Freedman willing to keep an open mind on fringe players

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

DOUGIE Freedman has assured his fringe players that no-one is out of the picture heading into the January transfer window.

After seeing the likes of Darren Pratley, Chung-Yong Lee and Marcos Alonso come into the reckoning to play a starring role in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Birmingham City, the manager has laid down the challenge to other players to follow their lead into the first-team reckoning.

And Freedman reckons that attitude on the training ground, just as much as performances in the Championship, will bring fringe players back in from the cold.

“If you play at Bolton then you are aiming to get into the first team and if I think you are training properly then I will play you, it’s as simple as that,” he said.

“Over the last three or four games certain players have been performing very well and others have also been doing well in the training matches. I don’t have a problem picking them.

“I don’t just pick players on wins or defeats, I pick them on what I see on the training ground.”

Pratley came in for special praise after a swashbuckling display in midfield.

“I don’t like singling anyone out but I thought Darren Pratley really stood up and was counted today,” Freedman said.

“The way he conducts himself on and off the field, when he has had a difficult time since being at the club is credit to him and his family.”

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