It's no secret that one of the biggest adjustments that players have to make when moving from the Premier League to the Championship is the massive increase in games. This means that squad rotation is that much more important, and coming back from injury that much more complicated. This has certainly been true for Chung-Yong Lee, who has found the road to recovery very long.
The 24 year old winger made his first team return all the way back in May, at the end of last season, but due to the severe nature of his injury, he still is not really fully fit. Dougie Freedman spoke on the subject,
Chungy still feels his leg from time to time and I think he's still got a few screws in there," said the manager. "He can't really keep going game after game after game. This is a secret I will share with the fans - and I hope this goes out there - that's the reason he doesn't play every week.
We all know Chungy is a fantastic player and I'd love to play him every week, I'd love to see him on the training ground every day."But two games in a week just does not suit him right now because of these screws. It's something we'll just have to manage for now and that's why he was rested on Tuesday night.
This is comforting in two ways: first of all, Dougie clearly knows the amount of talent he has on his hands. Before his injury, Chungy was arguably one of the most exciting wingers in the league, and that is something you can see more and more as his recovery continues. Secondly, it's good that he is taking the process slowly, and giving Chungy the time he needs to get up to speed.
While he is not coming back from injury, another player that needs to take it easy is Marvin Sordell. After coming to Bolton nearly a year ago, Sordell has been given extremely limited playing time. Recently, Freedman has given him a chance, and the striker has repaid this faith with goals. Many fans questioned the wisdom of benching him on Saturday when he is in a great run of form, but Dougie explains,
Marvin is still working his way back and we'll have to be patient. If you want the honest truth - can Marvin play two games in a week? No. Marvin is not conditioned and hasn't played two games in a week for a long time.
I felt he could possibly have come on for us but the way the game panned out, it wasn't to be. But Marvin Sordell is certainly getting there.
It's very good to see this approach to bringing players into the fold of the Championship, especially after the worrying things we discovered about pain killer abuse in football. In the meantime: patience.