Dougie Freedman says today's Bolton Wanderers strikers can learn from Nat Lofthouse
10:30am Friday 23rd August 2013 in Sport
MANAGER Dougie Freedman believes the legacy of club legend Nat Lofthouse can inspire the current crop of Wanderers frontmen to success.
A statue of the Whites hero will be unveiled outside the Reebok ahead of tomorrow’s lunchtime meeting with QPR.
And Freedman says his record and impact on the club he loved sets an example that all the current players can learn from, particularly the front line who are yet to fire this season.
As a striker himself in his playing days, the Scot believes in good practice and learning from other centre forwards.
He uses video analysis with his striking department of Jermaine Beckford, Craig Davies and David Ngog to research how other front men operate. It is a tool he values and while he admits there are not too many clips of Lofthouse in action, he knows his example is one to appreciate and follow.
Freedman said: “We do a lot of video work with the forwards looking back at other strikers.
“While we don’t usually go that far back, there are lots like Nat who the players today can learn from by video analysis.
“I have not got too many clips of Nat but by talking about how he played and what he did, it definitely gives players a target to aim for.
“I doubt any will be better than him, but he is an example at this football club.
“For the current players it is something to follow the way he played and the standards he set at this football club.
“His goalscoring record itself can inspire players here now.
“When I am coaching there are things players respond to and as well as doing it out on the training pitch, I am a big believer in watching video clips of other strikers just like boxers do.
“It is a tool I used as a player and one I like to use as a coach to demonstrate movement and the way other forwards do things.”
Lofthouse is certainly a man who set high standards with 255 goals in 452 league games for the Whites and an incredible 30 in just 33 England internationals.
Even as a young player growing up in Scotland, Lofthouse’s name was one Freedman was fully aware of.
And he believes the statue unveiling is a reminder of what it means to play for Bolton Wanderers and a fitting reward for the one-club man who would have celebrated his 88th birthday on Tuesday.
He added: “The statue unveiling is a wonderful thing for the football club. It is another example of the history here that glares you in the face.
“What a fitting tribute it is for what that man did for this club on and off the field.
“Even being in Scotland, Nat’s name always came up when you talk about the best five England players.
“In any walk of life, his record is phenomenal.
“The question gets asked could he play today and, of course, he could.
“That type of player adapts his game to markers, styles and the pitch.”