FREEDMAN WAS ‘COWARDLY’
Chris Eagles hits out at old boss
CHRIS Eagles has come out swinging after a summer in the boxing gym, branding former Bolton boss Dougie Freedman a “coward” following the midfielder’s acrimonious exit from the Macron Stadium.
The ex-Manchester United man spent three seasons with the Trotters, but found himself shunned to lifting weights and putting in the hard yards on the treadmill for much of last term following a protracted contract dispute.
Freedman, now managing Nottingham Forest, previously accused Eagles of unprofessionalism and claimed he was only at the club for the money.
But it’s a notion Charlton’s new signing wholeheartedly refutes. And with the Addicks set to host Freedman’s Forest on Tuesday night, Eagles pulled no punches in his view of the Scot.
“When he first came I really liked him and got on really well with him,” Eagles said.“He put the team around me and I could have done a lot of things for him.
“Come the summer I had one year left on my contract but I didn’t want to talk about contracts at that time because I wanted to sort it next summer.
“I remember the moment of it all happening. It was after Millwall in January and I’d scored. I was given a choice to sign a new deal or not.
“They were forcing it on me, and I didn’t really have any option. Then on the Monday I was pulled out, nobody spoke to me to say why.
“It hurt me and affected me massively. I was in the gym on my own just running. I was dying to get out there. Dougie didn’t speak to me once and still to this day I’ve not spoken to him about why it happened.
“For him to leak out in the papers in the summer that I was disruptive, it’s wrong. I was never. I wasn’t rude. Dougie respected me, and I know he does, but for him to say that is cowardly.
“It’s a shame because we got on really well. When he came he wanted to base the team round me and then it ended up this way. It was difficult getting a text saying you’re in the gym at 10am on your own.
“You hear rumours about me not wanting to be there but they’re a load of rubbish. I always wanted to be there. Then, two weeks from the end of the season, Dougie called me in and said ‘you can leave now’. That was it. Nothing said at all.”
A spell as a free agent saw Eagles take up boxing in order to maintain fitness and add some variety to his routine.
Then, in November, he decided to join Blackpool’s fight for survival on a short-term contract but again found himself a free agent in January.
Now Eagles intends to go the distance with Charlton after signing a deal until the end of the season.
“The club showed faith in me, and when people show faith in me I’m loyal to them,” he added. “All the players have been brilliant and welcoming – I thank them for that.”
ANGRY: Chris Eagles