Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman looks to unearth another gem
DOUGIE Freedman has promised Wanderers fans he will leave no stone unturned in his search for a new strike star before the start of the season.
After missing out on long-time target Lukas Jutkiewicz, the Whites boss is now investigating other options as he looks for more physical presence in his attack, most notably the loan market.
While it is understood that Cardiff City’s Joe Mason remains on the manager’s shortlist if the South Wales club decide to send him out for games – the criteria for the next signing will be someone who can spearhead the manager’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system Freedman admits he might need time to find the right player but is confident he can use the loan market again to his advantage.
“I’ll say right now that we’re probably not going to get a big name through the door who’s done everything,” he told The Bolton News. “But then I’d remind a few people that when Lukas Jutkiewicz came in, people were asking ‘who’s this guy?’ “But I’d like to think that fans understand how I work, how I bring players in and try to make them better. It can take time to find the right one because I’m not going to just sign someone for the sake of it – that spells panic in my book.
“It might not be the big player that everyone wants but I believe it can be a player who everyone can again take to their hearts like a Jutkiewicz, a Craig Dawson, a Joe Mason, a Liam Feeney or a Kevin McNaughton.”
Freedman is placing great faith in the scouting and analysis department he installed at the club last summer to find the striker with the right attributes to fit his system.
A far cry from the old fashioned man in the stands, the modern Wanderers scouting network utilises player data from thousands of sources to compile lists of possible targets.
“Putting all that in place was one of the first major things I did here behind the scenes,” he said. “Listen, I know that results in the first six months of last season did not reflect the hard work that has gone in there, but I firmly believe in time they will.
“We’ve really ripped apart the scouting structure at the club. We are using younger guys, dynamic guys, using state of the art technology to find players who will play in a certain way.”