If we had somehow managed to mess up a comfortable two goal lead against an average Watford FC side at the weekend, I would have expected to see Dougie Freedman out of his job as the manager of Bolton Wanderers.
Goals from loanees Lukas Jutkiewicz and Joe Mason helped Freedman's side claim a 2-0 victory over The Hornets on Saturday. After the win, there is no doubt in my mind that he breathed a massive sigh of relief. The comfortable victory was our first since Boxing Day, and with the pressure mounting on the Scot, he had to win a game as soon as possible.
The weekend win has undoubtedly given him some breathing room, along with the signing of Joe Mason. The combination of Jutkiewicz and Mason seems to have gelled very quickly, and just in time as far as Freedman is concerned. The pair linked up with some tantalizing football that the Watford defence simply couldn't cope with. The win may have relieved him from some sleepless nights, but in my opinion, he is still skating on very thin ice. I have to admit that the blame should be shared equally between the players and the manager as in some matches this season, there seemed to be a major lack of effort and passion which is crucial if we do end up in a relegation dog fight.
The fiercely competitive Lancashire derby match with Blackburn is coming up, and Freedman will be hoping for a similar performance to the one that was triumphant against Watford. If we get maximum points from the derby, I personally would give him until Yeovil away on the 22nd of March to prove that he is capable of leading us to good results against some of the division's top sides. However, if we lose, I think that he should be given one more game to prove that he is worthy of continuing to manage our beloved football club.
Looking ahead to next season, no matter what the outcome of the current campaign is, I think that a new manager is needed. I think that we need a fresh approach, a new man to boost the confidence of our players so that we can go back to aiming for at least a play-off place.