Dougie Freedman hoping Doncaster Rovers win can spark a consistent run
INCONSISTENCY, admits Dougie Freedman, may be something he has to stomach as he continues a rebuilding job at Wanderers.
After eight games unbeaten, the drop in performance in back-to-back defeats against Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town caught everyone by surprise and that perhaps goes some way to explaining the criticism that followed.
But Freedman was impressed by the reaction showed by his players in putting Doncaster to the sword at the Reebok – not only the biggest margin of victory since February’s 4-1 win over Hull but also a first home clean sheet of the season.
“What I have got to do is build a hungry team,” explained the Wanderers boss. “I am going to have a bit of inconsistency and I do understand that.
“I have a great Board upstairs who don’t panic when it gets a bit tough.
“They understand what I am trying to do and hopefully that gets across to the fans.
“What I need with consistency is in terms of taking our opportunities. Defensively – over the last 10-12 games – we have been quite solid.
“I am just very pleased the lads bounced back.
“It was a home game and it’s like ‘you have got to win this one.’ We did so I am pleased with the reaction of the players.
“That tells me when the pressure is on, they can really step up.
“Maybe we got too excited; perhaps I got too excited before the Middlesbrough game.
“It is a learning thing for me as well. But to stop a losing run and get back to a win is always good.”
Defensively, there have been few complaints of late, but Freedman was happy to report that the back five were once again in commanding form.
“We looked nice and solid,” he said.
“Against Huddersfield, it was a different kind of attack, runners from midfield; today it was two big guys up front and more diagonal balls. But we coped with it.
“I just thought the all-round defending from back to front was good and the link between midfield and the forwards was very impressive.”
Freedman made five changes to the side beaten by Huddersfield and was more than happy with how things panned out.
“Players had worked hard for eight or nine games, actually did work very hard so I wanted to freshen things up,” he said.
“I thought the opportunities were there on Tuesday, I just didn’t think the energy was there.
“Doncaster have been on a decent little run.
“They are not a bad team and are quite effective in what they do but we put them to the sword.”