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Dougie Freedman wants players to put their boots where their mouth is

Michael Steele

After many trials and tribulations, it appears that Marvin Sordell is finally on his way to making it with Bolton Wanderers (something that the sudden exit of Benik Afobe will only aid). If you ask Dougie Freedman though, he will assert that this is no coincidence, and other players vying for valuable playing time should take note. Speaking ahead of the match with Watford, Sordell's old club, Dougie said,

I don't care for new clubs, old clubs - it happened to me the other week with Crystal Palace. All I really care about is looking at Watford and what's the best way to beat them. Obviously, in the form he is in, Marvin Sordell is in contention to play from the start because he deserves it.

It's a lesson to any of the players around here because I am not a manager that hands out the jerseys - if you are putting in the effort in training and doing right by the club then you certainly will play.

This is what I do best. I work with young players and get the best out of them. I know I've only been doing it a few years but I feel that to communicate with the young players is the best way to build the trust up.

That's the only way you'll go forward, with that trust element, and me and Marvin are close. He understands what I am doing and how I'm trying to improve him as a player. I suppose I have had to use the iron fist at times, but with the velvet glove also, because I have to make sure he knows what it is all about.

He has got a lot fitter, more confident, and you are seeing the results now because he looks a lot better.

So there you have it, Dougie's policy is simple: work hard, earn your place in the team, and you will be rewarded.