Manager on Brondby test, Robert Hall's sending off and younger players' pre-season
Dougie Freedman says he was delighted at the way in which his Bolton Wanderers side more than matched Danish giants Brondby.
Craig Davies’ second half penalty drew Bolton level in a feisty pre-season contest at Brondby Stadion.
And speaking after the game the manager says he was happy with the way in which his side acquitted themselves in their opening friendly game.
“It’s a fantastic start for us,” he told bwfc.co.uk. “We’re really pleased with the start we’ve made against a Brondby side that were always going to be very difficult opposition.
“We’ve got younger and fitter players in our squad than in previous years. We’re now able to take these kinds of games on early.
“I was really pleased with the organisation and we got stronger as the game went on. In the second half we very nearly put them to the sword after creating one or two opportunities.
“I’m so pleased that the fans are now getting to see the likes of Georg Iliev and Josh Vela in and around the first team. Robert Hall and Cian Bolger are another two that are involved in the first team environment.
“Hand on heart, some of these players probably aren’t quite ready yet, but they’re certainly improving.
“I don’t want people at the football club who feel they have an automatic right to get picked. I want players to come in knowing that behind them there are younger players who are pushing them for their position.”
Bolton did end the game with ten men however, with substitute Hall shown a straight red card for a rash challenge.
The manager added: “For the sending off I felt young Robert showed a little bit of immaturity. He got kicked a few seconds before the incident and has reacted with his tackle.
“It’s a learning curve for Robert, but I’ve got to take most of the blame because I ask my players to live on the edge.
“When I first came to the football club I didn’t see enough desire and hunger. Sometimes it spills over, as it did this evening.
“We now go back into training first thing tomorrow. We’ve been doing three sessions a day, knowing how important it is that we’re prepared for the opening games of the season.”