Dougie Freedman faces up to mounting pressure at Bolton Wanderers
DOUGIE Freedman stood defiant last night amidst mounting calls for him to be sacked as Wanderers manager.
The under-pressure Scot saw his side throw away a two-goal lead against Bournemouth to register their ninth draw at the Reebok this season and leave the club in 19th position in the Championship table.
Wanderers were booed off the pitch at the final whistle, while some sections of the support chanted for the manager to be removed from his post after 15 months in charge.
Fans’ anger was also directed towards club chairman Phil Gartside, but as The Bolton News went to press last night, Freedman was down to take charge of tomorrow night’s home clash with local rivals Burnley.
Asked whether he could continue to rely on the backing of owner Eddie Davies, who would have the final say on his position, and Gartside, the man who brought him from Crystal Palace in October 2012 to succeed Owen Coyle, Freedman remained confident they would be sympathetic to his cause.
“I have got a fantastic board and a very experienced one, so they know what this is all about,” he said.
“They know exactly what is happening, where we are and where we have come from.
“They know the situation on and off the field.
“I take the responsibility, I will take the blame, but Bolton Wanderers are in this situation and we’ve all got to stand together right now.”
Pressed again on whether he would be given time to turn round a run of form that now reads just one league win in 10 games, Freedman added: “That’s a decision for upstairs. Have we got the time, have we got the money?
“It’s not under my control – all I can do is set the team up in the best way I think can win a football match and when something does go wrong, they stay stronger mentally.”
Freedman questioned the fragile confidence of some of his players after they let two points slip through their grasp.
Chung-Yong Lee and Lukas Jutkiewicz gave the Whites a perfect start before Lewis Grabban and Simon Francis restored parity by the midway point of the second half.
The emergency loan window reopens on Friday and the manager is planning to lobby for new signings to help a group of players he feels are still showing the long-term effects of relegation.
“That’s a conversation I’ve got to have upstairs,” he said.
“There are one or two I clearly need to bring in because we’re playing well but one or two characters need to come into the team.
“There are clearly some scars still around the football club. There are clearly some scars that are still here.
“I’ve got no problem saying that and I can hold my head up high and say we were decent enough to get the goals today.
“It’s just these long-term scars that are difficult for the players to handle and that’s what I have got to change in the loan market.”