Players were given some home truths, says Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman
THERE was no disguising the disappointment on Dougie Freedman’s face as he trudged out with bruised pride to pore over the details of an Ewood Park nightmare.
The Whites boss stopped short of staging a name and shame campaign after what was the worst performance his side had mustered in nearly a year in charge.
But after watching the vast majority of his players fluff their lines completely in a game regarded by most of the 3,000 travelling fans as the most important of their season – and make no mistake about it – there was no lack of conviction in the Scot’s voice as he summed up the 90 minutes he had just witnessed.
“It’s not what the fans expected and it’s not what they deserve either,” he said. “They were terrific and never gave up on their team.
“I spoke some very truthful words to the players in there, I told them exactly what is needed and it is not on their terms anymore.
“I have got to make sure it is on the fans’ terms and make sure they have a team to be proud of. A team that will at least give you that urgency which I thought was missing today.”
Wanderers sunk to the bottom of the Championship with a heavy defeat, a far cry from the late-season surge towards the play-offs that defined the earlier part of the year.
We are, of course, only five games into the new campaign and the manager has asked fans to keep that fact in mind as he insists the situation is retrievable.
“Of course it is,” he said. “The top two spaces are very much gone with QPR winning today. We have got to try and recover in terms of climbing up the league.
“We showed good spirit to get back in and at 2-1 we made a fight of it.
“In the end the individual mistakes are unforgiveable. And it is happening too many times. Too many mistakes at Forest in the first five minutes of the game. Today, you are never going to win a game of football like that.”
All four of Blackburn’s goals could be traced back to mistakes from his own players – and that was a fact that stuck in the manager’s craw as he summed up the performance.
“There were too many individual errors throughout that game to try and win that game of football. Unforgiveable goals, silly individual mistakes cost us,” he said.
“We fought back to get back into the game and had a couple of chances either side of half-time. If they had gone in we could have made a game of it. But they didn’t.”