Bolton Wanderers set to revert to one striker as Dougie Freedman speaks out against those who obsess about 4-4-2

Jermaine Beckford or David Ngog could miss out today as Wanderers consider reverting to playing one striker

Jermaine Beckford or David Ngog could miss out today as Wanderers consider reverting to playing one striker

First published in Sport
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

DOUGIE Freedman has dropped a strong hint that one of the two goalscorers in Wanderers’ FA Cup victory over Blackpool last week – Jermaine Beckford or David Ngog – will be back on the sidelines this afternoon.

The Reebok boss has intimated he will employ playmaker Andre Moritz in a support role behind a single spearhead striker when the Whites take on Nottingham Forest.

And he has warned supporters that, despite the success of an experimental two-pronged strikeforce in the FA Cup tie, he has no intention of adopting it on a regular basis.

Many fans have called for a more attacking approach at home, where they have seen two wins in the Championship this season.

But Freedman appears to be sticking to his guns and with Mark Davies available again after illness, he may come back into the equation against Forest as Wanderers look to register back-to-back home wins for the first time since April.

Asked whether he would persist with a two-man attack, the Scot felt his side would be an attacking threat regardless of the formation he employed.

“I can understand fans wanting to see attacking players on the pitch but I can’t quite buy into what they are thinking on that,” he said. “What is Andre Moritz?

“If fans want to see two strikers playing high up the pitch, running over the top, then you just can’t play that every week. The game has moved on tactically and teams tend to sit a lot deeper.

“Last week I felt Blackpool played a very high line in defence and the lads were terrific. The gameplan worked.

“This game is a little bit different. It could be the same personnel but maybe a different shape.

“At the end of the day I still feel with Chris Eagles, Chung-Yong Lee, Andre Moritz, Jermaine Beckford, David Ngog and Neil Danns, whatever formation you play, you will have a fighting chance.”

Beckford and Ngog last played together in November – and contributed to one of Wanderers’ best attacking performances of the season against Blackpool.

But Freedman believes those who hanker after the days of 4-4-2 are living in the past.

He added: “Things have changed – rotation of players, for example. If you have a winger who comes inside the pitch do we start calling him an inside-left and go back 30 years?

“I am trying to play good football through midfield and to create opportunities, and I’m not having that it will only come with two strikers on the pitch.”

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