Sidelined Bolton Wanderers stars frustrate Dougie Freedman
DOUGIE Freedman says there is a sense of frustration he will not be able to pick his strongest side against QPR tomorrow.
Both Chris Eagles and David Ngog remain doubts through injury and illness and the Whites boss is also denied the services of suspended Darren Pratley – a man who has scored both of the club’s Championship goals so far.
With Stuart Holden and Mark Davies also unavailable with long-term injuries, Freedman admits his squad is stretched for the visit of Harry Redknapp’s promotion favourites.
He said: “Even if both Chris and David do come through, they have not trained as much this week as others.
“It is disappointing but they are making progress. It is going to be another touch and go scenario whether they play or not.
“They were out yesterday running around but we need to wait and see the reaction.
“That will make my mind up.
“David has been poorly and it is his recovery that is the problem because he has not been able to train. Matt Mills had the bug as well. Hopefully, no-one else will pick it up.
“We don’t have Darren Pratley either through suspension – when it rains it pours it seems.
“We have to deal with it right now and at present we have not got a strong enough squad to cope with all the injuries with Stuart Holden and Mark Davies also out.”
After an opening Lancashire derby and Burnley and another up next away at Blackburn, it is a tough start for the Whites to their second Championship campaign.
But rather than bemoan the fixture computer that has handed Wanderers a second consecutive home fixture against a relegated Premier League outfit either side of an away trip to big-spending leaders Nottingham Forest, he sees it as a chance for his younger players to stake a claim.
He added: “The injuries are what I am focusing on.
“When the fixtures come out, I looked at it as a difficult start against two teams coming down from the Premier League and a Nottingham Forest side strengthening a lot.
“If I had my players fit it would not concern me.
“But at the minute it is very difficult right now “It’s not an excuse because we have other players who can step in, albeit not as tried and tested as Chris Eagles and Ngog.
“We have young Robert Hall and Sanmi Odelusi and it might give them a chance to make a name for themselves.
“But it is difficult when you get knocks in this early period of the season.
“You are just trying to get lads through pre-season and up and running and you receive a couple of injury blows.
“It is one of these things in football and it is unfortunate it has happened to us so early into the season.”