Wanderers spoil party

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

THE thrill of the chase is becoming somewhat of a habit for Wanderers but despite having to once again resort to Plan B to rescue a game, Dougie Freedman was still a happy man at the City Ground.

Substitutes David Ngog and Craig Davies combined to get the Whites back on an even keel against Forest after a game that had largely been spent defending the penalty box.

Just as it had against Burnley a week earlier, the late replacements breathed fresh life into the game – at least until Marcos Alonso’s late sending off halted progress in its tracks.

And though some fans may wonder why such urgency was not on offer before Forest took the lead on the hour mark through Andy Reid, Freedman was pleased enough with the way his gameplan panned out.

“It was a difficult day for us; the occasion of the new manager with a bigger attendance and some of the decisions didn’t benefit us,” he said.

“But we dug in, stuck at it and we were resilient for most of the match. “And I thought we got what we deserved.

“Because of the occasion I had to have a couple of plans in my locker. “We have dominated games, especially at home, with possession, and that’s where I want us to get to away from home as well, although it isn’t always possible. “I don’t want to get to carried away by that.

“Defensively, we were on top. Attack wise, we could have had one or two more opportunities seized upon. “Overall, I have got to be happy.”

Freedman named Mark Davies in his line-up for the first time since December but also potentially has Stuart Holden and Medo coming into the reckoning over the course of the next week.

Craig Davies’s goal also sees him stake an even greater claim for a starting place, and Freedman accepts that the competition for places is a factor he will have to deal with.

“I am very fortunate to have such a wide range of players on the bench, particularly strikers,” he said. “And I will never take it for granted because it is difficult to pick your right teams. Everyone has got to fight for their positions. “I want a hungry club and today we showed that. This was a group of players, 16-17 players, coming to a place with 25,000 people against them wanting them to make mistakes – and I don’t think we did.

“It was a good point from a psychological point of view.”

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