Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman searching for Liam Feeney-type winger
WANDERERS are still feeling Liam Feeney’s absence as they travel to Bournemouth – but Dougie Freedman has not ruled out bringing the winger back to the Reebok in the next transfer window.
Last week’s tepid draw with Ipswich Town highlighted the lack of options out wide for the Whites boss, who had seen Feeney snatched back from a loan spell by Millwall only 48 hours earlier when the two clubs failed to strike a permanent deal.
Chung-Yong Lee and Neil Danns were used in a narrow midfield four against the Tractor Boys but Freedman makes no attempt to hide the fact his side lack the penetration Feeney provided in his short spell.
“Quite simply, I haven’t got it within my squad,” he told The Bolton News. “Liam is very direct and in the Championship you need many options.
“There are all kinds of sides you come up against – the long balls teams, the footballing teams, the compact counter-attacking ones.
“At my previous club I played with a couple of wingers and it’s something I like to do. I’ve brought young Rob Hall in and he’ll be a top player in the next couple of years.
“Chungy and Eagles give me something different but that spark from a real winger is needed and so I am definitely looking – but they don’t always come up.”
But while many Wanderers fans rued the fact that Wanderers did not do more to secure Feeney’s signature, Freedman hinted that all hope was not yet lost.
The 26-year-old is out of contract next summer and the Scot admitted last week that he would be willing to wait and take him on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Speaking to the press yesterday, however, Freedman reasoned that there could be bargaining room in the January transfer window now that the club are no longer tied to the fee negotiated in the initial three-month loan deal.
“We liked Liam, I think the fans did too, and it’s someone I’m looking for with that pace,” he said.
“He was loaned for three months and there was a buy-out clause there, but it was quite a lot of money.
“I’m not going to be put into a corner. Millwall asked us to pay that money and I said ‘no’ so he got called back. Will it resurface in January? Probably.
“We were tied into that deal but after 28 days he can come back. I think they will wait until January to see what happens.
“We would like him back because I think he did very well for us. But we’ll look at the situation in January when we are not tied in to a buy-out or a loan – we’ll be free to negotiate.”
Feeney, who spent two-and-a-half years at Dean Court, has backed Wanderers to start climbing the table. Speaking to the Bournemouth Echo, he said; “Bolton have picked up recently and haven’t quite had the results their performances have deserved,” he said. “It is a tough division and I am sure they will pick up sooner rather than later.
“It is an unpredictable league so to go any length of time unbeaten is an achievement. If you can get consistency and be hard to beat, you can soon find yourselves climbing the table. They have found that and are slowly starting to turn a corner.
“Jermaine Beckford is a livewire up front and has scored goals at the top level. He is one of Bolton’s main threats but they have got some really good creative players behind him like Chris Eagles, Chung-Yong Lee and Rob Hall.
“They are also dangerous from set-pieces so there are a few areas to take note for Bournemouth. They have got some good players and a good manager and things are geared for them to be successful.”