WANDERERS were struck by two late withdrawals before Saturday’s derby – but Dougie Freedman had no complaints with the men who stepped in.
Liam Trotter and Rob Hall, pictured, were plunged into action at the last minute but let no-one down in one of the Whites’ better home displays this season.
“They put every ounce in,” Freedman beamed.
“I brought them to the club and I believe in them. They are young guys and I know that down the road there will be disappointing days. There will be ups and downs.
“But I think they are the type of characters that will take this club forward because they put absolutely everything on the line.
“I want a team that’s proud to play for the football club. I want young players who want to make a living for themselves and show the Bolton fans that they want to wear the shirt.
“That’s not necessarily with a goal or a penalty save, sometimes it’s hunger and desire to get stuck in and make sure the game is played at a good pace.”
Davies succumbed to the groin problem that saw him leave the field early against Blackpool in midweek, while Mason was struck down with a sickness bug.
Neil Danns also pulled out of the reckoning on Friday with a thigh strain – but Freedman praised the flexibility shown by Trotter, who played in behind Lukas Jutkiewicz and had his most encouraging display since signing from Millwall on loan.
“When I bring players to the club I try to make sure they can play two positions,” he said.
“That can be a massive benefit when the finances are a bit tight.
“I see Liam playing in the Medo (Kamara) role as well and then as a number 10 when it suits us.
“He’s a young lad and he’s still learning how we want him to play but I thought he was great today.”