Hitting form at right time: Dougie Freedman happy as Bolton Wanderers climb back into play-off places

By John McDougall

Dougie Freedman feels Bolton Wanderers are hitting form at exactly the right time following their victory over ten-man Middlesbroughat the Reebok Stadium.

Marvin Sordell’s penalty winner came after Kieron Dyer had cancelled out Chris Eagles’ second-half opener, while Boro defender Jonathan Woodgate was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

After climbing back into the Championship play-off places, Freedman feels his side’s grit and determination are the key factors behind their recent promotion charge.

“We’re playing very consistently right now and are hitting the form at the right time,” Freedman told Bolton’s official website.

“The players understand their roles and know exactly what they have to do right now.

“We’ve got the spirit and commitment and that’s something you can’t buy, that has to be developed.”

The Trotters’ eighth consecutive home win moved them into sixth place – a point ahead of nearest promotion challengers Leicester City.

Former Manchester United trainee Eagles broke the deadlock with his tenth goal of the season on 50 minutes, his right-wing cross looping over Jason Steele.

Wanderers’ lead was short-lived though as Dyer equalised from close-range for Boro six minutes later from Scott McDonald’s cross.

But Sordell converted from the spot on 59 minutes after Woodgate fouled South Korean international Chung-Yong Lee in the box.

And Boro centre-half Woodgate was given his marching orders five minutes later for tugging Sordell’s shirt when the striker was past him.

Freedman believes the Whites got their tactics spot on against Tony Mowbray’s side, pointing to their energetic closing down and counter-attacks as key.

“The intent and closing down from the players was outstanding,” said the Glaswegian.

“We pressed the ball exceptionally well and made it hard for Middlesbrough.

“We knew exactly the threats Middlesbrough posed, that they would come at us down the wings with speed and would look to pass and move the ball in the midfield areas.

“Not only did we counter that successfully, but we pushed forward and caused problems of our own.

“When Middlesbrough were reduced to ten men we were professional in our approach to the game and in the end were deserved winners.”

Image courtesy of BWFC, via YouTube, with thanks

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