The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

WHAT a dif­fer­ence six months make. As Bolton strug­gled in Au­gust and Septem­ber, man­ager Dougie Freed­man was the king of spin, re­lent­lessly telling us his tal­ented team just needed a break and bit of con­fi­dence.

Now? Even he has had enough. This was Freed­man at his most hon­est and forth­right, barely stop­ping short of call­ing his team bot­tlers.

And that is ex­actly what they are. The mo­ment Bournemouth scored, they lost all com­po­sure and ma­tu­rity, not just sens­ing their demise but openly invit­ing it.

For play­ers paid hand­some sums to act pro­fes­sion­ally, that is sim­ply not good enough. You have to feel for Freed­man. The ma­jor­ity of play­ers in this side are not his, and nor are they strong enough, men­tally or phys­i­cally, for the de­mands of the Cham­pi­onship. But un­til he can get rid of them, he is the man tak­ing the stick.

All Bournemouth need to be a top six side is a de­cent de­fence to match their fluid play.

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