Bolton Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman set to start season with a single striker

Jermaine Beckford is set to be used as a lone striker

Jermaine Beckford is set to be used as a lone striker

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

WANDERERS boss Dougie Freedman is keen to play with two strikers this season but concedes he needs more attacking options to do that.

In the final pre-season friendly against Vitesse Arnhem on Sunday, the Scot deployed Jermaine Beckford as the lone man up front – something that has been a regular occurence in the build-up to the new campaign.

A lack of a good enough supply line to Beckford meant the Whites drew a blank in their 1-0 defeat and fans were again frustrated with a tepid display in the final third.

Freedman says he understands those frustrations but insists the opportunities to play with two in attack are not there with the current personnel at his disposal.

Last season he had the benefit of loan stars Lukas Jutkiewicz and Joe Mason who combined well as a front pairing to net eight goals between them in as many matches together.

But missing out on signing Jutkiewicz, who opted to join Burnley, this summer and being no nearer to adding Mason, coupled with the exit of Marvin Sordell, leaves the Whites shy in attack.

Beckford and Craig Davies are the only senior options, though youngster Conor Wilkinson has impressed in pre-season.

But Freedman is not ready to throw him in at the deep end of Championship football on a weekly basis.

It means his options to play an orthodox strike duo at present are limited.

He told The Bolton News: “Because of the system we played (on Sunday), and have to play at the minute, it can be tough going forward.

“We all want to play two strikers. When you get two who can combine with each other and work for each other, it works well but unfortunately we haven’t got that at the football club at the minute.

“There is no use experimenting when you don’t have the personnel so we have to play one striker and others off him.

“I was a little bit disappointed we didn’t play as much through midfield on Sunday.

“We need to make sure we do that better when Jermaine’s playing that role.”

Freedman spoke after Sunday’s defeat about having to bide his time to get the right additions in before the transfer window closes at the start of next month.

But he is reassuring fans he knows what is needed to provide more of a goal threat this campaign.

The Whites boss added: “We just need to make sure we can get a bit of guile up front.

“I understand what we need and am doing my best to get the right ones in.”


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