Under-fire manager Dougie Freedman has accepted responsibility for Bolton’s insipid performance in their 2-0 home loss to Derby County on Saturday.
Two Chris Martin goals eased the away side to victory, meaning that Bolton now have just one win from their first nine Championship games this season.
This latest defeat was marked by fan protests against Freedman and Trotters’ chairman Phil Gartside as the home crowd let the club know how they feel about Bolton’s unsatisfactory form.
Chants demanding the pair’s exit could be heard throughout the defeat, and fans gathered outside the Macron Stadium to continue the protests after the final whistle.
Freedman accepted that his tactics for the game were not good enough to get a result, but also stated that the players needed to step up their performances.
“I’ve got to take some responsibility for the way we decided to set the team up,” he said. “We tried to out-football Derby and that simply didn’t work.
“That said, we can’t keep making silly individual errors that ultimately end up costing us goals. We understand the frustration right now.
“They were the better team and deserved their win, but we still have the fight in us, make no mistake about that.”
Experienced full-back Kevin McNaughton (pictured above) agreed with Freedman’s criticism and pointed to the need for a positive reaction against Fulham on Wednesday night.
“We’re very disappointed,” said the 32-year-old. “We didn’t create enough and then conceded silly goals, which has been the story of our season so far.
“We had a lift early on with Lonners [Andy Lonergan] saving the penalty and it lifted the fans as well. For that ten or fifteen minutes we caused them problems.
“We’ve got to look at the fact that we weren’t able to capitalise and address it, and hopefully we can make sure we don’t do the same in the next game.”
“We didn’t start the second half at a high enough tempo and we allowed them to dictate play, so the second goal was the nail in the coffin.
“The main thing for us is to now bounce back straight away, starting with Fulham on Wednesday.
“That’s the nature of this league, with the games coming around quick, so we’ll work hard until then and with any luck we’ll pick up a positive result.”
Main image courtesy of Bolton Wanderers FC via YouTube, with thanks.