We Khan do it with Dougie, says Amir

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO RESULTS -

FRESH from re­vi­tal­is­ing his own ca­reer this win­ter former world cham­pion boxer Amir Khan has backed Dougie Freed­man to do the same with his beloved Bolton.

Khan, who put his box­ing ca­reer back on track with a com­pre­hen­sive vic­tory over Car­los Molina in mid-De­cem­ber, is a die-hard Trot­ter and reg­u­lar at the Ree­bok when he’s not be­ing put through his paces across the Pond.

In­deed the 26-year-old planned to at­tend Bolton’s de­feat to Sh­effield Wed­nes­day on Box­ing Day as he made the most of his time in the UK.

And while the de­feat left Bolton eight points shy of the play-off places in 16th – and Freed­man with just three wins since suc­ceed­ing Owen Coyle in Oc­to­ber – Khan be­lieves the ex-Crys­tal Palace boss re­mains the right man.

Mas­sive

“Dougie Freed­man is a good man­ager, but I think he’s go­ing to need time to work with the team and see what their weak­nesses are and how he can aim to im­prove with them,” he said.

“But I think with him coming in it will be a mas­sive help. I felt Owen Coyle did a great job as well, but I think Dougie is the right man and the bet­ter choice now and he will do well with the team.

“I think that this sea­son it will be dif­fi­cult to get straight back up into the Pre­mier League from the po­si­tion we are in at the moment, but maybe next sea­son.

“We have a great team and a great sta­dium and I think we just need that great man­ager to take us all the way to the top.”

Khan’s bout with Molina was ef­fec­tively win or bust, hav­ing been de­feated on his pre­vi­ous two trips to the USA, los­ing out to both La­mont Peter­son and Danny Gar­cia. But hav­ing got his vic­tory, Khan says he’s back on track.

“The last two times I have been to Amer­ica I didn’t get the re­sult that I wanted.We’ve made a lot of changes and it’s al­ways great to come back as a win­ner,” he added.

“There was a lot of pres­sure on me, be­cause I saw it as if I didn’t win there wouldn’t be any more big fights coming my way, but now hopefully we can carry on and get me to­wards Gar­cia again.

“It is all about tak­ing my time, my new trainer is amaz­ing, Vir­gil Hunter has changed a lot box­ing-wise, ba­si­cally not try­ing to rush in there, but try­ing to use my brain and pick­ing the right shots at the right time, not mak­ing any mis­takes.

“It is go­ing to take time, and af­ter be­ing with Vir­gil, I know in some of the last fights I did get a lit­tle bit frus­trated and try and get into a fight, but I’m try­ing to take the in­struc­tions on board and as time goes on it will get bet­ter and bet­ter.

“But over­all I’m happy to be back over Christ­mas and New Year.”

ALEX BYSOUTH

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

STRIKER: Amir Khan beat­ing Car­los Molina be­fore Christ­mas. In­set: Khan at the Ree­bok

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