Getting Back On Track

"We have got the tools here to get straight back to the Premier League and I’m a young manager who wants exactly that," says Freedman

Recently-appointed Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman made no airs and graces about his aims for the remainder of the season - an immediate return back to the Premier League.

The 38-year-old Scot was official appointed as Bolton boss on Thursday, before being unveiled to the waiting media on Monday afternoon following on from his first training session at Euxton.

“I’m excited and can’t wait to get started,” he told Wanderers Player. “These are exciting times for myself and hopefully for everyone involved with the football club.

“I first learned of interest from Bolton on the weekend when I was in charge of Crystal Palace for what is always an interesting game against Millwall.

“I had been informed of the interest from Bolton and I had that you feeling you used to get as a young kid. I was really excited.

“I spent the weekend analysing my options with my family. I turned round to the chairman Phil Gartside on Monday and he made me feel wanted and came across very ambitious.

“We had a good chat for a couple of hours. We’ve got a good squad who I feel just need some direction.

“The chairman outlined his plans for the club. We have got the tools here to get straight back to the Premier League and I’m a young manager who wants exactly that.

“I don’t think we should feel bad or embarrassed at all to highlight the fact that promotion is our aim. We’ve got a few different issues that need taking care of.

“Once me and the chairman had sat down and had a chat here I think I owed to both myself and my family to make the most of this opportunity.”

Freedman, who was capped twice by Scotland, had held a number of roles with Crystal Palace prior to assuming the managerial hot-seat in January 2011.

The Glaswegian also made over 350 appearances for the Selhurst Park club in two separate playing spells before becoming coach, and later, an assistant manager.

“It was of course a difficult decision to leave Crystal Palace, I’ve spent a lot of time there,” he later added. “I’ve got a lot of memories there and me and the fans go back a long way.

“I feel I’ve left Crystal Palace in a good position both on and off the field. They’ve got some great assets there and I feel I’ve done both the club and myself proud there.

“It’s a new challenge for me. I look forward, I never look back. The future for me is working hard with the squad I’ve got and beginning to turn things around.”

Freedman was in attendance at the recent 2-1 defeat against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, and believes the key to climbing the league table is altering the mentality of the current set of players.

He concluded: “I feel that the club is still suffering from the relegation of last season. We need to get that out of the minds of the players and onto winning promotion. We’ve certainly got a good enough squad to do that.

“We are trying for one or two in terms of backroom staff. It’s difficult right now. Whether the staff come in from Crystal Palace to help me, that remains to be seen. There has been contact made between the two clubs.

“My philosophy is very simple. Work hard and pass the ball in the right way and then we move forward together.

“First and foremost we want to implement a winning style. We’ve got to look at the squad we’ve got an implement a style suits us.

“We’ll maybe look at getting one or two players who haven’t been involved recently back in the fold.

“I want to make sure that the players, staff and fans are all working for one thing – success.”
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