Dougie Freedman determined to get Bolton Wanderers back on track
DOUGIE Freedman reckons other managers would have walked away from the challenges he has faced at Wanderers so far this season.
Back to back defeats against Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town left the Whites boss fending off criticism from fans on the eve of another high-pressured affair against Doncaster Rovers at the Reebok.
But as the pressure appears to build, Freedman is determined to dig in his heels and get the club moving back up the table.
The memory of an eight-game undefeated run seems to have faded fast – and in a week when the Scot was nominated for the Championship manager of the month award, he believes other managers may have folded under the strain he has experienced in recent months.
“This is a very tough industry we’re in and I’ve had to cope with a very tough start to the season,” he told The Bolton News.
“Loads of managers before and after me might have given up on the job because they could see no light at the end of the tunnel. I wasn’t prepared to do that.
“I have made sure we played in a different way, made sure we were hard to beat, and we forced our way back into a good position.
“I’m not happy about where we are now compared to last Friday because we felt we could have pushed on, but equally I know we can do it again.”
Criticism has rained in from all angles over the last week, not least from former player Fabrice Muamba, whose late night rant on Twitter grabbed the headlines in the build up to today’s Doncaster game.
Last weekend saw Dave Jones (Sheffield Wednesday), David Flitcroft (Barnsley) and ex-Wanderers boss Owen Coyle (Wigan Athletic) lose their jobs in what is traditionally a precarious time of year for managers at the wrong end of the table.
But while Freedman has no illusions about the expectations placed upon him at Wanderers, he doubts whether chopping and changing managers can really bring success in the longer term.
“The statistics show you that it’s change, change, change,” he said.
“I think a high percentage of chairmen and owners are driven by the media and they makes these changes and scratch their heads about what they are going to do next.
“There are four or five clubs right now thinking ‘I wonder what we are going to do?’ “A little bit of stability is needed at a football club and when you look at the ones who have that, they tend to be the ones who benefit , whether that be behind the scenes, on the pitch, or running the club like a business.
“I understand the rules, and I know what I have to do, but I am very clear and focussed and if people try to distract me away from that it won’t work. I’m self driven in that way and I think you have to be in football.”