Sam calls for killer touch

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , sports writer

SAM Ricketts says Wanderers need to learn how to kill off games if they are to turn draws into wins and climb the Championship table.

A late Huddersfield leveller at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday denied Dougie Freedman a third win since taking over in October and the Whites registered a fifth draw in their last seven matches.

In three of those, Wanderers have been leading – at Blackpool, Huddersfield and at home to Barnsley – before being pegged back inside the last half hour.

And Ricketts accepts Wanderers’ inability to hold on to the lead is down to a failure to take their chances and finish teams off.

The Wales international said: “We dominated the second half but we again conceded a late goal to frustrate us with another draw when we had done enough to win.

“It had been spoken about in the week about how to kill games off.

"It's a frustrating problem because the level we are playing at is more than good enough to win games.

”Our performances have got better and better as the weeks have gone by."

Performances may have improved and it is now just one defeat in eight under Freedman.

But there has been just one clean sheet – against Leicester – in that time and that is something that dertainly needs to change, according to the experienced defender.

Wanderers have conceded two or more goals in 12 of their 21 league matches this season.

Ricketts added: ”Generally, our performances are improving all the time but we need to start keeping clean sheets.

”You are always in the game with zeroes and ones.

”But with us conceding two, it leaves us needing to score three which is disappointing.

"We have got to stick at what we were doing to be get back into games.

”Then we need the confidence and belief to keep doing that.

”With that there will be more confidence in future games when we are the odd goal in front.”

"The old saying is about playing worse and winning. well I hope that is the case because the second half of the season will be good if it is.

"Without wanting to sound big time, every game in this league we should be looking out to win.

”That's the mentality we need to have.

”There is no reason why we can't beat anyone in this league. Every game we don't win, we look at as disappointing.

"There is a huge difference between trying to survive in the Premier League rather than this league where you are trying to win every week.

”There is a different way of playing and we are very close to putting together a very good run."

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