IT may well be an exaggeration to say Dougie Freedman showed more tactical nous on Tuesday night than Owen Coyle did in his whole tenure as Bolton manager, but I doubt few would disagree with the point I’m making, writes Neil Coleman.

Both his substitutes scored and proved influential from the moment they were introduced, and Freedman’s shrewd observation in a post-match interview that you don’t have to win the game in the first 20 minutes has stayed with me.

Both these factors have, unfortunately, reflected on Coyle as perhaps a naïve, idealistic manager. A gifted galvaniser, whose passion and enthusiasm could prove infectious when the chips were down. But ultimately, lacking substance when the novelty of good intentions is running on fumes - Keegan like.

Based on Tuesday, Freedman seems a different proposition. Pragmatic, serious, measured. And I like it.

He has his philosophies and he will instil them. Although I admit I was unpleasantly surprised to see the team sheet before the game. To put it mildly, I’m no fan of Andrews, Pratley or Knight.

So to see them populate the spine of our team was an unexpected jolt to the system. Leaving out Spearing seemed criminal, and Petrov resigned to the bench was a disappointment. But it quickly became apparent what Freedman was thinking.

Do not concede. And we genuinely looked as solid as we have all season. It may have slightly stunted our attacking play, certainly in the first half, but it was good to see Freedman having an early impact on the players.

And, in my opinion, Knight was outstanding. Never thought I’d say that. The win was deserved, we kept our shape well and Freedman has made a solid start. And remember, you don’t have to win the game in the first 20 minutes. Perhaps the same can be said of this season.