Boss eagerly anticipating the FA Cup third round tie against Sunderland
Dougie Freedman believes Wanderers’ FA Cup third round tie against Sunderland is the right game at the right time.
The Trotters will be attempting to get back on track after suffering a narrow defeat at the hands of Leeds United on New Year’s Day.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference the manager said: “I’m really looking forward to the game and the fact that it is in the FA Cup is a bonus. I always enjoyed it as a player; it’s a great competition.
“It’s good that we are facing a Premier League side as it is a reminder of what we are missing and it will also be a good test for us to see how good we can be. I believe we have the quality in our squad and I feel it’s the right game at the right time.
“We are working hard to develop the players’ mind-set. We are in a tough division and maybe feeling a bit sorry for ourselves and we have to tackle that. We need to change the way we go about things, and one way we will be looking to do that is in the transfer window. We’ll look to introduce some fresh faces to give the squad a bit of help.
“We are also looking to get Stuart Holden and Josh Vela back to full training. We have a game lined up for them next week. It gives us a real chance to see how they have been progressing without putting any pressure on them and rushing them back.
“It has been good for me to see them close up. We all know what Stuart has in his locker, and Josh is young player with all the right ingredients. He has to learn his trade, but he certainly has the desire, hunger and willingness to do just that which is a good starting point.
“We know Sunderland will bring a large following with them and they have a good squad. We are going into the match after a number of games in a short period of time over Christmas, and as such we will have Benik Afobe unavailable due to a tight hamstring.”