Bolton Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman calls on players to get over their fear factor
DOUGIE Freedman has warned his side they will never truly turn a corner until they become fearless in front of goal at the Reebok.
Wanderers racked up a sixth successive home game without a win by drawing against struggling Sheffield Wednesday, stalling some of the progress that seemed to have been made before the international break.
The Whites blew a lead inside 10 first-half minutes and then wasted a handful of chances to claim all three points. After scoring just five goals in six home outings and with the visit of Ipswich Town on the horizon next weekend, Freedman reckons his players must start to become mentally tougher in front of their own fans if they are to start climbing the table.
“It is something we have got to address,” he said. “You have an attitude to football and that can sometimes be dented.
It plays on your mind and prevents you from trying to get goals. Right now we have got to get out of that.
We have got to start playing without this fear factor in front of goal.
“I have said before that Jermaine Beckford has got that – and that is why I brought him to this football club. He will score goals no matter what situation he is in. We have got to start having that same attitude elsewhere.”
Wanderers remain in 21st position, a point above the bottom three, but Freedman remains convinced that fortunes will change.
“What disappoints me, more for the fans, is that it has been another huge slice of misfortune that has given them something to hang on to,” the manager said of Alex Baptiste’s own goal, which cancelled out Jermaine Beckford’s opener.
“But there are a lot of games to go, as we saw last season.
“We have had worse performances, in fact I thought we played quite well, but we need to keep on believing that if we play like that we will take those opportunities.
“We need to make sure that when we take the lead – as we have so often – that we continue to go forward.”