Dougie Freedman demands Bolton Wanderers improve home form
WANDERERS manager Dougie Freedman has challenged his team to step up their home form in the first of back-to-back Reebok Roses clashes against Huddersfield tonight.
The Whites are back on home soil for the first time in three weeks having broken their winless Reebok duck against Millwall last time out.
But they have a return of just eight points from as many Championship matches at home this season in contrast to away form that has seen them take 10 points from 15 in recent weeks.
Ahead of a busy month of six games before the end of the year, Freedman wants his players to transfer that good away form to home turf and show the Reebok regulars what the away fans have been witnessing in the past two months.
He told The Bolton News: “I think if we are going to do anything this year, our home form has to be better. We look capable of winning games away from home and keeping it tight.
“The players have addressed that situation, now we need to really step it up at home.
“I am really looking forward to the next two games and getting some points on the board at home.
“The fans away have really seen us better than the home fans so I am looking forward to that changing.
“If we can get better performances at home it will set us up for an important month.
“In my opinion, I think we have been playing well at home but not getting the breaks.
“Maybe, at times, it isn’t all about the tactics but about the players showing determination to get three points.
“There is no added pressure from the fans or myself, the players just need to keep their performance levels up.
“If we get in the lead, then maybe playing a certain way can help as we showed against Millwall.
“It is a busy month and a good opportunity to start that in the right way at home.
“We have two games at the Reebok this week so hopefully we can start with maximum points.”
It is also a chance to quickly bounce back from a first league defeat in nine, albeit by a narrow 1-0 margin at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Freedman added: “Having a game so quickly after Saturday gives us a good opportunity to bounce back.
“We feel that we were very unlucky at the weekend; I thought we played some decent stuff.
“We were a kick away from keeping our good run going so we are not going to look into it too much. We are looking forward.”
Freedman could reshuffle his pack on home soil with Rob Hall and new loan addition Joe Mason in contention if a more attacking starting XI is deployed.
One man who is unlikely to be in the matchday squad, however, is Chris Eagles who Freedman revealed limped out of training early yesterday with a groin problem.