DOUGIE Freedman will continue the search for defensive cover this week after failing to land Swedish international Mikael Dyrestam last week.

The Scot had been hopeful of adding the 22-year-old to his team after assessing him on trial at Euxton.

But, as reported in Saturday’s The Bolton News, the deal collapsed when his former club, IFK Gothenburg, requested a development fee in the region of 400,000 euros.

Freedman confirmed after his side’s 2-0 win against Watford on Saturday there was no chance of reviving the deal for Dyrestam and that he was switching his focus elsewhere.

He remains, however, determined to ease the burden on his back line – maybe even before this weekend’s big Lancashire derby against Blackburn Rovers at the Reebok Stadium.

Freedman said: “He (Dyrestam) has gone back.

“We couldn’t agree a deal and that’s finished now.

“There are others in the pipeline.

“We need defensive cover to help a back four that has virtually been unchanged since Christmas time.

“We just need a bit of support in the full-back areas.

“To finish the season with some momentum we need to cover those positions.”

For a brief worrying moment late in Saturday’s victory over Watford, it looked as though the defensive situation could have suffered another blow when Matt Mills overstretched to make a clearance six yards from goal and instantly waved for treatment.

Fortunately for Freedman, Mills was up on his feet soon after and okay to continue.

There was one injury blow with Darren Pratley forced off midway through the first half and visiting hospital for a check on his injured shoulder.

The manager hopes for good news on that front to avoid a lengthy lay-off.

Freedman added: “Matt Mills has been a real rock at the back for us and I was concerned when he stayed down but I think it was just overstretching.

“Fortunately, it wasn’t ligament damage but I thought we would have another enforced substitution for a moment like we had with Darren.

“Darren’s shoulder popped out and we have popped it back in.

“But if it did it again it could mean a six-week lay-off and we cannot afford that right now so we took him off as a precaution.”