Dougie backs X-man Eagles
DOUGIE Freedman believes under-fire midfielder Chris Eagles can still give Wanderers the X-factor.
The Wanderers boss is in no mood to bow to public pressure to take the former Manchester United man out of the spotlight as he prepares a side to face Nottingham Forest this weekend.
Sections of the Reebok support applauded when Eagles was substituted in the 2-1 victory over Burnley at the weekend, and Freedman admits the 27-year-old playmaker is suffering for form at present.
The manager has given the player no cast-iron guarantees that his place is secure but insists that Eagles is still capable of the extraordinary, despite his lull, and has vowed to stick by him so long as he continues to put in the effort.
“I look at the situation and pick a team to win the game, and if Chris is in it, that’s it,” he said of his plans for the City ground on Saturday.
“He (Eagles) is trying his heart out and he is a really good guy.
“I know he isn't playing to his potential right now but he still gives us something that not a lot of people can give us in the squad.
“When you have Chris Eagles on your teamsheet I can assure you the other team looks at that right away because they know what he can do.
“Chris is like anyone else, if he trains well and shows the attitude, works hard and has the winning mentality then he gets picked.”
The Midlander is deemed fit enough to feature against Forest, however, and could be joined by fellow midfielder Medo, who came through 90 minutes for the development squad on Monday night.
The Sierra Leone international, signed on transfer deadline day from FK Partizan, was another tipped to make the matchday squad for last week’s derby but Freedman opted to give him a run-out against Bury in the Manchester Senior Cup – the midfielder’s first full game in three months.