MANAGER Dougie Freedman was happy with the way his Bolton Wanderers team acquitted themselves against top-flight opposition Cardiff City, despite exiting the FA Cup at the fourth-round stage for the second successive season today.
Just one goal from half-time substitute Fraizer Campbell decided the Reebok tie in favour of the Premier League side – and it was a strike that owed as much to an uncharacteristic slip from Whites stopper Andy Lonergan as to the Bluebirds’ forward play.
Freedman admitted as much post-match but refused to blame his current number one for the defeat.
And he felt the way his side performed in response to last weekend’s 7-1 drubbing at Reading, showed the spirit he called for going into the game.
Freedman said: “I felt in the first half we were defensively very strong and compact.
“We moved the ball well and created three or four half chances.
“Because of our performance in the first half they changed it and brought two high quality players on.
“Unfortunately, we made an error for the goal and that was the only thing we did wrong all game.
“That was the difference.
“Andy Lonergan is experienced enough and he made an error.
“But he’s been fantastic for us and I have been happy with him.
“He didn’t have a lot to do today.
“It’s not a blame culture I have at the football club.
“I felt the difference was that when we got in and around their box, we just didn’t have that quality we needed to get that goal.
” Overall, I was very pleased with the spirit and the performance after what happened last week.
“There was a good response there.
“It is difficult to take a defeat at any level but there wasn’t a lot in the game today and we gave it a right good go.”
Freedman also praised the display of striker Craig Davies on his first start since mid-August.
Davies was selected with Jermaine Beckford still sidelined and David Ngog in talks with Swansea about a possible switch this week – something confirmed by Freedman this evening.
The Scot added: “We had Jermaine missing, Andre Moritz just coming back and David Ngog was down in Swansea talking to them.
“But, I thought Craig worked the line fantastically on the day.
“We just didn’t produce that it of magic we needed.”
See Monday’s The Bolton News for full reaction and report from today’s game.