8:31pm Thursday 14th February 2013
By Marc Iles
WANDERERS will welcome back three key players for Saturday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.
Dougie Freedman has confirmed that Mark Davies, Stuart Holden and David Wheater are all down to feature in his first team squad at the City Ground.
The trio’s return comes as a big boost for the Whites, who are looking to string together back to back victories for the first time this season.
And Freedman hopes it will mark the end of a desperate run of bad luck with injuries that also haunted his predecessor Owen Coyle.
“Injuries have hurt the club for a couple of years,” he told The Bolton News. “I try not to make excuses and get on with it, but the fact remains there have been a lot of them.
“Hopefully now we’ve got a strong squad and we can go from here.”
Holden has made a couple of substitute appearances since returning from long term injury but could now be ready to step up his workload after coming through another 90 minutes for the development squad on Monday night against Bury.
Wheater has been out since last May with cruciate ligament damage, while Davies has been sidelined since tearing shoulder ligaments against Huddersfield Town in December.
Keith Andrews will miss Saturday’s game with a thigh problem, while Matt Mills is not yet ready for a first team return despite coming back into full training after a hamstring injury.
Now boosted by some of his biggest hitters on their return from injury, Freedman is optimistic about the upcoming hectic spell, in which he hopes Wanderers can propel themselves up the Championship table.
“I think we’ve got to use the performances we’ve been putting in,” he said. “For five or six games I think the performances have been terrific but I totally accept that not in every one of those games has the result been what we wanted.
“The fans have been great in terms of their support to the players trying to play the right way, and I think the players have been great too.
“Away fans have seen us come so close at Watford and at Palace, so we need to go one more step forward and get that result at Forest.”
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