The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

I’M SURE Dougie Freed­man will be very con­cerned that Bolton have only two points from their first four, es­pe­cially hav­ing fin­ished so strongly last sea­son.

Al­though they missed out on the play-offs, fans’ hopes and ex­pec­ta­tions went through the roof for the new sea­son and, when you don’t get an early win, that re­ally starts to weigh on you.

To com­pound mat­ters, Dougie also has to watch his old club Crys­tal Palace grac­ing the Pre­mier League!

To my eyes, Bolton had the best squad in the Cham­pi­onship last sea­son. But now they don’t ap­pear to be gelling.

No doubt cer­tain play­ers, when they come down from the Pre­mier League, are se­ri­ously shocked by the pace and com­mit­ment shown in the Cham­pi­onship.

It is the fiercest di­vi­sion in Europe for me and it doesn’t re­lent. When I was in the Pre­mier League, there were Euro­pean games, in­ter­na­tional breaks, let ups all over the place. Ev­ery­body got a break.

Here, it’s 100 per cent in­ten­sity and I’m sure that plenty of play­ers who per­form well in the Pre­mier League can’t cope with it.

Per­haps that’s why the three teams who came down last year strug­gled so badly, and why Bolton are still strug­gling now.

It’s a big test for Dougie, who I’m sure will be lean­ing on the ex­pe­ri­enced Len­nie Lawrence, his as­sis­tant.

Len­nie has been in this sit­u­a­tion plenty of times and he’ll be say­ing ‘Lis­ten, it’s only three games – we haven’t been fir­ing on all cylin­ders but one good vic­tory will see us up and away’. I’m sure that’s the mes­sage they’ll be in­still­ing in the play­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.