DOUGIE Freedman will not be playing the blame game after watching Wanderers’ eight-game unbeaten run come to an end at Middlesbrough.

Defeat at the Riverside hinged on a late penalty conceded by Tim Ream and converted by Boro midfielder Grant Leadbitter – and ultimately the inability of Jermaine Beckford to covert his own spot kick awarded a few moments later.

But neither Ream nor Beckford, both pivotal in reviving the club’s fortunes in recent weeks, came under fire from the manager after the final whistle.

Instead, Freedman challenged his players to pick themselves up from the result and take maximum points from their next two games, both at home, against Huddersfield Town and Doncaster Rovers.

“Tim has been wonderful, Jermaine has been wonderful and I’m the last person who is going to be handing out criticism,” he told The Bolton News.

“It’s for me to ask the question – are you okay to go again on Tuesday?

“If they are then I’ll be telling them to get ready because we need to bounce back right away.”

Freedman has no concerns that Beckford, who had scored in five of his previous six starts, will let the missed penalty play on his mind.

“He’s missed a penalty but that’s the way it goes,” he said.

“He’s had a couple of chances but it’s his movement that allows him to get these opportunities.

“I know Jermaine inside out and he’ll be absolutely fine.

“It’ll just be interesting to see how we bounce back now because we have been playing well.

“We were a bit unfortunate in both boxes but there wasn’t much in the game at all.”

Wanderers missed out on a chance to climb into the top half of the table with a win at Boro but Freedman is determined not to let the narrow defeat set his side back too far.

“They scored their penalty and if we’d scored ours we’d be sitting here and I’d be being asked if we’ll win the league and all that,” he said.

“I can’t get that up and down. We defended well but we have played better going forward.

“It hasn’t been our day but I’m not going to cry about it.”