I TRAVELLED to Blackburn on Wednesday night filled with trepidation and anxiety on what the game might hold, what I found was a genuine surprise after recent performances, writes Ryan Tierney.

Once again Freedman made wholesale changes to the starting 11 but the team put in a dominating performance from the start. The team was well balanced with genuine width given by Eagles, Chung Yong Lee and creativity in the middle by Butterfield.

We passed the ball better than I have seen us for a long time and did not just resort to launching long balls in the hope Davies can make something of them.

With having so much possession of the football we never really looked in any danger and we stamped our authority on the game it was a season defining performance. This was a performance that other teams in the division sit up and notice. I left the ground with the feeling that we were back and a push for promotion was achievable.

Saturday arrived and with the prospect of Ipswich Town at home I was very confident we could extend our unbeaten record past six games. Once again Freedman made changes but this time only the three, which off previous games seemed like some sort of stability.

How wrong could I be! One constant of the Freedman regime has been the formation. We have stuck with 4-2-3-1 or 4-5-1 depending on how you read it. The team lines up on Saturday in a 4-4-2 formation with Mark Davies playing on the left and Chris Eagles on the right.

All the good things from the midweek performance were lost, there was no width with Davies and Eagles both looking to come inside and get involved. The team therefore wasn’t balanced and we once again resorted to launching the ball forward.

I am a big believer that in this division teams would rather defend high balls coming into the box rather than getting stretched by the pass and move football we showed on Wednesday night. After the game Dougie Freedman is quoted to say “Bolton will learn from their mistakes”

Mr Freedman I hope you have learnt from yours.