Team get full marks from Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman
DOUGIE Freedman did his homework on Bournemouth and complimented his players for passing their Dean Court test with flying colours – but the gold stars will stay in the drawer for now.
However pleasing a second victory of the season was for the Whites boss, he was keen to keep feet firmly on the floor after the final whistle on Saturday.
It had been a case of extra revision after two disappointing home draws against Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich but Wanderers discovered a winning formula down in Dorset hitherto unseen this season.
Three points were taken from Birmingham thanks to some backs-to-the-wall defending but victory over the Cherries was entirely more convincing.
Not that Freedman is getting over-excited, with his work on improving the club’s league position far from complete.
“We showed Bournemouth a lot of respect,” explained the Wanderers boss. “This is a team that had won promotion and so had a lot of confidence about it.
“We have got a talented group but they have to start taking on board to tactical side of the game and I think they did that.
“At the end, we changed it a little bit by throwing Zat on but without sounding too confident, I thought we were very comfortable in the game. We had five or six counter attacks and might have scored more.
“But it’s not about slapping yourself on the back – we work hard on that training ground because we’ve got a responsibility to those fans.
“I work hard on my coaching every Monday morning onwards and right now I am giving credit to the players for tuning into what I had to tell them. They gave the fans what they deserved.”
One of Freedman’s star pupils Chung-Yong Lee had seen grades dip in the last few months.
But after shrugging off a few bumps and bruises early on the Korea international became a major force in the second half. “He’s very sharp and good on the ball but it was difficult for him in the first half,” Freedman said.
“He kept at it and we spoke a lot about that side of the game, making sure he kept wide and the drove inside with the ball.
“But it was the mental side of his game that kept him at it, and that was the difference.”
Freedman also made the bold move of putting Sanmi Odelusi in midway through the second half for goalscorer David Ngog, in what was only the 20-year-old’s fourth Championship appearance.
“I’ve got no fear at all putting Sanmi in there, why not?” he said.
“Chris Lester and Conor Wilkinson have gone out to Chester on loan and I told them ‘go out there, get kicked, go and score some goals’ because it’s important for their career.
“They will get opportunities while I am the manager because that’s what excites me to be honest.”