Things have not gone at all smoothly for the £3.2million man since his switch from Watford last January, with the club forced to curb his use of Twitter and tackle issues of homesickness after moving to the North West.
Freedman believes things could be about to change.
“When I first came here, Marvin wasn’t at his most confident and had some problems off the field as well,” he said. “We have worked hard with him and I think we’re starting to see little glimpses of his future at the football club. I think he did fantastically well and it gave a welcome boost to the crowd as well. If I’d have known that, I might have done it earlier.”
Freedman was also quick to knock on the head any rumours about Sordell heading out of the Reebok on loan.
“Silly things get written all the time but you want the truth, I’ll tell you – Marvin has never been going out on loan,” he said. “He’s a project I want to work with, the kind of guy I like, he’s young and his enthusiasm is good, so it’s never been an issue.”
After watching his side recover from a poor start, Freedman says his only disappointment was the fact Wanderers could not muster a winning goal.
“In the second half we threw everything at it and I was just disappointed for the lads because the effort and the desire was there, the decision making at the top was the only thing I could possibly criticise,” he said.
“I felt they gave me what they have got. I can’t ask any more than that.
“The only thing I can be disappointed with, because I know they are better, was the decision making in the last 15 minutes. We were so desperate to get that goal.”
Millwall’s persistent time-wasting was another topic of conversation after the game.
Lions keeper Tony Forde was the only player punished by referee Alan Clayton for dwelling over goal-kicks and Freedman admits the spoiling tactics did affect the game as a spectacle.
“As the referees are part-time they don’t realise that by explaining every single decision they are slowing the game right down,” he said. “It’s lack of experience on the referee’s part.
“They wouldn’t have been doing that if they were 1-0 down. I don’t like the game to be played in that kind of spirit. I want to see the crowd entertained.
“Everything seems to be going against us right now but I am certainly strong enough to bounce back.”