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Football League

Crystal Palace give Bolton permission to speak to manager Dougie Freedman


Crystal Palace have given manager Dougie Freedman permission to speak to Bolton.

The club originally rejected Wanderers' approach for the 38-year-old after permission was sought on Monday morning.

But the Eagles have now confirmed Freedman would be allowed to meet with the Bolton board.

A statement on their website, http://www.cpfc.co.uk, read: "Following further discussions throughout the day, Crystal Palace Football Club can confirm that permission has been granted for Dougie Freedman to speak to Bolton Wanderers regarding their vacant managerial position."

Former Palace striker Freedman was named manager on a permanent basis in January 2011 and has led the Eagles to a League Cup semi-final last season and up to fourth in the nPower Championship this campaign.

Bolton, relegated from the Barclays Premier League on the final day of last season, have been without a manager since sacking Owen Coyle on October 9 on the back of an indifferent start to life in the npower Championship.

Speculation regarding an approach for Freedman was widely reported over the weekend and, at Monday's press briefing for Tuesday night's trip to Wolves, caretaker manager Jimmy Phillips revealed chairman Phil Gartside has informed him of the club's intentions to secure the 38-year-old Scot as Coyle's successor.

Phillips said: "Phil said from the outset he'd be open and honest with us and he came to the training ground yesterday and said he had made contact with Palace to speak to Dougie Freedman."

Phillips, who led Wanderers to a 3-2 win over Bristol City in his first game at the helm on Saturday having been touted for the post himself in some quarters, added: "We've said all along, Phil and Eddie (Davies, owner) will be the people who pick the next manager of Bolton Wanderers.

"It won't be for anybody to put their names in the ring and suggest they want to be manager. In the meantime we said we would work our hardest to get the best out of the players."

Freedman joined Palace as a player in 1995 and went on to score 20 goals in 42 appearances in his first season and netted the club's fastest hat-trick with an 11-minute treble against Grimsby.

He left in 1997 but rejoined in 2000 and remained at Selhurst Park for eight years. He scored 108 goals during his two spells at the club.

After his playing career ended in 2010, Freedman joined Palace as assistant manager and was put in charge following the departure of George Burley in January 2011.

In his first full season at the helm, Freedman led the club to a famous 2-1 victory over Manchester United in the League Cup at Old Trafford but the club missed out on a place at Wembley after a penalty shoot-out defeat against Cardiff in the semi-final.