Dougie Freedman takes his share of the blame for Bolton Wanderers' failed tactics
DOUGIE Freedman shouldered some of the blame after his tactical reshuffle drew a blank against Brighton.
Although Mark Davies pulled out of the squad on Friday night and had been pencilled-in to start, the Wanderers boss also dropped Zat Knight, Neil Danns and Andre Moritz after the midweek draw at Derby.
He also set up with a slightly different midfield shape than in recent outings – but admitted his plan had not worked out on the day.
Liam Trotter seemed to struggle in the role he was being asked to play and Wanderers struggled to find any width in midfield.
Freedman held up his hands after the final whistle but says January signing Trotter will recover from a difficult day.
“Everyone has a bad day at the office,” he said.
“We’d asked him to do a role similar to Dannsy and I’ve got to look at myself for that, to be honest.
“The game didn’t pan out like we’d hoped and maybe we needed to stretch it a little bit wider.
“But you’ve seen in the past that he’s a good acquisition and that he’ll get better but this wasn’t his day.”
Freedman brought Joe Mason back into the side but the on-loan Cardiff man played in a slightly deeper role behind Lukas Jutkiewicz.
Chung-Yong Lee also struggled to get into the game on his return to the team for the bug-struck Davies, while the demotion of Knight to the bench came as a surprise to many after his excellent midweek display at Derby.
“All the lads who came in are all very, very capable of playing in the Championship and keeping the run going,” the manager maintained. “But it didn’t happen for us.
“In the end, it came down to they had two or three chances and took them, we had the same and didn’t. It was as simple as that.”
Freedman was annoyed that Mason’s 61st minute goal was ruled out by the referee’s assistant for offside when, in his view, it should have stood.
“The offside that was given was clearly onside,” he said. “If that goes in then it’s a different game.
“We didn’t get the rub of the green but when it went their way, they took their chances.
“It was a difficult day, especially considering how well we’ve been playing, but we’d put a lot into this week’s game and maybe it caught up with us.”