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Freedman feeling "very safe" despite sounding a lot like Owen Coyle

Chris Brunskill

The pressure is very clearly on Dougie Freedman and his position as manager of Bolton Wanderers Football Club. We don't know if the board have handed the boss an ultimatum yet but after eight matches without a win to start the season, something surely has to give.

With only three points from the opening seven games heading into a tough match at the Amex Stadium, Bolton Wanderers' problems were further compounded with a disheartening and all around embarrassing performance that saw them leave empty-handed. The Trotters had led the match at the halftime break for only the second time this season (the first being the Reading draw) only to give up three goals in the span of four minutes in the second half. That left Wanderers with three points from eight matches. Not very good.

Speaking after the match to Sky Sports, Dougie Freedman maintained that he was not going anywhere:

"I think my job is very safe. I don't ignore speculation surrounding my job but I don't feel the pressure of it.

"When you've been in the game for so long you learn to deal with speculation about being sacked. It doesn't faze me at all and it's my job to take the blame away from my players.

"I understand more than anyone exactly what we have to do to turn things around. We need a couple of players in on loan and time to gel as a team.

"Apart from four crazy minutes in the second half there's absolutely nothing in that game. The first goal was the killer. If we had kept our concentration then, things could have been different.

"We need to be more determined. Our communication let us down but these players showed last year what a win will do - if we can get that first victory under our belts, I'm confident we will go on a run."

In truth, the comments were anything but a departure from his normal post-match interviews in which he praises the fans, says that the Trotters need to be more ruthless, and so on. What does help his case is that Brighton manager Oscar Garcia heaped praise on the beleaguered Bolton boss:

"They were the toughest team to play at the Amex this season. I am not the Bolton chairman but it is clear they need time to gel because they have a lot of new players.

"They have a very good squad and a fantastic manager. They didn't look like a team that were bottom of the table and it was hard for us. I know with time that he [Freedman] can turn things around."

In truth, Dougie Freedman's postmatch interviews are beginning to echo those of Owen Coyle except that they're not saying that Bolton Wanderers were "magnificent," that Bolton "showed our quality," or referring to the league's name with sponsor and all at every possible turn.

You be the judge though. Below is an interview from the Bolton News with Owen Coyle just two days before Bolton Wanderers sacked their former manager:

"I would never ever walk away from Bolton Wanderers. If, when we speak, that the powers that be feel the club need to go in a different direction then I'd understand that. It's football.

"It's not something I'm going to run from. Phil and Eddie know my thoughts because I speak to them on a daily basis. They know how much I care about Bolton Wanderers.

"Of course, I'll take stock of the situation. All I want is the best for the club - whether that's Owen Coyle there, or someone else. If there's someone better suited to the football club it's something I won't avoid.

"I'll analyse and see if there's anything more I could have done as manager in the build up to the game.

"I know myself and my staff are working relentlessly. We are working our socks off.

"It's the fine margins of football. And I know all about them because I've been on the right side of them often enough.

"This sounds bizarre, daft, given the situation, but I know what we've put in place here at the football club, I know the infrastructure and that everything is in place for the club to kick on and be very healthy for many years to come.

"Equally, I've got to accept that people don't want to hear about that. They only want results on the pitch.

"When you are winning games then all that sounds like it's rosy in the garden.

"Coming off the win at Sheffield Wednesday there's no doubting it's been three disappointing games. We wanted a far greater amount of points than we have taken from them.

"If we had, we'd be in a good position to make a challenge. I've no fear we will but we're making it harder for ourselves every week."