Bolton Wanderers must be more clinical against Yeovil Town, says manager Dougie Freedman

Zat Knight rues a missed chance against Yeovil at the Reebok in September

Zat Knight rues a missed chance against Yeovil at the Reebok in September

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

MISFIRING Wanderers are on two strikes – and Dougie Freedman is desperate to avoid registering a third for the first time in his Reebok tenure.

Even though goals have flowed relatively well this season, the Whites boss admits he has too often found himself explaining away dropped points because of a failure to take opportunities.

The club drew a blank against Derby, albeit in a gritty draw, but then went back to their wasteful ways against Brighton last weekend.

Freedman has never managed a Bolton side that has gone three games without a goal, leaving him calling for a more cold-blooded approach in front of goal against Yeovil tomorrow.

“I think back to that stage of the season where I seemed to be talking about missed chances all the time,” he told The Bolton News.

“We’d played Yeovil at home, Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich, and we were getting too many draws – it looked exactly the same last Saturday and we don’t want to be getting back to that.

“We need to be more ruthless with our finishing and if we’re going to get anywhere, we need to get that way fast.

“Critics are always going to be there in football because everyone wants to win every game.

“The important thing is that we don’t take this game lightly. This game is just as tough as it would be away at Leeds or Derby.”

Wanderers wasted a bucket-load of chances in their home meeting with Yeovil, and required Alex Baptiste to bail them out with a late equaliser.

“When I think back, I was sitting back in the first half and wondering how we weren’t winning. It was wave after wave of attack,” Freedman recalled.

“It looked like only a matter of time so to scramble a point with a late goal, it was difficult to take. It was a very strange game.

“I think Yeovil are a little bit different to when we played them, and so are we personnel-wise, our mindset is better.

“I watched them play at Wigan the other night and they played well against a good side.

“Down there they are strong as well. They have a home crowd who get right behind them and have no real expectations. No matter what the result is, or how they are playing, they tend to get behind their team.

“It is a small pitch and difficult environment to play in. I don’t think there is much margin for error, we need to be at our absolute maximum to get a result.”

Wanderers have only once played competitively at Yeovil, in an FA Cup game 10 years ago, but Freedman knows all about the pitfalls of Huish Park.

The Scot scored a winner for Leeds United in Somerset back in 2008 but also ended up on the losing side playing for Southend United a year later.

And he has warned his side that despite the Glovers’ lowly league position, they will not have things easy.

“I’ve played down there before and it’s a tight pitch,” he said. “The middle of the pitch isn’t great either because of the weather down there recently.

“They are a get-up and get-at-you team and they have got a manager who’s very experienced. He’s been around this level for a long while.

“We’ve got a decent away record this season – definitely better than last season – and we need to try and continue that.”

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