Dougie Freedman aiming to get Bolton Wanderers to shut up shop
DOUGIE Freedman plans to call “time out” the next time Wanderers take the lead.
Desperate times call for drastic measures and the Whites boss is now preparing to put a heavy emphasis on safety when his side next gain an advantage.
On six occasions this year Wanderers have forged ahead and the only time three points have remained intact was in the club’s solitary victory of the campaign against Birmingham City.
Reading, Derby County, Brighton, Sheffield Wednesday and now Ipswich have all battled back to take a point or more – meaning the average length of a Wanderers lead this season is just 26-and-a-half minutes, or 14 minutes at the Reebok.
“It certainly gets to be a concern,” Freedman admitted. “We have done it in games against Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and others as well – we get in the lead and I think we might now need to change the system right away.
“It might now be a case of holding on to what we have got rather than going to try and get two or three, which is what I think the fans deserve. That’s the next port of call.
Freedman reverted to a 4-4-2 formation to match Ipswich but does not believe his side’s lack of form is down to tactics.
“I think we have tried just about every player in every position this season,” he reasoned.
“We have tried 4-4-2, diamonds, anything else, we are trying our best and we are working hard on the training ground. The lads look fit, they look committed and fight to the death and they are taking the lead in most games we play in home or away. I believe we’re in a situation now where we have to change things because some players are a bit naive in terms of how we play when we go a goal up. We need to retain the ball a little bit better when we go ahead, so that’s the next little bit we need to do.
“I have certainly seen enough effort, enough organisation, we’re creating enough and I think the selection is fine. Maybe we put a couple of crosses across the box and you’d expect playing two strikers that one of them would be in there on the end of one of them.”
David Ngog also came under fire for his performance against Ipswich but Freedman refused to single him out – arguing that a number of his attacking players needed to be sharper in front of goal.
“You’ll never get me criticising players but he’s young and he’s just got to get into the knack of scoring goals on a regular basis, which he has never really been in,” he said.
“He didn’t let us down today. He was asked to get in behind the defence with his diagonal runs and he did that. It was just that end result that was missing – not only from David but from the whole team right now.”