Whites Boss is happy with cup display but wants to see a stronger mentality
THE cup was half full for Dougie Freedman despite watching his Wanderers side sunk by John Heitinga’s stoppage-time strike.
For the second time in the competition, the Whites boss had seen his side match a Premier League team stride for stride, albeit with a slightly less satisfactory conclusion than the third round clash with Sunderland.
There were no complaints about the performance but Freedman does think the frantic end to the match hinted at one of the issues he has to tackle within his squad.
Despite dominating for more than an hour, Wanderers failed to secure a replay after failing to adequately clear their lines from a Steven Pienaar corner and allowing Dutchman Heitinga to drill home a winning goal from just outside the box.
“We came up against a very good team and stepped up our game,” he said.
“Performance-wise, we’ve been decent this last three or four games.
“We just need to get a bit consistent. We have a mentality where we’re always hanging on and I don’t like that. I want to be on the front foot.
“I have got to look at the next three or four days and maybe change some players, get things going again.”
Since arriving at the club in October, the records show that Freedman has won five and lost five out of 18 games in the league and cup.
During that run, he also managed to secure back-to-back clean sheets for the first time in nearly two years and also ended a 32-game wait for a clean sheet in the league away from the Reebok.
But the manager admits further change is going to be necessary before he is completely happy with his lot.
“I see these players every day,” he said. “Right now, this is a difficult moment for this club, coming down and off the field, things have happened last year but I have seen lots of positives, good performances.
“Yes, I do need to change one or two players, to get a different mentality in the group, some different dynamics in the group, change the culture a little bit but there are certainly good performances there.
“I think we need to change one or two that have probably been here and done it and move on from there so what we can achieve is looking forward to next week, working hard on the training ground and improving players.”