Baptiste: Manager played a big part

Recent signing says Dougie Freedman was a key factor in his decision to sign for Bolton

New signing Alex Baptiste says the manager’s ambition and passion were a key factor in his decision to sign for Bolton Wanderers.

Baptiste opted for Bolton following the expiration of his recent contract with Blackpool, quelling recent speculation he would be swayed to join former boss Ian Holloway in the Premier League with Crystal Palace.

And after penning a three-year contract with Wanderers, the 27-year-old now believes he has the best years of his career ahead of him.

“I met up with the manager and we spoke about his ambitions for the club - they definitely match my own,” Baptiste said, in his first interview at the club’s Euxton training ground. “His passion for the game of football is fantastic and I'm really looking forward to working with him.

“As a defender I feel I’m entering my peak years. This is definitely the right move for me at this stage of my career. The end aim is to now get Bolton promoted back to the Premier League.

“I had a good year in the Premier League with Blackpool – it was a shame we weren’t able to stay up. I’ve also played a lot of games at this level, so if I’m able to pass some of that experience on to some of the younger lads here then that would be great.

“I’ll always give my all for the side. Wherever the manager asks me to play I’ll go out there and give it my all.”

And Baptiste concluded by setting his sights on the start of the new league campaign, August 3 away at Burnley.

He added: “It’s finally good to be back in training again. It feels as if it has been a long two months. My future was a little up in the air but it was great to finally get that sorted and we can kick on now.”
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