Dougie Freedman happy with progress of Robert Hall and Liam Trotter at Bolton Wanderers
6:10am Saturday 5th April 2014 in Sport
PATIENCE could be paying off for Wanderers pair Liam Trotter and Rob Hall.
Despite a frustrating start to life at the Reebok, Dougie Freedman believes both of his midfielders are starting to show signs of reaching their potential.
Hall has been starved of first-team opportunities, with last weekend’s outing against Wigan Athletic his first of the year. Trotter has got off to a mixed start since arriving from Millwall on loan – but both players got a pat on the back from their manager as they head into this afternoon’s game at Huddersfield.
“The Reebok can be a tough place for new players,” Freedman said. “I think there is a certain expectation there.
“Some players come in, like Lukas Jutkiewicz or Kevin McNaughton, and they take to them straight away but I think it has taken or will take a little bit longer with those two. They have had to prove themselves, and I think they started to do that last weekend.”
Trotter was involved in last Saturday’s major talking point, as he was tripped when through on goal by Leon Barnett, with the Wigan defender escaping with only a yellow card from referee Darren Drysdale.
It is a decision that still irks the Whites boss – but while some fans were lukewarm to Trotter’s overall performance, it drew praise from Freedman after the game.
“Liam showed me he can handle that position – and you only have to see the power he showed to get through them before he got brought down just after half time,” he said. “That’s how it’s gone for us.
“It has taken Liam a couple of months to get up to speed and how we want to train – but I think we’ve seen a glimpse of how they are going to be.”
More than half of Hall’s 19 appearances since his summer switch from West Ham have come as a substitute.
But while the youngster has often been described as “one for the future,” Freedman saw a maturity in his most recent outing that suggests he could be ready for more games.
“I think it was a good point against a local rival – and I think Liam and Rob both not only proved themselves but also showed what their future is going to be. I’m really pleased for them. I’ve got all my faith in them as players.
Rob has been unlucky not to have had more game time but that has been because in some games I’ve just needed a different type of player.
“Last Saturday I think he showed 80-85 minutes of a high intensity, young player, playing the game the way I think it should be played.”