Dougie Freedman got results with his tough-talking approach with Bolton Wanderers

Dougie Freedman tells it like it is

Dougie Freedman tells it like it is

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

DOUGIE Freedman has pledged to continue speaking his mind in an effort to keep Wanderers in order next season.

The Whites boss has not been afraid to dish out some harsh words to his players during a disappointing campaign, not least after heavy losses at Blackburn Rovers and Reading.

In one memorable barb, Freedman branded some of his players “frankly not good enough for the football club” after a stinging 7-1 defeat at the Madejski Stadium.

But the Scot has no regrets about taking a hard line and warned his players he will not be changing his approach when they return after the summer.

“Too many pundits out there just try to tell people what they want to hear, or others who are controversial really don’t have a clue what they are talking about,” he told The Bolton News.

“But I try to be very honest with the Bolton fans. I don’t think publicly criticising players is always the way to go but there has to be once or twice, when I think it’s the right time, that they need to face up to certain things.

“If players are going to be responsible for signing a contract they have to be accountable for what it means. And I think the fans need to know that.

“Does it work? I think in this particular case it did. It was the truth, and most times when you tell the truth it works because you have nothing to hide.”

Freedman has hinted at issues behind the scenes that could have contributed to the club’s worst start since 1903, which saw them go 10 games without a win in the early weeks of the campaign.

From there, Wanderers failed to spend a single week in the top half of the table before ending 14th, the club’s lowest league finish in 20 years.

The manager accepts his portion of responsibility but feels he learned much more about the players who will be staying with him next season in the difficult times.

“I take the blame for what happened in the first 13 games but I’m also proud of how we turned it round,” he said.

“The start cost us, not only our position but the confidence as well.

“Yes, we finished lower in the league because of the poor run but it cost us more than people probably realise because of what it took to get the belief back into the team.

“Full credit to the lads, I believe they have done fantastically well to pull a difficult season round in time and to finish strongly. And I won’t forget that.

“We were only been beaten in two of the last 15 games of the season, so I have to look at it that way as well. Yes, that horrible run cost us but the recovery was unbelievable, it was immense.”

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