DOUGIE Freedman is prepared to play a waiting game before he considers trying to get Neil Danns and Kevin McNaughton back to the Reebok.

Both loan players will feature for the final time against Barnsley on Boxing Day before returning to their respective parent clubs, Leicester City and Cardiff City.

Both players are unlikely to get regular football in the New Year and both have indicated that they would want a longer stay with the Whites.

But Freedman says no deal has yet been negotiated to extend their loans, nor to keep them on a permanent basis – leaving him with holes to fill in midfield and the back four, at least in the short term.

“I haven’t approached the two players or their clubs about extending it,” he said on a prospective deal for Danns or McNaughton.

“My deal is always to get them in, get them up to speed, and I think both players have done very well for us.

“The deal so far is that they go back, and because it’s over that difficult Christmas and New Year period it won’t be easy to do anything straight away, maybe later in the January window.”

The arrival of Danns and McNaughton in October, along with fellow loanee Liam Feeney from Millwall, helped bring about a distinct improvement in results for Freedman’s side, who were in the Championship’s bottom three.

Scottish defender McNaughton has been ever-present since arriving from Cardiff, and scored his first goal in more than 200 games in Saturday’s draw with Charlton.

Danns has also chipped in with three goals, making 11 starts since arriving from Leicester.

Freedman would ideally like to sign players on a permanent basis in the transfer window but with finances still tight, he concedes he may have to investigate the loan route once again.

“You know how I feel about loan players, but that’s the situation we are in,” he told The Bolton News.

“I like to try and sign players, I don’t like to loan them, but I do take advantage of it (the loan system).

“I would rather have players of my own to work with who are Bolton 100 per cent through and through.

“But both Neil and Kevin have their last game against Barnsley and I cannot fault their efforts at all.”