Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman admits he is facing the 'hardest time' of his career (From This Is Lancashire)
Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman admits he is facing the 'hardest time' of his career
DOUGIE Freedman is determined to survive what he believes is the toughest time in his football management career.
Pressure is mounting on the Wanderers boss after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Ipswich Town left the club just a couple of positions outside the relegation zone.
While the Scot is confident he retains the backing of owner Eddie Davies and chairman Phil Gartside, support on the terraces appears to be dwindling.
An internet poll run by the Lion of Vienna website on Sunday night attracted 430 votes, 63 per cent of them in favour of sacking the manager.
But Freedman is adamant he will ride out the storm. And while he admits the current situation has been more difficult to bear than anything he experienced at former club Crystal Palace – even during administration – he is sure he can turn round Wanderers’ season in the next few weeks.
“It is the hardest time I have faced but that’s why I am here,” he said. “This is my apprenticeship as a manager.
“I have done it for three or four years now and people in the game tell me the apprenticeship might last for 20 years.
“So at the start, the middle and the end I might be getting these difficult times but you’ve got to stay strong, you’ve got to stay positive and you have to make sure everyone understands what your situation is.
“I genuinely believe once we get one win, we’ll get a lot of them and there hasn’t been much in the games recently.
“There wasn’t much in the game at Ipswich, or in the game at QPR. They are small moments that are killing us at the moment but we have to believe that will change.”
Andy Lonergan’s mistake in conceding a penalty at Portman Road proved a decisive one for Wanderers, condemning them to a fourth straight defeat in all competitions.
Freedman, however, is wary of pinning blame on individuals with the season reaching such a decisive point and spoke at the weekend of avoiding a “blame culture” at the club.
“You can see where we are right now and the squad I have got available to me,” he said. “These errors are just that, rushes of blood from players, we don’t need to blame them.
“But if they want the responsibility of playing for this football club then they are going to have to be accountable. I don’t see a lot wrong with the performances.
“Errors are happening too often. We have got to make sure we keep ourselves in the game.”