Bolton Wanderers’ Dougie Freedman confident in clipping Eagles’ wings against old club Crystal Palace

By Sam Ruffe

Tuesday’s emphatic victory over Sunderland has Bolton Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman brimming with confidence as he prepares to visit his old club Crystal Palace tomorrow.

The clash will be the Scot’s first visit to Selhurst Park since he took over the reins at the Reebok last October

And Freedman insists the Eagles will provide a stern test as his Trotters side travel to the capital buoyed by their mid-week mauling of Martin O’Neill’s men.

“I’m looking forward to the game because the way we’ve performed in recent matches fills me with a lot of confidence,” he said.

“Crystal Palace haven’t made too many changes to their playing squad, they’re still doing well and still picking up results.

“I spent a long time down there, both as a player and a coach, and I expect to come up against a very similar team to the one that I left behind – one that’s very tough to break down.

“I’ve seen their players at close quarters but I’m concentrating on us and making sure that we’re set up in a way that gives us the best possible chance of winning the game.”

Bolton sit 16th in the Championship and will head into Saturday’s fixture looking for their first league victory of the New Year.

The Whites have no fresh injury worries while Stuart Holden may feature once again after making his much-welcomed returned from injury at the Stadium of Light.

And although the American is yet to reach full fitness, Freedman has said his 74th-minute inclusion against the Black Cats was a big step on the road to recovery.

“It was a wonderful occasion for the fans to see him make his return,” Freedman said.

“Hopefully he’ll continue to progress and will be a regular fixture in the first team soon.

“I still think it will be two or three months before we see Stuart back to his best, but him getting on the pitch at Sunderland was a big psychological hurdle and he came through that.”

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