Adam Bogdan remains the number one choice - Dougie Freedman
ADAM Bogdan had the international break from hell – but Dougie Freedman has ensured his first choice stopper still felt loved even after shipping eight goals to Holland.
It has been a testing few days for the Hungary international, who saw Robin van Persie crash a hat-trick past him in a hellish night in Amsterdam last Friday.
Such was the drubbing his national team boss quit on the spot – and to make matters worse his replacement then saw fit to drop Bogdan altogether from the team to face Andorra a few days later.
But fears the Whites keeper could return to the Reebok to face Sheffield Wednesday a broken man were immediately assuaged by his manager, who revealed that the 26-year-old sent a self-deprecating message hours after his Dutch disaster.
“He texted me that night with a joke and said ‘I’ve had a bit of a nightmare,’ said Freedman.
“But I played for Nottingham Forest when Manchester United beat us 8-1, so I know how he feels.
“I told him that time is the best healer and that I still love him; see you Thursday!
“He’s a nice guy. And when I say he’s a nice guy I mean that as in he doesn’t shirk responsibility – not that I’d like to take him out for a meal and a drink.
“From a professional point of view he’s someone who always puts his hand up.
“He understands that there is no use moping around or pointing the finger and saying it is someone else’s fault. He takes it on the chin and gets on with things.”
Bogdan returns to the Reebok for the first time since a horrendous error against Yeovil Town which, at the time, looked to have sent Wanderers to an embarrassing home defeat.
Alex Baptiste’s late equaliser proved a watershed moment for the Whites, who have since looked a much-improved side, grinding out a draw against Blackpool before beating Birmingham City last time out.
Bogdan is back at the scene of the crime tomorrow afternoon but Freedman believes the 26-year-old stopper could actually be stronger for the experience.
“He made a terrible mistake against Yeovil,” he said. “I will not defend him because he is big enough and ugly enough to take any criticism and get on with it.
“He was the one who chose to put the gloves on when he was young and he knows what comes with the territory. He’s going to get loads of pats on the back when he makes wonderful saves – as he did against Yeovil – and he’s going to get a bit of criticism when he lets a goal in, particularly from away fans.
“And you know what? He’s got to deal with it. He’s got to make sure he’s strong enough because there is only one person who can help him, and that’s him.
“He knows what I think of him but these are the things that players have got to go through to get better.
“I’m not a Hungary fan but I did feel for him because playing against Holland in that kind of form, I’d think they could pretty much beat anyone in the world.
“Sometimes you have got to be a bit realistic and deal with it – and in a very, very strange and awkward way it might actually be good for him in the long run.”