Now that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has ruled himself out of the running for the Bolton manager position, Mick McCarthyisn't the direction the club want to go in, and Michael Appleton hasn't been contacted, the betting tables are on the move. The man that beat Bolton just a couple of weeks ago with Crystal Palace is now the betting favorite for the Bolton job. Dougie Freedman is top of the list.
Much like a lot of the other candidates, Freedman is a young manager who is in his first managerial job. Freedman spent the vast majority of his playing career in the lower divisions of England but made it to the Premier League on a few occasions. These, however, were either very short-lived or Freedman could not get a look in. Freedman spent the vast majority of his playing career with Crystal Palace. Freedman first started his coaching career as player/manager of the Crystal Palace reserves back in 2007. He then went on loan to Leeds and Southend United, where he was a player/coach of the latter.
Following his retirement in 2010, Freedman returned to Crystal Palace and took on the assistant manager role under Paul Hart. After Hart was sacked, George Burley was named manager but Freedman stayed as assistant. Burley only managed six months at Palace before being sacked and Freedman was named caretaker manager. Palace were dead in the Championship drop zone when he took over but Freedman managed to steer them to safety with a game to spare. Overall, Freedman has managed 89 matches for Crystal Palace with 36% of them wins. For the sake of comparison, Owen Coyle won 42% of his matches with Burnley in the Championship and Premier League and 33.33% with Bolton Wanderers.
Yesterday, Freedman commented on the speculation surrounding him:
"I cannot stop speculation, but I am very happy to be playing Millwall this weekend and that's all I want to say. I cannot deal with speculation, I have too much to do in this job.
"I only deal in facts, and the facts are that I have a game against Millwall this weekend and I am keeping my fingers crossed that my players come back from international duty without any injuries, and I am also keeping my fingers crossed that I have prepared in the best possible way so that we win the match.
"Those are the facts, let's stick to the facts."
"When I was younger, 19 or so, and there was speculation that I'd be playing for Rangers and Celtic, at that age I found it quite difficult to deal with.
"But as you get older, you can brush it aside."