Updated: Sunday, 29th March 2020 @ 7:27am

About time: Dougie Freedman believes Bolton have finally got to grips with Championship football

About time: Dougie Freedman believes Bolton have finally got to grips with Championship football

| By Tom Belger

Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman finally feels his young side have learnt how to play Championship football.

A month ago, Bolton were on a nine-game winless run, including a humiliating 7-1 defeat away to Reading, which tested many fans patience with Freedman’s management.

However, the last four weeks has seen a drastic improvement as the Trotters go into tomorrow’s game at the Reebok Stadium against Brighton and Hove Albion on the back of a five-game unbeaten run.

Freedman’s side, who had endured a difficult campaign so far, have turned out impressive performances in recent weeks with the thrashings of Blackburn and Leeds as well as picking up points against in-form sides like Derby.

The Scot now believes his side have worked out how to pick up points in the Championship and wants to see his side to extend their good run.

“I think for the last dozen games we have been putting in fantastic performances,” Freedman told bwfc.co.uk.

“Not all performances are going to be four or five-nil. Some performances you’ve got to dig in and make sure you don’t get beaten and keep a clean sheet. I think we did that against Derby.

“We’re starting to show an all-round consistency to our game and making sure that we understand Championship football.”

Brighton will provide a firm test for the Trotters as Oscar Garcia’s side come into the game sitting eighth in the Championship on the back of an impressive 2-0 win against Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday.

The Seagulls also convincingly beat Bolton 3-1 when the sides met at the Amex Stadium in September as they stunned the Trotters with three goals in four second half minutes.

Freedman has been studying Garcia’s tactics and feels this time his side will be able to cope with Brighton’s counter-attacking football.

“It is going to be a very interesting game and we need to make sure we don’t get done on the counter attack, therefore, it’ll be a tactical game so we need to make sure we’re fully on top of that.”

Bolton will also be encouraged by the fact they won this fixture last season 1-0 thanks to a Marcos Alonso goal.

The Whites will also be able to welcome back strikers Joe Mason and Jermaine Beckford, who both missed the 0-0 draw, with Derby in midweek to help bolster Bolton’s attacking threat.

Freedman believes this area will be vital in tomorrow’s clash but is confident his strikers can deliver when it matters most.

“I know there are goals in us and now I know there is a clean sheet and resilience in us as well so we just need to make sure we continue in the form we are in and continue doing the simple things well,” the Scot said.

“We’ve been playing some fantastic football at home and we’ve been controlling matches for the whole 90 minutes so we just need to put in a performance like that on Saturday.” 

Image courtesy of officialBWFC via Youtube, with thanks