Dougie Freedman calls for Bolton Wanderers to end the season on a high

Dougie Freedman is looking to instil a winning mentality to take into next season

Dougie Freedman is looking to instil a winning mentality to take into next season

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

DOUGIE Freedman has challenged his side to find a ruthless edge between now and the end of the season.

Wanderers have seven games remaining, starting with a trip to Huddersfield Town this afternoon.

While the match appears to be a dead rubber, with both sides comfortably clear of the drop zone and nowhere near the play-offs, Freedman has thrown down a gauntlet to his players to start capitalising on their dominance of games.

Asked whether the pressure is off going into the game at the John Smith’s Stadium, the Scot insisted there was still plenty to play for.

“It’s definitely not that way,” he said. “I think this squad is starting to come together to realise what is expected of them.

“We have drawn far, far too many games this season. Too many have been on a knife’s edge – but I don’t want to do that, I want to win games of football.

“Instead of drawing a game 1-1, like last weekend, I want a 1-0. If it’s 3-2, I don’t want to see it become 3-3.

“The players are in a good frame of mind at the moment – so that’s what this season is about now, becoming that team.”

Freedman has a full squad to pick from after Mark Davies, Neil Danns and Joe Mason returned to full training duties.

It has left the manager with 18 fit players to choose from – some of whom are still playing for their places in his future plans.

Freedman wants to use the time wisely and instil a winning mentality that can serve the club well next season.

“We have got to get over that mind block that when we get into the lead, we need to start putting teams to the sword.

“How many times have we played well, not got that goal, and then got the sucker punch? I’m fed up of saying it.

“Saturday was a classic example. And because we didn’t make our superiority tell, we end up being a penalty away from losing the game altogether.

“That’s my expectation for this season now. I thought we’d nailed it against Blackburn, and, after that ,Leeds, and I thought ‘this is us now’, but that consistency has eluded us again.

“If the rest of this season is about anything for us – it’s showing we can do that.”

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