Boss says his side must start the game against Millwall on the front-foot
Dougie Freedman believes Wanderers will have to be at their best to beat a Millwall side who have exceeded expectations so far this season.
The Bolton boss was buoyed this week by the return of long-term absentees Stuart Holden and Josh Vela, who both featured for the development squad on Tuesday night.
But Freedman’s focus is firmly on securing the White’s first win of 2013 and is not looking beyond the weekend’s npower Championship fixture against Kenny Jackett’s men.
Speaking in his Thursday press conference, the manager said: “Millwall are a very difficult side to beat. Kenny Jackett is a manager who demands hard work and his teams to show spirit and fight for each other.
“They’ve caught out a lot of teams this year because people have possibly taken them a bit lightly. They don’t necessarily have the biggest names on paper, but they have got a really good team and we’re going to have to be at it from the word go.
“We have to make sure that we’re disciplined in our closing down and make sure that we show the quality that I know we have in the final third.”
The 65 minutes that Stuart Holden got under his belt for the development squad was a major positive this week, and Freedman is looking forward to the American being available for first team selection again in the near future.
He said: "I’m very excited about the prospect of Stuart returning because he doesn’t just bring quality to the team, he also brings tremendous enthusiasm and desire to the training ground and that is invaluable.
“I’m not going to put too much pressure on him because he’s only played a couple of reserve games, but he is slowing getting there.”