Owen Coyle encouraged Dougie Freedman to succeed him at Bolton

 

New Bolton manager Dougie Freedman has revealed a conversation with predecessor Owen Coyle was an important factor in him electing to take the Reebok Stadium post.

Freedman left a Crystal Palace side flying high in fourth place in the npower Championship last week to take the reins at Wanderers, where fellow Scot Coyle was sacked having taken 11 points from the first 10 matches of the campaign on the back of May's relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

But Coyle clearly harbours no ill-feeling towards the club he steered to a 2011 FA Cup semi-final, having given his compatriot a glowing assessment.

"Owen's a good man, I've known him for many years and he spoke very highly of the club," said Freedman,

"He was really thrilled that I got the call. He was, without pushing me towards the job, telling me just how good a club it was - how well it's run and not to always believe what you hear in the papers with the financial side.

"He said 'you've got a good squad - they are underperforming'.

"Over the years I've known him, knowing the way I do things, he thinks I'm a good fit.

"He had a lot of good words to say about the club. It's nice when you can talk to an ex-manager who doesn't really muddy the water and tells you how it is.

"I know he's a good man so that was important in my decision."

Freedman's parallels with Coyle - a young, highly-rated but largely untried manager upon his appointment by Bolton - have not sat easily with sections of the Trotters' support who would have preferred a more experienced head after the latter's fortunes plummeted so severely.

Additionally, Freedman leaves a club in Palace where he was a crowd hero during his playing days and allowed to operate without a significant weight of pressure or expectation, as the dark days of administration at Selhurst Park linger fresh in the memory.

As such, the move to the north west could be seen as an undue risk for a talented prospect who took on Palace as his first managerial assignment in January last year.

Freedman certainly does not see it that way.

"I don't do this to prove people wrong," the 38-year-old added.

"I find in life the only risk is not to take a risk, it's as simple as that.

"If I go through my management career never taking a risk then we may as well pack up right now. Everything we do is a risk.

"I've worked a couple of years in the Championship, produced a decent side who played good football.

"There were good youngsters in the team and we had a good atmosphere around the place, so that should hopefully give me the starting tools that I need to take this club forward."

PA

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