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Johnny Yates: In Defence Of Dougie Freedman

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Guest writer Johnny comments on his belief that DF is the man for Bolton

Clint Hughes

I have loved Bolton Wanderers since I was 6 years old and remember thinking that I loved supporting a team that only a couple of my friends supported as well.

I have never written about my team before or spoken about them to a wider audience other than my Dad (who only pretends to be interested because I love the sport so much), an old next door neighbour and my girlfriend (who doesn't even pretend to be interested but still listens because she knows I need to rant).

After reading Chris' "5 Things" article following the Bury game I felt the need to share my opinion.

I was then asked to share it even further with this article about why I feel Dougie Freedman is the right man for this fine club of ours.

Dougie's Downfalls

Yes, the season and a half under Dougie has been a whole load of disappointments with missing out on the playoffs by a point a of a draw against Blackpool -oh what may have been! Didn't we lose that because of Rob Hall starting the game, the soft arse? Some things never change.

I think Dougie has made some poor decisions with his formations, starting line ups and a particular bug-bear of mine, his substitutions, mainly in how he doesn't make them at the right time.

More managers should take a leaf out of Jose's book and change the team when it is needed, not wait until the 60 minute mark because the team that started the game should be given the chance.

I'm not a big fan of some of the managerial guff that comes out after each game either. The often used character this and determination that but doesn't that come with the job of being a manager in any competitive environment?

Dougie's positives

This is where I believe I differ from the majority of Bolton fans. I can actually see more positives in what he is doing than negatives.

The signings that have been made with him in charge have been thought out extremely thoroughly, not like in the days of Megson or Coyle who splashed out on anybody they could get their mits on and pay them whatever they demanded.

I appreciate the fact that he has got rid of the high earning, underperforming players like Zat Knight and Chris Eagles, it speaks volumes about their abilities and wage demands that they are still both without clubs at the start of this season.

I think he has been savvy with Stuart Holden, he knows how important and how loved he is by the fans, so keeping him in and around the squad is very important, I still harbour hope that we will see him in a Wanderers shirt again.

The main reason for my support of Dougie is his vision for the future and how he is pressing on; despite operating under the stringent measures the board have put him under rather than complaining.

Look at Tony Pulis! Has anyone ever thought that maybe his vision isn't to guide us straight back to the Promised Land as soon as possible, it's not that easy.

We are a club with major financial problems, so the whole structure needs to be rebuilt and it is going to take a long time to achieve this. Maybe he is making a team to fit and remain comfortable in the Championship for a few seasons to become a club who can spend money on players again before having a push at promotion.

He is being clever regarding his youth development as well, we now have one player in, Cian Bolger who has been sold with what we believe to be a sell on clause in there, that's worked well for Bournemouth this season hasn't it?

They've only gone and pocketed almost £8million because they sold a 12 year old with this type of clause, maybe Tom Eaves will be the next one out of the door with a similar sort of deal.

My final point is with the attacking situation. We do look desperately poor in attack at the moment and yes, that is down to his signings.

Beckford is bloody terrible; I don't know how he ever scored all of those goals for Leeds and Craig Davies, well, he's a trier but considering his size he still can't hold the ball up, neither can he bring in his other attacking players or finish with any sort of style, he is all about pure power. Dougie is very, very aware of how poor we are in attack though and is working on it, but you can't go out and buy a Porsche if you only have enough money to borrow your mates Punto for a week.

Dougie Freedman in my eyes is the right man to lead us at the moment; he may not be the man to take us back to the Premier League but he is bright and focused. I think he will take us to a position of comfort both football wise and financially, so that whoever the next man might be can be our next Big Sam and take us through some glory days, I might send my CV in the post, although my football manager record if I am completely honest, is not that great.