FREED­MAN WAS ‘COW­ARDLY’

Chris Ea­gles hits out at old boss

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Ben Cold­well

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.

Money

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.

Leak

“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

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