Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman goes on the attack
SOLVING Wanderers’ goalscoring problems, says Dougie Freedman, is not simply a case of playing two strikers up front.
David Ngog played in the lone striker’s role for an hour before Jermaine Beckford’s introduction against Leeds United but neither managed to test keeper Paddy Kenny.
No Wanderers striker has scored a league goal this season, the last being Craig Davies against Blackpool on the final day of last season.
But Freedman is content his tactical approach to the game will give his front men enough chances and he is willing to stick to his principles as he looks to turn round the recent run of results.
“We won’t be going 4-4-2 slinging balls into the box because it’s old fashioned and it’s not the way it works any more,” he said.
“The game has changed. We had possession and attacked them wide but I don’t think that was the particular answer in this game – but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t do it.
“The answer is to get the players in the right key areas when we attack. We showed energy, we showed willingness, but I just thought the final pass or cross was what let us down.”
Wanderers put 16 shots in on Kenny’s goal, only one of which forced the former Bury keeper into action – that from Darren Pratley in the 92nd minute.
“That is what is frustrating for me,” admits Freedman. “We had enough good play in the last 30 metres to create better opportunities. What that tells me is that we are not making the right decisions – a pass, or whatever.”
Pressure is undoubtedly building and though Millwall’s heavy defeat against Derby meant Wanderers actually lifted themselves off the foot of the table, Freedman admits some of his players are struggling under the weight.
“When you lose one after seven minutes, and on something we’ve worked on all week, that does nothing for the nervous system. We were a little shaken,” he said.
“I felt we responded okay in the first half and a bit better in the second half. It isn’t like us to concede from a set play but that is the kind of thing that is happening right now. That set us back.
“After that we picked ourselves up and had enough possession around the final third to create more opportunities. We just couldn’t get that breakthrough that is sorely needed.”