Football - We'll pick the players up - Freedman

Bolton manager Dougie Freedman will ensure his Bolton players pick themselves up from their final-day disappointment to mount a fresh promotion challenge next year.

PA Sport

Wanderers came back from 2-0 down to earn a deserved 2-2 draw against Blackpool at the weekend but Leicester's victory at Nottingham Forest saw them slip out of the play-off places.

A magnificent run of late season form lifted Freedman's men from 20th place at the beginning of February, something that made falling agonisingly short even harder to take for many in the Reebok Stadium's home dressing room.

"The players are very disappointed, but that's players for you," Freedman said.

"Players are very short-sighted. All they were worried about was winning the game. I was one a few years ago and that's how they deal with these things. They deal with them in a very short-term way.

"That's why we've got coaches and managers to pick them up, or kick them up the backside sometimes, and make them look forward, have a good summer and a summer where they understand exactly what's required next season."

Freedman also explained his decision to hand Rob Hall a surprise debut against the Seasiders, only to replace the on-loan West Ham winger with Marvin Sordell shortly before his team's quickfire comeback in first-half stoppage time.

"Robert Hall's a fantastic young player and it suited us to play in that particular way," he added. "The problem was we were not getting Chris Eagles the ball.

"He's been our best player and we weren't getting him enough of the ball. We were not acting on the information that was given before the game.

"I had to simplify it and put two strikers on and force the issue rather than playing through them. By doing that we got ourselves back into the game and gave ourselves chance to get back into the game."

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