LAST week, Dougie Freedman finally completed his move to Bolton Wanderers by moving into his office at the Euxton training ground, writes Tom Bartley.

Sitting at his new shiny desk he rocked back at his chair and decided to have a peek through his desk drawers. “What’s this?” he said, opening his top drawer and seeing a book. “Owen Coyle’s big bumper book of football tactics? I’ll have to have a read of this! 4-4-2, that looks like it could be worth a try!” said Dougie. Don’t fix what ain’t broken. I’m not sure if the manager thought that we could go mano a mano with Ipswich and churn out a victory because we have better players in each position, or he really did lose his marbles for changing a formation that was showing small glimmers of progress. I’m all for a bit of squad rotation and tinkering, but for me, this was a tinker too far.

If you are going to rotate players, 1. keep the same backline (injury permitting), to give confidence and consistency to an already shaky defence (Marcos Alonso is in no way match fit and up to speed) and 2. play players in their best positions. Mark Davies is not a winger. Mark Davies is best when he is on the ball in a three-man central midfield and has a bit of licence to come deep, collect the ball and get forward to support the attacking players. It is because we had no three-man midfield, there was no creativity, no chance to pick the ball up from deep and look for passes or movement.

I’ve seen some very shrewd substitutions made by Freedman in his short career as manager of BWFC, but today’s decisions were eerily reminiscent of Coyle’s reign. Not filling the midfield out and controlling the possession when we were obviously struggling to keep pace with an ever-more confident Ipswich was the main issue. Introducing a more creative and confident player (Butterfield) too late (in the wrong position, mind) was another.

I hope the manager learns from this, BWFC got relegated playing 4-4-2. Don’t try it again Dougie.