Wanderers boss says it's easy to make tough selection calls
DOUGIE Freedman says he will not shy away from axing more of his big names if he thinks it will bring Wanderers out of their current slump.
Skipper Zat Knight was the major casualty against Derby on Tuesday night, dropped from a Championship team for the first time in the manager’s 11-month Reebok reign.
Darren Pratley and David Ngog were also benched – but with the pressure building on the rock-bottom Whites to notch a first win of the season, more star names could now be in the firing line as the Scot tries to find a side capable of beating Brighton this weekend.
“It’s easy for me,” he said. “I feel comfortable doing it. I am a manager and I make big decisions.
“I stand out there in my six-yard box on my own with 10,000 people behind me and have got to make the decisions I am comfortable with.”
Asked specifically about the dropping of Knight, who had featured in his previous 44 starting league line-ups, Freedman refused to go into detail on his decision.
“I have spoken to him privately but my thinking on it is simple – I pick teams to win football matches,” he said.
“I thought the team I picked showed enough to win that match. It isn’t about Zat Knight or Jay Spearing, it is about the football club winning matches and I will never shy away from it."
Freedman is positive that Wanderers will soon get on a winning run but without the finances to boost his squad with loans, he admits he will have to find a change in form the hard way - on the training ground.
"We are, right now, working our socks off to coach players because as you have seen there is not a lot of turnaround in players coming in or going out, therefore I am having to get my boots on and coach the lads day in, day out," he said.
"We are doing double sessions and I can't work them any harder. This is where the football club is at right now - it is all about coaching."
After two home games in four days yielded just one point, Wanderers now head to the Amex Stadium to face a Brighton side who have struggled for consistency so far this season.
Freedman has hinted that he will make changes from the team that drew with Derby and hopes to have Craig Davies available after an ankle injury ruled him out of the last two games.
"I don't think it will be the same side, the only reason being that some of the players have now played two games in a row and I can't let results dictate teams," he said. "I have to make sure I pick the right team for the right occasion and that's what I did against Derby.
"We are all trying our very best and the fans deserve that. They deserve a committed performance. Sometimes I just think that in life, as we are seeing here, you don't sometimes get the reward for the effort you put in."