DOUGIE Freedman is satisfied with how Wanderers’ pre-season has gone ahead of Saturday’s Championship curtain-raiser at Watford.
The Whites went down to a 1-0 defeat to Vitesse Arnhem on Sunday in the last of eight first-team friendly matches.
Prior to that they spent time in Denmark and Sweden – a tour that not only included three matches but double training sessions and a variety of team bonding activities.
Since returning to England in mid-July, Wanderers have played four away friendlies at Macclesfield, Rochdale, Tranmere and Port Vale, winning two and drawing two.
The final match was their first at the newly-renamed Macron Stadium against Dutch Eredivisie outfit Vitesse.
It may have been a mixed bag of results during the past month but the manager has been pleased with the schedule and the progress his players have made.
Not only has it allowed them to build up fitness ahead of the league opener but has also given the boss the chance to run the rule over promising youngsters like Conor Wilkinson and Zach Clough and he admits he has got exactly what he wanted out of the warm-up programme.
Freedman told The Bolton News: “I have definitely got what I wanted out of pre-season.
“It has been a very tough pre-season. We have had a lot of games and loads of people have played full 90 minutes this past week.
“It has been tough physically but I want to make sure we won’t be beaten through fitness or organisation when the season starts.”
Sunday’s match may not have been the winning scoreline the fans or Freedman had hoped for in the final friendly but he says it gave his team a tough workout as the countdown to the new campaign reaches a climax.
It was a different test to what he expects from the rough and tumble of the Championship but was still, he says, worthwhile as the final part of preparation for the new campaign.
The Scot added: “I felt we were a lot better defensively in the second half and got that sorted out. I got what I needed out of the game.
“The lads trained double sessions on Saturday and then most played 90 minutes, which is what I wanted.
“They (Vitesse) passed the ball well as you would expect from a Dutch side.
“There was no pressure on them and they slowed the game down.
“It is not a game we will be playing week in, week out – our league is more physical than that.
“But sometimes with sponsorship deals you have to play different teams and it was a good test for us and will make us even better decision wise.”