Freedman - Our character is building

Boss Dougie Freedman believes Bolton have the right credentials to exploit Derby’s weaknesses ahead of their midweek clash.

The Whites will make their second trip to East Midlands in four days with a trip to Pride Park, the club’s first to the home of the Rams since September 2007.

Looking to build on the 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest, Freedman praised his side’s character and also gave a special mention to the club’s supporters describing them as fantastic.

The manager said: “The character the players showed was fantastic, to go into an arena where they have a new manager, they showed fantastic character.

“We started the game with a game plan, we knew they would tire towards the end and we hung in deep and defended very well.  The goalkeeper and the two centre backs were outstanding.

“We grew into the game, we scored a deserved equaliser and I thought we were going to go on and win the game but unfortunately we got a man sent off.

“However we showed great character again to hang on with ten men, I don’t know if anyone will have the same opinion as me but we would have lost that game a few months ago. So the spirit is there, we want success together and the fans on Saturday were a credit to this football club.

“They support the team right until the end and it is fantastic to see that because I want everybody to be involved in the success and I want everyone to understand that if we lose we are all hurting and if we win we are all happy.”

Another positive for the Scot was striker Craig Davies’ second goal for the club with a sublime finish following his arrival from Barnsley in last month’s transfer window.

Freedman continued by saying: “Craig Davies has done very well, I don’t mind sharing my plan and I don’t like bringing players into the club and throwing them right in.

“It looks like a panic buy but Craig Davies is one that I was after, he is good value for money and he brings the right desire and hunger to the club.

“He has been working very hard over the past three or four weeks to understand how big this club is and the expectation levels and how you conduct yourself.  Once he has done that I thought it was the right way to put him in by bringing him off the bench to score goals and he has done very well.

“I will do that with every signing that I bring in, I will make sure they know how we work, what they need to expect from everybody and then they will play football.”

Turning his attention towards the game against Derby County, who sit five points ahead of Bolton having played one game more, Freedman is confident his side can walk away with the right result.

The boss concluded:  “It will be a tough game on Tuesday night because Derby are very good at home. They play with a high tempo and they make sure they get crosses in the box.

“The way we have been playing, especially away from home, our character is building especially after Saturday and Derby have a few weaknesses which I think our players can exploit. I can see a very close game but I can definitely see goals on Tuesday night.

“Marcos Alonso will miss the game following his red card, Mark Davies is looking good after training and he is coming back very well.

“Everybody is feeling good, Matt Mills still needs a couple more games in the reserves and apart from that we are looking quite strong.” 

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