Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman delighted with Joe Mason loan
WANDERERS manager Dougie Freedman says new loan forward Joe Mason will add an extra dimension to his team and is delighted to have finally captured a player he has admired for some time.
The 22-year-old trained with his new team-mates at Euxton yesterday ahead of a likely debut at Middlesbrough tomorrow.
And Freedman is excited about what the Republic of Ireland U21 star brings to the table in terms of versatility up front.
But the manager’s joy at Mason’s arrival at the second attempt was tempered by his frustration at not being able to secure a defensive addition, despite being close before last night’s 5pm deadline, with Millwall left-back Shane Lowry linked earlier in the day.
But he now knows what he has to work with over the next month having kept hold of Craig Davies and David Wheater, despite enquiries, and only allowing youngster Tom Eaves to leave, for Shrewsbury on loan.
“We were very close to the player I would like to have signed,” Freedman said, without confirming the identity of the defender in question.
“But the manager of his club was reluctant to let him go because he needed one in as well.
“It is a bit of a knock-on effect and when you are dealing with Championship and League One clubs, there is no money.
“It is a concern at the back but I’m not a manager who will be held to ransom and put the club at risk.
“Of course, I can sign somebody but I would have to pay well over the odds. I am uncomfortable with that and have too much respect for Eddie’s (owner Davies) money.
“It does make me a bit nervous but I can shuffle things around from game to game if I have to.
“I’d like to have done it but it’s not quite come off.
“We had an enquiry for Craig Davies to go to Wolves and I felt it might just work for him having not played a lot of games.
“I looked at that strongly then Wolves called us back and said they were not going to go ahead with it.
“Burnley asked as well but at the time we had already told Wolves we were happy for him to go there on a short-term loan.
“David Wheater was asked to go to Doncaster as well and I thought it might be good for him to play some games but I then made a decision that he is better working on his fitness day in day out and getting ready for January rather than going out now.”
Despite his frustrations, Freedman goes into the weekend knowing he can employ new signing Mason in a variety of positions “It is fantastic news he’s with us and I’m really pleased,” he added.
“It’s been no secret that I have tried to sign him twice.
“Joe brings something different. First and foremost he can play in pretty much any attacking position; he’s a very intelligent young player.
“He can play up top as a number one or with a partner. He’s very good at combining with players and there are not a lot of strikers who do that anymore.
“He can also play wide as well and I feel going onto the Christmas period with a lot of games, it gives us another option to Chungy, Chris (Eagles) or Robert (Hall).”