Football - Freedman hails Bolton defence

Dougie Freedman paid tribute to Bolton Wanderers' defensive solidity as they capitalised on a bad mistake from Manuel Almunia to make it three successive victories.

PA Sport Report

The game was ultimately decided in the 26th minute when Watford goalkeeper Almunia dropped a Neil Danns cross and Jermaine Beckford converted from close range.

When it was put to Freedman his side had produced a "perfect away performance in many ways", the Bolton boss responded: "I think it was. I think we started very well.

"It was a good football match in the first half. I thought we had good possession, it was quite even.

"In the second half, a good manager (Gianfranco Zola) who's tactically very clever changed it around but we've worked very hard in the last 10 days so we had an idea what we'd be doing and I felt, in the second half, our defending, which has got to be praised, from everybody was spot on.

"Decision makings, correct decisions, we stayed in our zones, in our slots and that was a victory for the system maybe."

Asked about the goal, Freedman praised Beckford's opportunism.

He said: "The key to that to any young player is to be in the right position, the right area always, not sometimes.

"You go along through a season hoping to pick up two or three of the little opportunistic goals where it drops for you and Jermaine's the master at that, that's why I brought him to the club and he's won us the game today.

"The two goalkeepers dropped the ball but I felt we had a player that was on form and he smacked it in the net but apart from that I felt we controlled the game out of possession in the second half and controlled the way they played and I felt we deserved to win because of that."

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