BOO BOYS COME OUT FOR DOUGIE
ACHORUS of boos rang out as toothless Bolton were held at home to Sheffield Wednesday – but boss Dougie Freedman vowed that his team have the fight to climb the league.
Wanderers’ first clean sheet of the season failed to calm the frustrations of the home support, with Freedman admitting he can understand their reaction.
But after bagging just their second point of the season, despite missing a handful of players through injury, Freedman believes a first league win of the campaign is just around the corner.
“I thought the performance was good,” he said. “I felt we were very brave on the ball and I thought we passed it well.
“Did we do enough to win the game? Probably not on chances, but we didn’t deserve to lose against a team who are very good away from home.
“I can understand the fans’ reaction. They are booing the whole situation, they want it to change, they want to buy strikers and so on. I completely understand but I’ve got to work in the real world.
“I’m trying to focus on building a team with a good spirit. I’ve been putting pressure on myself more than anybody, I want to be up that league.
“We will win games, but it’s when we win that’s key and I don’t think we’re far away.”
The Owls had the ball in the net on 20 minutes, through Stevie May, but referee Andy Haines had already blown up for a foul by Atdhe Nuhiu.
Confusion in the Bolton defence then gifted Chris Maguire an opportunity three minutes later but Matthew Mills got back to block well on the line before Maguire fired wide from the rebound.
Bolton gifted Wednesday another chance on the stroke of half-time, Nuhiu anticipating Tim Ream’s poor header back, but Andy Lonergan was out quick to keep him out.
The visitors continued to look the more likely to score after the break, and Joe Mattock’s diving header bounced just over on 50 minutes from Maguire’s corner.
Jacques Maghoma then caught Owen Garvan in possession on 63 minutes, feeding Nuhiu, but the striker’s shot was beaten clear by Lonergan.
May cut inside on 72 minutes when Darren Pratley gave the ball away, but his low, rightfooted shot from distance went wide.
The same player was involved again on 89 minutes, his 19-yard free-kick beating the wall but providing a comfortable save for Lonergan.
Wednesday nearly snatched a win as stoppage time approached but Lonergan was equal to Liam Palmer’s cross-shot and Lees’ header, from the result- ing corner, was blocked on the line by Dean Moxey.
And substitute Royston Drenthe blazed over on the stroke of full-time, when he found space in the area, to leave boss Stuart Gray bemoaning his side’s lack of composure in front of goal.
“I thought we totally dominated the game,” he said.“We definitely need to be a bit more ruthless. They had a couple of breaks, with shots blocked on the line, but I’m disappointed we’ve dropped two points.
“What you want is your boys to do what they get paid for – your midfielders and your strikers to pop the ball in the net. I just can’t believe I’m talking about a nil-nil game.
“You need a bit of calmness, we were snatching at chances. We’re trying to smash it in where top players just roll it into the net.
“The clean sheet is no consolation at this moment in time, because I just have those chances flashing through my head.
“It was such a one-sided game, we just need to be more ruthless.”
TUSSLE: Bolton’s Liam Feeney, right, battles with Sheffield Wednesday’s Chris Maguire. Inset: Dougie Freedman shows his frustration