LIAM Trotter has been backed to win over the boo-boys at Bolton.

Dougie Freedman praised his young midfielder for a mature display in the 1-0 win over Barnsley at the weekend and is keeping his fingers crossed that he can wrap up a permanent move for him in the next few months.

Trotter is currently on loan from Millwall but will be released at the end of his current contract at the Den. He has been widely tipped to become the club’s first signing of the summer. Trotter has had a well-documented rough ride at times since arriving at the Reebok but Freedman reckons the former Ipswich Town man has plenty more untapped potential, provided he can find some home comforts at Wanderers.

“I thought he was excellent against Barnsley and I know there are sections of the crowd who can’t see what I can see, but given time, they will,” he said.

“He’s found it difficult playing in front of the home crowd. It can be tough for the young guys to go out there with the expectation of all the home fans on top of you.

“But I thought he showed his character, stood up, and he was immense against Barnsley, especially as they put a lot of pressure on us at times.

“He kept receiving the ball and we played a lot more from the back on Saturday, so he’d get the ball in those areas and play it forward.

“Yes, we were once again guilty of not killing the game off, but it wasn’t a judgement on Liam because he was excellent. He controlled the game in front of the back four.”

Trotter has previously been used in an advanced midfield role but turned in what many consider to be his best Wanderers performance to date playing alongside Jay Spearing in front of the back four last weekend. Freedman believes he can get the best out of the midfielder in either position.

“He’s adaptable, he can play behind the striker, or that deeper role, and whoever signs him in the summer – it will be a steal.

“At 24 he’s only going to get better.

“I really am pleased he’s settling and if we can get something done in the summer then the fans will see more improvement.”