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Fulham down Frei deal while Dougie looks for loans to fill thin squad

Mark Thompson

There are gaps in Bolton's squad and manager Dougie Freedman wants to fill them ahead of some crucial games for the men in white. There are ten games left in the regular season and Bolton Wanderers are the Championship's form side. In order to keep that run going, it may be necessary for the manager to reinforce the squad.

Fulhmam's Kerim Frei was the name on fan's lips following reports that the Trotters were interested. According to the Bolton News though, Bolton had approached the Cottagers about the 19-year-old's services. Fulham were not interested and, more likely than not, the Trotters will have to look elsewhere.

The area of the team that needs the most attention, it seems, is that advanced central midfield role that Mark Davies will be missing from for some time. However, that brings up some questions of its own. Namely, do we even need to fill that role?

Despite Mark Davies' absence, Bolton still have Darren Pratley, Stu Holden, and Medo Kamara on the books in the central role but none of those options are exactly attacking. Chris Eagles showed over the last couple of games that he can slot in there and it paid dividends at the death against Blackburn. Yet, if Eagles' form decides to drop off again or he picks up a knock, the attacking option suddenly disappears.

Speaking to the Bolton News, Dougie discussed what he needs to do:

"Games are running out quickly, which is unfortunate for us because we're finding a bit of form right now.

"I've not looked at the table because I know that if we can continue playing and I can get a few players in on loan to help the squad - because they are tired right now - we'll climb it.

"I'm not sure how quickly we can climb it because we're running out of games, but we can certainly climb it if I can get a couple in to help the lads."

The following sentence is a bit interesting:

"I need to use my squad very carefully. It's not as big as I thought it was when I first got here."

In what terms? There are technically 37 names registered to play for the first team but a number of those names are youth / reserve players with no first team experience (like Sanmi Odelusi, Tom Eaves, Andy Kellett, etc). Some, like Adam Bogdan, Mark Davies, Matt Mills, and Keith Andrews are injured. Then, there are those seemingly out of favor like Tim Ream. Finally, there are a few players still coming back from injury that are apparently unable to start matches like Stu Holden and David Wheaer.

"We have got one or two injuries and we have lost one or two players since then, and right enough it was my decision to lose a couple of them.

"But we just need to make sure we have the right set-up week in, week out. Do I need to go into the loan market? I probably do to freshen things up."

The loan window closes on 24 March, right in the middle of an international break with six days before Bolton visit Charlton.