Bolton Wanderers need to start taking their chances if they are to turn around their abject start to the season, admits manager Dougie Freedman.
The Trotters’ defeat to Derby on Saturday was their sixth in nine Championship games this season, and the side are currently languishing in 22nd with just five points.
And their gaffer has pointed to the small margin of error in the division and called on his side to convert their goal scoring opportunities against Fulham tonight.
“We’re not too far away, there are very fine lines in this division and every game’s been very close,” he said.
“We’ve got to find a way to make sure that we come out on top. When you have missed penalties and you don’t take your chances it doesn’t happen.
“I do believe that we are very close, it’s fine lines, we just need to make sure that when opportunities come our way we take them.”
The Derby game was marred by fan protests against the 40-year-old and club chairman Phil Gartside, but Freedman understands their frustration.
“It wasn’t pleasant in the stadium but that’s what happens when you lose games of football,” he acknowledged. “I’m fully responsible for results because that’s football management.
“When the players win games they get the credit and when we lose games the manager gets the blame.
“I get it, that’s what I bought into with this job and that’s the way I lead the team.
“I can’t legislate for certain mistakes but I’m full aware that the responsibility lies with me in getting results.”
Freedman, who took over at Bolton in 2012 after leaving Crystal Palace, believes they have been unfortunate with their difficult start to the year however.
“There have been a few managers so far this season who have said that we’ve been very unlucky. I don’t like using the word but that’s what we’ve been,” he admitted.
“We need to make sure we stick at it, stay strong and keep going because that’s what I believe is the recipe to get results.
“In the dressing room it’s a very good group who are desperate to succeed. If we can get some momentum and start scoring goals then there’s not a lot in it.”
And the Glaswegian shrugged off the suggestion that Fulham’s first win of the season last weekend against Birmingham will increase the pressure on the Trotters.
“When you’re managing a club this size with the history it has got then games are always big matches,” he said.
“They have good players in their team and got a good result on Saturday, which probably brings a bit more expectation on them to win again.
“We know how they play and we’ll have a plan. I’ve got to find a way and come up with a result.
“The situation we find ourselves in now means that I’d rather that the games come thick and fast for us.
“I feel that the way we’ve been playing performance-wise we’re not too far away and it’s only a matter of time before we can turn that around.”
Image courtesy of BWFC, via YouTube, with thanks