I’ll be there for you: Good friends Dougie Freedman and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pit their wits against each other in FA Cup

By Tom Belger

Bolton Wanderers will host Cardiff City in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday hoping to make amends for last weekend’s humiliating 7-1 defeat in the Championship by Reading.

Both sides are in desperate need of a good result to help distract fans from the poor league form they are suffering from.

Dougie Freedman is hoping that a cup run will help build confidence in his squad and feels the challenge of Premier League opposition is just what the Trotters need.

“We’re desperate to progress into the next round and it’s a great chance to pit ourselves against Premier League opposition,” Freedman told his weekly press conference.

Freedman is also relishing the tie as it sees him come up against former Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“I did my coaching badges with Ole and he is someone I know very well and he’s got a very good opportunity at Cardiff.”

The Welsh side come into this game on the back of successive defeats as they prop up the Premier League table and they won’t be helped by the fact they haven’t won in Bolton since 1970.

However the last time Cardiff beat Bolton in the FA Cup the Bluebirds went onto win the competition back in 1927 which remains the only time the famous old trophy has left England.

Solskjaer’s side might also have Manchester United’s Wilfried Zaha in their squad after the England under-21 international underwent a medical.

Bolton meanwhile will be able to welcome back Brazilian Andre Moritz who missed last weekend’s drubbing.

Moritz has scored five times this season and has been one of Bolton’s rare success stories since arriving from Crystal Palace in the summer.

Other than Moritz, Freedman is unlikely to make many changes from their embarrassing last outing.

“The players owe it to our fans to go straight back out there this weekend and turn into a performance,” said Freedman.

What both managers will be desperate to avoid is the repeat of the 1973 FA Cup fourth-round meeting between the pair, which saw three replays needed until Bolton finally progressed to the fifth round.   

Image courtesy of BWFC Official via YouTube, with thanks.

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