DOUGIE Freedman has a recipe for success at Wanderers but acknowledges the need to find that vital missing ingredient in attack remains of paramount importance.
The Whites boss felt his side showed they are on the right track with a creditable display in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest.
But, as he prepares to welcome another promotion favourite, Middlesbrough, to the Macron Stadium tonight, the Scot concedes the lack of a consistent matchwinner is a concern.
Wanderers do have goals in them – as the last two matches have illustrated – but former striker Freedman knows they need someone who can provide that something extra to turn tight games in his team’s favour.
Wanderers fans had a glimpse of that in the second half of last season when loan star Lukas Jutkiewicz added the x-factor in attack alongside Joe Mason.
Mason has since returned to the fold and took just four minutes on Saturday to pick up where he left off last season.
But the need for more reinforcements up front remains glaringly evident to both manager and supporters alike.
Freedman told The Bolton News: “I am looking for that spark going forward.
“On Saturday we played well and got right in amongst them and did all right tactically.
“It is such a tight division, you just need that little bit of quality to get you a lead.
“We had that on Saturday but just needed to hold on to it for a little bit longer.
“I know at times we are lacking a bit of attacking flair and I understand that.
“At the right time we will try our hardest to get that through the door.
“We can’t just go out and buy players so we need a really good spirit.”
As well as another striker, Freedman has reiterated his desire to add another wide man to his ranks.
He believes the team can profit from width and provide the supply line his attackers crave.
The Whites boss added: “We have good options in the squad like Liam Feeney who is a wide player that is mobile and quick.
“We played more of a tighter unit against Forest but I thought when Liam came on he did well and helped us.
“But I am still looking for another pacy wide man.
“In certain games you can use that width and we can profit from that if we can get another in.”
Freedman’s frustration in the transfer market as he heads into the final two weeks of the summer window will only intensify tonight when big-spending Boro arrive at the Macron Stadium.
Spanish boss Aitor Karanka has been busy in the summer with new faces almost in double figures.
The likes of Adam Clayton from Huddersfield and Lee Tomlin from Peterborough have been joined by several of Karanka’s countrymen at the Riverside Stadium – the most notable 24-year-old Kike for a reported £3million from Murcia.
Freedman is unable to compete with the financial clout at Boro and admits it makes for a difficult task tonight.
But he is confident his more modestly assembled squad can match the Teessiders.
The Scot said: “It is a very tough test. The manager has come in and been backed very heavily this summer.
“He has recruited very good players and paid a lot of money for them so they ae going to give it a right good go this season.
“Boro have had a quiet few years but in the last year or so they have recruited players like Tomlin, Adomah and Clayton the other day.
“Ayala is another who I looked at myself but the asking price was £1million.
“Fair play to the chairman up there he has once again backed his manager to get them challenging.
“They have a good blend.
“The Spanish boy, Kike, they bought up front is a very good player.
“They spent £3million on him but I think it is money well spent.
“When you have that type of player, you have to play a certain kind of way.
“The problem is when you are spending that kind of money you are expected to go to Leeds and come to Bolton and get results but the Championship doesn’t always work out that way.”