All hands to the pumps, says Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman
DOUGIE Freedman plans to send his strongest Wanderers team out against Derby County tonight to get the elusive win everyone at the club is craving.
The Reebok clash is the second of three Championship games in eight days for the Whites with a tough trip to Brighton up next on Saturday.
But while he would normally have an eye on the next game, the manager says the situation they are in – without a win in their first six outings – dictates it is all hands to the pumps against the Rams.
That means he will resist the temptation to make too many changes, despite defeat to Leeds on Saturday.
Freedman said: “My thought process is always to plan for three games in a week. But where we are right now, we have to pretty much pick players on form.
“You cannot say we will wait for Brighton and pick a team for that.
“In our situation it is all hands to the pumps.
“There have been huge positives for me in the displays of Tim Ream, and I thought Matt Mills came in and did well on Saturday.
“Young Robert Hall came on and did well and both Medo and Jermaine Beckford are there to come back in if we change it. But we need our strongest available team.”
Despite a fourth successive league defeat against Leeds, Freedman says the mood in the camp remains upbeat.
He believes there is a steely determination in the squad to get back out on to the pitch to get that first win and kick-start the campaign.
The boss added: “The lads are obviously very disappointed in how the results have gone, but they are very focused.
“I have pointed out to them their performances are not too far away from winning games of football.
“Apart from Forest away, we have shown in every game we are a very capable team.
“There is no doom and gloom and they seem to be in a mood of ‘we’ll get this right’.
“There is an inner belief in them with what happened last season and the way they are playing.
“I’ve been here as a player many times and as a manager last year at Crystal Palace. It is a fine line.
“They are very upbeat and want that next game and the feeling of that first win.
“There is no doubt in my mind, we will get the win and go on from there because we have the right type of players.
“I honestly believe we can go on a good run when we get that win.
“I, as a manager, understand what’s going wrong. We have to be better in our box defending set pieces and we have to finish moves off better in certain positions up front.
“We are trying to put things right.
“All of a sudden it can click with a few good results.
“Derby have started well and had some eye-catching results, but I do not believe for one minute we are not capable of winning this match.”