Dougie’s sitting pretty at last
BOLTON boss Dougie Freedman admits he can rest easy on the bench with his current crop of players after they extended their unbeaten run to four games with victory over Huddersfield.
Lee Mason’s last-gasp strike stole the win for Wanderers in a game where the home side dominated possession but lacked cutting edge upfront.
Freedman admitted his side were not at their best but said the result demonstrated his team’s recent resurgence as they have now lost just once in ten matches.
“It illustrates how far we’ve come in the last four months,” said Freedman. “I’m really relaxed on the bench.
“I felt the spirited, committed performance (and our) great skill in defending deserved that result.
“You need spirit, commitment and defensive skills in the Championship because you’re not going to always perform to your highest level.
“Four months ago maybe we would not have won that game.”
Huddersfield named an unchanged 11 for the third successive match and started brightly with former Wanderers player Danny Ward’s deflected 20-yard shot going narrowly wide in the third minute.
Ward went close again for the Terriers in the 11th minute with a vicious left-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that hit the side-netting.
Freedman felt Huddersfield performed well but praised the Trotters’ fighting qualities.
“We can go anywhere and I can pick a bunch of lads who are organised, well-drilled and can overcome very good teams like Huddersfield,” he added.
“It’s a good feeling knowing we’ve got that spirit and commitment.”
Bolton should have taken the lead after 15 minutes but Chung-Young Lee struck the post with a side-footed shot inside the box after getting on the end of a low byline cross from Alan Hutton.
Town were then denied the opening goal in the 24th minute when Oscar Gobern’s looping header from an Adam Hammill corner was headed off the line by Jay Spearing.
The Terriers have now gone seven games without a win and their manager Mark Robins bemoaned his side’s toothless attack.
“We created enough chances to win five games,” he said. “We’ve got to take one of our chances and be more clinical.
“We are getting to that stage where we are disappointed with what we’ve produced over the last ten or fifteen games in terms of results, performances have been pretty good, but you’ve got to pick results up.
“We need to score a goal and stop conceding from stupid corners and set-plays.”
Ward wasted another chance in the 65th minute when ward he headed a Tommy Smith cross over the bar.
The winger threatened again for Town two minutes later after being played in on goal by Nakhi Wells but Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan saved Ward’s powerfully struck shot.
Wanderers skipper Spearing again cleared off the line in the 76th minute from Wells.
But substitute Mason snatched victory for Bolton in the 93rd minute when he lashed home Lee’s corner.
LAST-GASP WINNER: Joe Mason scores the late winner for Bolton
celebrates I’M CHUFFED: Joe Mason