Dougie Freedman's SOS call ahead of Blackburn Rovers derby clash
DOUGIE Freedman admits his squad is at breaking point ahead of Saturday’s crunch derby clash with Blackburn Rovers.
Problems are mounting up for the Wanderers boss, with David Wheater, Marc Tierney and Craig Davies all picking up injuries this week.
But with the club continuing to take a prudent approach in the transfer market to stay on the right side of the Financial Fair Play rules, the chances of bringing in new recruits before the trip to Ewood Park look remote.
Chris Eagles, Tim Ream and David Ngog could come back into play this weekend, while Adam Bogdan and Jay Spearing played no part in Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup exit at Tranmere.
Youngsters Tom Eaves, Sanmi Odelusi, Rob Hall, Josh Vela and Tom Youngs were drafted in at Prenton Park but Freedman believes it would be unfair to pile too much pressure on his young guns heading into a heavyweight clash such as a Lancashire derby.
“One or two injuries and suddenly we are a very light squad,” the Scot reasoned. “I was hoping those injuries would come right at the end of the season but they haven’t – they have all come right at the beginning.
“We are asking a lot of the younger players and some are not quite up to it yet.
“I am a big believer in giving them a chance but you saw at Tranmere that it was just too big an ask to do that in a Championship game.”
Wheater will have checks on his knee after falling during the pre-match warm-up at Tranmere, when he was forced to pull out of the starting line-up.
Davies could be sidelined for a few weeks after turning his ankle during last weekend’s defeat against QPR, while Tierney has been carrying a groin problem.
It could mean that Freedman heads to Blackburn without a recognised left-back, leaving Alex Baptiste to deputise in an unfamiliar position.
“That’s where we are right now,” shrugged Freedman. “You have got to turn up in the morning and go to work.
“I have been in this situation as a player and manager before and you have to dust yourself down, you know that’s what I’ll do.”