Experienced defender Alex Baptiste set for Bolton Wanderers return
7:00am Saturday 29th March 2014 in Sport
DOUGIE Freedman insists there is no rift between himself and Alex Baptiste as the Wanderers boss prepares to throw the defender back into action.
Freedman blasted his summer signing after he picked up a red card in the 2-2 draw at Yeovil, missing the chance to face his former club Blackpool.
But the Scot believes he will get the right reaction from Baptiste, who returns from suspension against Wigan this afternoon.
“He will come straight back in,” Freedman pledged. “He is grown up enough to know the players have responsibilities and I will back him to the hilt.
“Alex knows what I demand of him. He knows he came to the club to get better and he has been a fantastic performer but I just felt with his sending off – and being a high quality defender – it was just unnecessary.
“He has accepted his punishment and missed a game against the team he was desperate to play against.
“If you are professional you have got to pick yourself up and get on with it. I will give him the responsibility to do that. He is therefore going to be accountable for his performance tomorrow.”
Freedman is boosted by news Mark Davies has shrugged off the groin problem picked up against Blackpool, while Adam Bogdan has also recovered from an issue with his hip that saw him miss training earlier this week.
Matt Mills is also in contention after a slight setback in his recovery from a knee injury. Meanwhile, Alan Hutton is potentially playing his final game of a loan spell from Aston Villa today.
The Scotland international is scheduled to return to Villa Park unless a deal can be agreed to extend the loan – and Freedman hinted finances could be a hindrance to that happening. “It’s a difficult one for us,” he said. “We would like to re-sign him but we need to make sure it is the right deal on our terms.”
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