DOUGIE GETS WHAT HE HAS WAITED FOR
AFTER seeing his side secure their first league win since late December, relieved Bolton manager Dougie Freedman claimed the convincing victory over Watford was the least they deserved.
Strikes from Lukas Jutkiewicz and Joe Mason secured three points for the Reebok Stadium outfit and condemned Watford to their first loss in February.
And Freedman was as pleased with the clean sheet and solidity of his back four as he was with the win and numerous goalscoring chances.
“They got what they deserved, at last really,” he said.
“The margin of victory was at least what we deserved.
“I think we worked very hard as a team to keep that clean sheet as we’ve been missing that.
“We eventually got what we deserved as I felt we’ve been playing well and scoring goals but we’ve just never quite defending wise as a team the way we should be so I felt that was the difference.
“When Watford asked us a few questions I thought we defended very well – that gives you the opportunity to then play your stuff and get goals.
“Over the past four or five home games we’ve been playing well, it’s been very tight in this division with a lot of draws but we’ve been playing a lot of good football.”
The Trotters could have taken a tenth minute lead after Mark Davies’s through-ball found Mason but Manuel Almunia diverted the effort wide with his outstretched foot.
Troy Deeney could have put Watford ahead four minutes later after connecting with Ikechi Anya’s left-wing cross but Adam Bogdan made a point-blank save.
Mason’s pace caused Watford problems, weaving his way through the visiting defence and past Almunia on 16 minutes only to be denied by a superb last-ditch tackle from Marco Faraoni.
Bolton took a deserved 35th minute lead when Jay Spearing’s whipped free-kick trickled its way through to Jutkiewicz who fired home.
Mason added Bolton’s second on the stroke of half-time after running clear of Watford’s defence and slotting past Almunia.
Bolton could have added a third after the break but Davies slipped and skewed Neil Danns’s cutback wide, with Almunia saving the on-loan Leicester man’s ambitious volley from the following cross.
Mason nearly grabbed his second on 75 minutes after running onto Danns’s through-ball but watched his effort smothered by an onrushing Almunia.
Disappointed Watford manager Giuseppe Sannino said: “I know that it’s not possible but if possible I would like to replay the game now. I take all responsibility for the result.
“It was a bad day at the office for all of us.
“What I want to do now is to say sorry to all the people from Watford who travelled here to watch the game.
“Maybe we were in a position to think that finally we found our solidity in terms of shape and organisation in defence but we did lack a lot in this phase and we were exposed to them and created us problems.
“I’m disappointed also because we need to forget as soon as possible this game but at the same time we need to not forget that we made a lot of mistakes.
“If the results say that we don't win away then we play with two faces and in the away games we obviously need to change something. I told the players before the game that we need to win one away game and we chose to play higher up the pitch because we wanted to create more.”
DANCE TIME: Bolton Wanderers’ Lukas Jutkiewicz celebrates scoring. Inset: Joe Mason scores