Dougie Freedman's Bolton Wanderers transfer plans hinge on festive form
DOUGIE Freedman has warned that failure to claim enough points over the Christmas period could put him at a disadvantage in the transfer market.
Wanderers currently sit 16th in the table, three points down on where they were after 20 games last term.
Freedman refuses to give up on his target of a top six spot – but admits if his side emulate their poor festive form of 12 months ago they could miss out on players capable of giving them a push towards the play-offs.
Last season the Whites lost three out of four games between December 22 and New Year’s Day and head into the corresponding run with a home game against Charlton this weekend.
That is followed by trips to Barnsley and Leicester before a home clash with Middlesbrough on January 1.
Wanderers might have surged up the table after finding themselves 20th at the start of February last season but Freedman is reluctant to gamble on that happening again.
“Momentum has to help over the Christmas period,” he said.
“It’s a very interesting time because I think these games will tell us if it’s possible to strengthen in January to really go for it, or whether we are going to tip-toe and make a few signings and maybe not do that.
“So these games are important and I need everyone to understand this is the mark we have to make over the Christmas period. We didn’t really make it last season and looking back, that is a lesson learned.”
Freedman is adamant the gap to the top six, which currently stands at 11 points, can be reeled in sooner than it was last year.
And that, claims the Scot, makes finding some consistency in results before the opening of the transfer window all the more important for his side.
“I still maintain a top six spot is achievable for us, and I said that at the beginning of the season, and I know people were raising their eyebrows four or five games into that. I still believe it right now because there is a lot of the season left to play,” he said.
“It was a disappointing start but there is a long way to go.
“I can’t guarantee anything and there is no magic wand that I can wave. There are some people who talk a good game but I try as hard as I can to be honest and upfront with fans – and I still think it is achievable.
“For anything to happen the foundations have got to be in place, and I believe the foundations at this club are right. We have good support, training ground, all that’s missing is that little bit of consistency.
“If we get that then I think we can be in that top six and then anything can happen.”