Bolton Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman left frustrated both on and off the pitch after bad start

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman

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

IF Wanderers and Dougie Freedman are to dig themselves out of trouble at the start of the Championship season, then it will be a case of working with what they have got.

While reality is suspended in many football clubs up and down the land today, the final 24 hours of the transfer window, it seems to weigh particularly heavy around the shoulders of the Whites boss, who simply cannot seem to catch a break at present.

Millions will be spent last-minute shopping but Freedman does not expect to invest a penny, unless another manager comes calling for one of his own players.

In the light of a fourth defeat in five, the Scot gave a rather pointed response to a question on whether he will push for more investment from owner Eddie Davies today.

“Nothing changes,” he said. “It hasn’t changed in 18-plus months since I have been here, it certainly won’t in 18 hours.

“If someone phones me up then I’ve got to be ready to say ‘yes’ and get one or two in, or ‘no’ because it isn’t enough money or it doesn’t suit the situation.”

The lack of cash available to Freedman has certainly made his life tougher since he walked through the doors from Crystal Palace.

But there are many fans who argue he should be getting more out of the squad he currently possesses.

The team that took the field at Elland Road was put together with more than £10million in transfer fees and there are quite a few clubs in the division that still look upon the wage bill – albeit drastically reduced – with a tinge of jealousy.

That Freedman is planning ahead into next week’s international break tells you he does not share the view of some that Saturday’s defeat at Leeds was a final nail in the coffin.

Results have been well below expectation, as have performances on the whole, but the Whites boss remains convinced results will change.

“I don’t use the word ‘luck’ but I’m sick because of all the hard work I know goes into this football club that isn’t being rewarded at the minute,” he said.

“I don’t think we’re far wrong. We need to get into a lead and start thinking about keeping it a little longer.

“We should have beaten Leeds. We need to get on a run very quickly and have to get a couple on the bounce, but I think we’re capable.”

While a handful of missed chances looked on the surface to be Wanderers’ main problem against Leeds, Freedman was equally annoyed by the defending for the game’s only goal.

“Our biggest problem is stopping the silly mistakes that seem to be hurting us daily,” he said.

“That gave Leeds something to hang on to. They showed desire to keep the ball out of the back of the net and that was illustrated in the last couple of minutes when we had two clear-cut opportunities.

“The positives are that we created chances, we defended very well after that, but that one mistake at the start of the game was it. I’d told the lads what to expect because that’s all Leeds had in them – the crowd needed something like that to gee them up.”

Comments (6)

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9:06am Mon 1 Sep 14

Walshaw white says...

If freedman is frustrated ,what do you think us supporters feel .We have to watch this negative un entertaining rubbish.his decisions and tactics leave a lot to be desired. My one question to the board is why he is being allowed to drag this club down week by week ?
If freedman is frustrated ,what do you think us supporters feel .We have to watch this negative un entertaining rubbish.his decisions and tactics leave a lot to be desired. My one question to the board is why he is being allowed to drag this club down week by week ? Walshaw white
  • Score: 8

9:37am Mon 1 Sep 14

Balboa says...

For the last 4-5 years we've been unable to defend with any real effect - and that means previous players as well as the current lot. We are presently a team which every other club KNOWS it can bully, out-muscle and dominate to take the points.

With Bogdan in goal, we'll always need to score at least 2 to take any points from a game. He does not have the mental strength to demand or keep a clean sheet. The Leeds goal was a joke, but not entirely surprising. As for Lonergan, he's done well in the games he's played, he's vocal and has a presence, but DF drops him at every opportunity.

And why play 4 poor defenders? We may as well reduce that weakness and play with just 3, with an additional midfielder/attacker to push forward and protect them. Play the game higher up the field away from our danger area. We'll score more than we concede.

DF apparently advocates a possession-based game - but that will not happen with Mills playing. Whilst he has no doubt improved since his earlier days, his default position is to punt the ball 60 + yards upfield every time he gets it. Very few long balls/passes are successfully delivered and we surrender possession, invite pressure, and the inevitable happens.

Our midfield is unreliable. Too many stray passes, too many ineffective tackles and not enough ability to dictate play. But that's not unexpected, as the players barely know what system or players are being readied for the next match. Spearing is not captain material, in any way.

We only need to look at the successful teams in this league to see they are built on the foundations of strong management, discipline, organisation and the ability to field a consistent team set up and tactics. It isn't all about money - Blackburn, Wolves, Ipswich, MIllwall (even Charlton!!) are doing pretty well without spending a fortune.

DF seems to think he is obliged to change the tactics like they do in the Champs League - quite simply our squad is not bright enough to cope with that. A player in his mid 20-s should be capable of playing Saturday and midweek at this stage of the season - it's only 7 game sold for heaven's sake! The squad can rotate later in the season.

I am a believer in playing a season in third segments. 1. Get the team structure right and pick up a few points, 2. Get the club in to the top 6-8 positions, and 3. finish the job and get across that 6th position line.

We lack mental strength, leadership and responsibility. Sooner these issues are resolved the better the club will be for it.

We can all see the club's wage bill has been reduced but a large part is because players have left the club naturally, rather than been sold or traded. DF has picked up players on free transfers who are used to playing at this level - some of them have done ok to be fair - but none have any real experience of being winners and none are leaders.

Whilst I would like to see DF succeed and reap some reward for his efforts, I can't see that happening without a change in his outlook as to team selection. A consistent team will breed confidence and wins.

In the event DF is relieved of his duties, then I can't see anybody of real calibre like Pulis, Clarke, Mackay, Billy Davies arriving.

