DOUGIE Freedman has fired a warning to his front men – sharpen up, or else.
After watching his side waste several good chances at Leeds United last weekend and emerge pointless, the Wanderers boss is demanding instant improvement from his attacking players when they reconvene after the international break.
Craig Davies, Joe Mason and Jermaine Beckford have shared the burden up front in the first five games, which have yielded just one point.
And Freedman believes the lack of ruthlessness in front of goal has been a major contributing factor in the club’s poor start.
“You cannot keep saying you are unlucky,” he told The Bolton News. “Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted when that pressure is on you to perform.
“Being an ex-goal-scorer I think you have got to want to score goals. They don’t just come to you.
“I’ve had those kind of opportunities and I’ve missed plenty of them as well – but we need to start showing some more urgency. We’re letting ourselves down at the moment.”
Wanderers’ problems are not confined to attack, and Freedman admits there is plenty of improvement to be made in defence before the next home double header against Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United.
“We are giving teams something to hold on to,” he said. “I don’t think the team is lacking in confidence, we have shown there is still some fight in us.
“I think we have shown the right energy in games but when you make these silly mistakes at the back it hurts you.”
Freedman returns to Euxton today after helping Scotland’s Under-19s in their friendly against the Czech Republic. And he intends to use the time to maximum advantage.
“It gives us a little bit more time to put some work into the players, so I don’t think the international break is a bad thing,” he said.
“I’m not getting too down about the start we have made, it won’t do any good.
“There are things that I need to work on but I think it’s a mental thing now, like when we get into a lead we keep ourselves there.”