Finding cover for injured Marc Tierney has been hard for Bolton Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman
LOSING, and being unable to replace, Marc Tierney remains a sore point with Dougie Freedman – but the Wanderers boss has praised the players who have stepped into the breach in his absence.
Today’s game against Yeovil will evoke memories of the September meeting between the two clubs, which saw Freedman’s summer signing sidelined for seven months with a broken leg.
Tierney is now nearing a first-team comeback and has been pencilled in to play for the development squad within the next few weeks.
Left-back was, and still is, the only position in the squad without a senior player as cover – and despite a handful of attempts in the intervening months, the club have failed to land a replacement.
Goran Popov, Mikael Dyrestam and Dean Moxey were just a few of the names who have slipped through the net.
All the while, Tim Ream and Alex Baptiste have provided stop-gap replacements, and their improving performances of late prompted the manager to acknowledge their efforts as he prepared to take his side to Huish Park.
“I think when Alex went in there originally we struggled little bit,” he told The Bolton News. “Even Tim did, as well as he has played this year.
“You can only do your best with the lads and try to get them used to the position but I can say now that I’m comfortable playing either of them at left-back.
“I don’t think we are getting too exposed out there, as we maybe have at times this season.
“And that’s credit to the two of them. They have done a very professional job.”
Freedman still curses his luck at losing Tierney in a touchline challenge with Shane Duffy that left the former Norwich City man with a fracture at the base of his leg, near the ankle joint.
But he has defended the fact the club have not signed a replacement in the six months since his injury – insisting that the right player did not come along at the right price.
“Marc is still a big loss to us and we’ve never really recovered in that position for many, many reasons,” he said.
“I don’t like to sound like I am whinging, I try to talk only in facts, but of all the positions on that pitch, that was the only one we didn’t have cover for.
“You just need that bit of luck. Every team does. Even QPR’s luck seems to have run out because they’ve lost Charlie Austin.
“People might say, go out and sign someone, but we haven’t managed to find anyone who I felt was of the right standard or that we could afford, it’s as simple as that.
“Those who were becoming available were too rich, out of our reach financially, and we’ve had to adapt with Tim or Alex.”