FREEDMAN: I’VE GOT FIGHT IN ME
THE BOO boys were out in full force for Dougie Freedman after another limp performance, but the Scot says he’s been misunderstood by the Bolton supporters.
Chris Martin made up for his early miss from the penalty spot with goals either side of half-time as Derby sneaked back into the play-off places.
But there was no hiding place for Freedman as the Trotters slumped to their sixth Championship defeat of the season.
Sections of support were calling on him to resign, while a smattering made their voices heard outside the Macron Stadium after the final whistle.
However, a defiant Freedman insists he’s made of sterner stuff than to quit when the going gets tough.
“I’ve still got the fight in me,” he said.“I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing but that’s the way I’m built.
“When I got into football management four or five years ago, it was a similar situation.
“The message I want to get through to the fans is I’ve got to make it a little bit more simple for them, more black and white.
“We will have an idea exactly what we’re going to do from Monday morning, and I will take that responsibility on myself to do it.
“I’m very, very proud of being manager of this wonderful football club and I understand the frustrations.
“Tactically, I thought we got it wrong.
“I felt I tried to out-football them in the middle of the park.”
Derby should have been ahead after just eight minutes when Joe Mason fouled Craig Bryson inside the box, but Andy Lonergan guessed correctly to save Martin’s penalty.
The miss appeared to give Wanderers some confidence as both Lee Chung-Yong and a bright Joe Mason had shots blocked.
However, Freedman’s side failed to maintain their momentum and were punished when Martin made up for his early miss by poking home Cyrus Christie’s excellent cross from close range shortly before half-time. And The Rams started the second half the brighter and were soon rewarded with their second of the afternoon.
Owen Garvan gave the ball away on the edge of the box, and Martin pounced to thrash home his second of the game.
County didn’t let up, and Jordon Ibe almost beat Lonergan after 75 minutes from the left after he’d slipped past his marker, but the keeper was down quickly to push it away.
Bolton offered almost nothing going forward in the second half, and Johnny Russell might have made it three had he not volleyed over the bar in stoppage time.
Rams boss Steve McClaren was left purring at his team’s performance after singling out full-back Christie.
“Cyrus has done really well,” said McClaren.
“He was someone unknown at Coventry, but he’s come into this team environment and taken over from Andre Wisdom. He’s stepped into our team and added to it.
“He’s a big threat going forward. His defending is improving and he’s getting forward and creating chances for us.
“We were very professional. We started the game well, should have got the penalty, but controlled the game after that.
“Once we got the goal, we kept control, and that was important.
“We looked a good team with the ball and looked solid without it.That’s what we’ve been working towards. It’s the start of a big week and it’s a good start.
“Missing the penalty was a big test for the team,and for Chris personally.
“We talk about coming away from home, dealing with the pressure and coping with it – we’ve done that.”
SPOT OF RELIEF: Chris Martin stretches to score Derby’s second goal after earlier missing a penalty
HAPPIER: Martin celebrates