Freedman explains Bolton move
Dougie Freedman claims Bolton’s long-term potential persuaded
him to end a long and successful association with Crystal
Freedman left the south London outfit last week to succeed Owen
Coyle at the Reebok Stadium, despite Wanderers lying 16th in the
npower Championship and Palace riding high in fourth.
Saturday’s loss at Middlesbrough dropped Bolton – many
observers’ favourites to earn an instant return to the Barclays
Premier League – to 18th position with 15 points from 13
Former Scotland international striker Freedman scored more than
100 goals across two spells with Palace spanning 10 years.
He then led them to the League Cup semi-finals after famously
beating Manchester United in his first full season as manager last
But the 38-year-old insists he has moved to further his career
with a club geared towards top-flight football.
“It was a decision I made for the long game,” Freedman said when
addressing his first press conference as Bolton manager on Monday
“I’ve got a long-game strategy where I feel this club will give
me the tools that will get us to the Premier League.
“Crystal Palace have been fantastic for me. I was there as a
player and as a manager and I’ve got a real bond with the fans.
“I feel that I owed this opportunity to myself and my family.
It’s not really what they (Palace) are lacking, it’s what Bolton
“I don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed to say that promotion is
the key to the season.”
Such goals may sound a touch lofty for a team 13 points behind
leaders Cardiff – the side Freedman welcomes to the north west for
his first game at the helm this weekend.
Indeed, it was Freedman and not Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside
that forced the issue of promotion during the interview
“The chairman played it down,” he said. “It was me – my hunger
and desire to succeed that was asking him the questions in terms of
what tools have I got to succeed.
“I think it’s a wonderful squad. I’m going to try and figure out
why certain players are not performing to their potential.
“I’ve come to a wonderful club with a great tradition and I
believe we should be playing there (the Premier League).
“It’s achievable if we make sure we work every single day to the
standard that I expect.
“We feel at this club that if we can get things right quickly
then we’ve got a very realistic chance (of promotion).”
When news of his departure broke, Palace chairman Steve Parish
spoke of Freedman having an “obsession” with the Premier
While the phrasing does not sit well with him, Freedman did
little to hide his burning ambition.
“Steve Parish puts words in people’s mouths – he won’t put that
in my mouth,” he added.
“I am a young manager in a rush, I won’t hide that. I’m very
ambitious and I do want to manage right to the top level.
“When I met the chairman (Gartside), the ambition I got from him
rubbed off on me even more so. I felt ‘I want some of that’.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being hungry and
having some desire.”