More likely it will be Jimmy Phillips again, but if I had to choose I'd go for Sam Allardyce (Director), Phil Brown (Manager) with Jimmy (or Gudni?) as assistants. Perhaps some occasional training sessions from Okocha, Campo, Hierro as visiting coaches!!??

Is it REALLY that difficult to resolve our issues?

Anyway, the only way is up.

Oh, and while I am on here, why is the price of pies so extortionate at the Macron?
For the last 4-5 years we've been unable to defend with any real effect - and that means previous players as well as the current lot. We are presently a team which every other club KNOWS it can bully, out-muscle and dominate to take the points. With Bogdan in goal, we'll always need to score at least 2 to take any points from a game. He does not have the mental strength to demand or keep a clean sheet. The Leeds goal was a joke, but not entirely surprising. As for Lonergan, he's done well in the games he's played, he's vocal and has a presence, but DF drops him at every opportunity. And why play 4 poor defenders? We may as well reduce that weakness and play with just 3, with an additional midfielder/attacker to push forward and protect them. Play the game higher up the field away from our danger area. We'll score more than we concede. DF apparently advocates a possession-based game - but that will not happen with Mills playing. Whilst he has no doubt improved since his earlier days, his default position is to punt the ball 60 + yards upfield every time he gets it. Very few long balls/passes are successfully delivered and we surrender possession, invite pressure, and the inevitable happens. Our midfield is unreliable. Too many stray passes, too many ineffective tackles and not enough ability to dictate play. But that's not unexpected, as the players barely know what system or players are being readied for the next match. Spearing is not captain material, in any way. We only need to look at the successful teams in this league to see they are built on the foundations of strong management, discipline, organisation and the ability to field a consistent team set up and tactics. It isn't all about money - Blackburn, Wolves, Ipswich, MIllwall (even Charlton!!) are doing pretty well without spending a fortune. DF seems to think he is obliged to change the tactics like they do in the Champs League - quite simply our squad is not bright enough to cope with that. A player in his mid 20-s should be capable of playing Saturday and midweek at this stage of the season - it's only 7 game sold for heaven's sake! The squad can rotate later in the season. I am a believer in playing a season in third segments. 1. Get the team structure right and pick up a few points, 2. Get the club in to the top 6-8 positions, and 3. finish the job and get across that 6th position line. We lack mental strength, leadership and responsibility. Sooner these issues are resolved the better the club will be for it. We can all see the club's wage bill has been reduced but a large part is because players have left the club naturally, rather than been sold or traded. DF has picked up players on free transfers who are used to playing at this level - some of them have done ok to be fair - but none have any real experience of being winners and none are leaders. Whilst I would like to see DF succeed and reap some reward for his efforts, I can't see that happening without a change in his outlook as to team selection. A consistent team will breed confidence and wins. In the event DF is relieved of his duties, then I can't see anybody of real calibre like Pulis, Clarke, Mackay, Billy Davies arriving. More likely it will be Jimmy Phillips again, but if I had to choose I'd go for Sam Allardyce (Director), Phil Brown (Manager) with Jimmy (or Gudni?) as assistants. Perhaps some occasional training sessions from Okocha, Campo, Hierro as visiting coaches!!?? Is it REALLY that difficult to resolve our issues? Anyway, the only way is up. Oh, and while I am on here, why is the price of pies so extortionate at the Macron? Balboa
  • Score: 16

11:02am Mon 1 Sep 14

Wanderers56 says...

very eloquently put, I would add that off the field Freedman and done a thankless task as the front man for the massive changes implemented. there is no way he should have had to stand before us regarding our financial situation. People higher up should have been fielding this. unfortunately, once we step over the white line, we are so negative, disorganised and dreary, that the only way is down, if we do not improve quickly. The atmosphere at, whatever we are called this year stadium, is the worst ever. Most of the matches have seemed like home games to the opposition, and there is little on offer to lift the home fans. one last observation, we keep on hearing about a transfer embargo, and getting our house in order. well all these teams spending the cash, wont care about an embargo, as their business is already done.
very eloquently put, I would add that off the field Freedman and done a thankless task as the front man for the massive changes implemented. there is no way he should have had to stand before us regarding our financial situation. People higher up should have been fielding this. unfortunately, once we step over the white line, we are so negative, disorganised and dreary, that the only way is down, if we do not improve quickly. The atmosphere at, whatever we are called this year stadium, is the worst ever. Most of the matches have seemed like home games to the opposition, and there is little on offer to lift the home fans. one last observation, we keep on hearing about a transfer embargo, and getting our house in order. well all these teams spending the cash, wont care about an embargo, as their business is already done. Wanderers56
  • Score: 5

11:25am Mon 1 Sep 14

Beyond News Forum says...

I have given up on DF... I have tried to go with his philosophy.

Since we are here, a couple of points to make.

Last year was the worst start for 100-years.

This year the worst start for 30-years over the course of 5-games.

If the worst manager and possibly team in 100-years of football at BWFC is not going to get DF the sack, one has to question what will.
I have given up on DF... I have tried to go with his philosophy. Since we are here, a couple of points to make. Last year was the worst start for 100-years. This year the worst start for 30-years over the course of 5-games. If the worst manager and possibly team in 100-years of football at BWFC is not going to get DF the sack, one has to question what will. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 6

12:58pm Mon 1 Sep 14

emptyhead says...

I'd give the job to Balboa. He talks a lot of sense.
I'd give the job to Balboa. He talks a lot of sense. emptyhead
  • Score: 5

1:05pm Mon 1 Sep 14

aydeepee says...

Not as frustrated as the fans paying hard earned money to watch it.
Not as frustrated as the fans paying hard earned money to watch it. aydeepee
  • Score: 4
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