FREED­MAN: I AM HERE TO STAY

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John Brind­ley

NOT­TING­HAM For­est boss Dougie Freed­man con­fi­dently pre­dicted ‘I will be here in Au­gust’ af­ter de­mol­ish­ing his ac­ci­dent-hit for­mer em­ploy­ers.

Less than 72 hours af­ter chair­man Fawaz-Al-Ha­sawi re­vealed the for­mer Bolton manager had penned only an ini­tial three­month deal, Freed­man’s team took their im­pres­sive goal tally to 14 in his first four games.

Neil Len­non’s men lost de­fender Tim Ream (back) and goal­keeper Andy Lon­er­gan (head and neck) to se­ri­ous-look­ing in­juries as well as hav­ing Matt Mills sent off as they were de­mol­ished by a re­ju­ve­nated For­est

Freed­man said: “There are clauses in my con­tract to pro­tect both sides, which are mainly of a fi­nan­cial na­ture… I will be here in Au­gust.

“There is a big, big gap to the play-offs but we have to go out and win foot­ball matches and see where that takes us.

“We de­served our win. For the first 25 min­utes we were out­stand­ing and could have had more than two goals.

“I want us to play with a tempo and get the bal­ance right be­tween de­fend­ing and at­tack­ing.

“I’ve switched things around top help our at­tack­ing play­ers such as (Chris) Burkey and (Michail) An­to­nio.

“The chair­man has spent a lot of money and brought in a lot of very good play­ers who are a joy to work with.”

Slow starters un­der Stu­art Pearce, For­est roared out of the blocks to all but blast the vis­i­tors away in­side the open­ing 17 min­utes.

A slip from Flip Twardzik al­lowed Burke to fas­ten onto an am­bi­tious cross­field ball from Henri Lans­bury af­ter eight min­utes.

Andy Lon­er­gan su­perbly saved the winger’s first shot only for Burke to re­act quick­est to vol­ley high into the net.

Fel­low winger An­to­nio had also sig­nalled his light­en­ing in­ten­tions be­fore scor­ing a fab­u­lous sec­ond in the 17th minute. His slalom-style run en­abled him to hur­dle a suc­ces­sion of chal­lenges be­fore he blasted right footed past Lon­er­gan from in­side the area.

Bolton needed two bril­liant last gasp in­ter­ven­tions to pre­vent For­est from dou­bling their lead. Lon­er­gan re­acted ex­cel­lently to claw away a Lans­bury header then Liam Feeney some­how de­flected a Ben Os­born shot over the bar.

Tim Ream’s in­jury when he col­lided with a post try­ing to stop the For­est cav­alry from a free kick was a fur­ther blow for Bolton, who sur­pris­ingly pulled a goal back deep into first half in­jury time as Zach Clough’s driv­ing run was halted by a foul by Danny Fox and Adam Le Fon­dre blasted past Karl Dar­low.

Bolton’s hopes of a re­vival were then hit by a sav­age blow two min­utes af­ter the break when Mills hauled down An­to­nio for a sec­ond time and was sent off. For­mer Eng­land striker Emile Heskey was em­ployed as an emer­gency cen­tre back for part of the half which got worse for Bolton when Lon­er­gan flat­tened Dex­ter Black­stock.

Af­ter a near ten-minute de­lay, Lans­bury slot­ted in his sixth goal in as many games from the spot.

Burke, who looks a com­pletely dif­fer­ent force un­der Freed­man, then glee­fully drove in a fourth as the other winger An­to­nio was ap­peal­ing for yet an­other spot kick.

Len­non’s num­ber two Jo­han Mjallby said: “We have a nasty habit of putting our­selves into trou­ble with mis­take af­ter mis­take af­ter mis­take.

“We need to stop it or we could get dragged back into a rel­e­ga­tion battle. My pride is hurt. We usu­ally look a threat go­ing for­ward but we’re hav­ing to score three or four goals to get a point.

“The penalty gave us a life­line but we shot our­selves in the foot again with the send­ing off.

“I don’t know how se­ri­ous the in­juries are but nei­ther will be play­ing any part on Tues­day.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

SPOT ON: Henri Lans­bury scores For­est’s third goal Inset: Michail An­to­nio and Chris Burke cel­e­brate

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