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Freedman: I had the belief

Dougie Freedman insisted after the 2-1 win at Birmingham that he never lost belief in his Bolton players, while Lee Clark blamed individual errors for the defeat.

Last Updated: 05/10/13 at 16:03 Post Comment

Dougie Freedman (left): Watched his side win

Dougie Freedman (left): Watched his side win

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The Trotters were enduring their worst start to a league season in 111 years having failed to win any of their opening 10 matches, but it was 11th time lucky at St Andrew's thanks to a narrow 2-1 victory over Birmingham.

Manager Freedman conceded Wanderers' start had been "challenging" but he was just happy to see his side get the just rewards he felt they deserved.

"It's not a relief because I strongly believe that if you work hard and you study the game then you get your rewards and that's what we've certainly done here," the Scot said.

"I've tried to stay calm, I've had good support from the chairman in a difficult moment, but we've certainly not been far away having registered five draws.

"I had belief that we'd turn it around if we just kept working hard.

"I had strong confidence it would come. You have to go through some bad moments to get your reward and that's what we've done."

Victory came on an afternoon when Birmingham were their own worst enemy, Dan Burn misjudging a hopeful clearance up field after just 12 minutes to allow Jermaine Beckford to race through and open the scoring.

Former City midfielder Neil Danns then capitalised on another glaring error, this time from goalkeeper Darren Randolph as he flapped at Liam Feeney's cross, before Bolton held on after substitute Nikola Zigic had given the hosts hope.

There was controversy in the closing minutes, though, as Birmingham saw strong penalty appeals waved away as Callum Reilly's shot was blocked by the raised hands of Feeney.

"It's a difficult one," Freedman said.

"I can see Birmingham's strong point, his hands are above, but it's so close that the referee has used common sense."

Freedman may well have felt his side got away with the decision.

And Birmingham counterpart Lee Clark was certainly more vocal in his belief that his side were again on the end of a bad decision.

Clark said: "Without a doubt (it was a penalty), there's no ifs or buts.

"In all honesty, that must be at least five now that we've been on the end of that haven't been given for us or given against us."

Reflecting on his side's performance, Clark refused to lay any blame at the door of centre-back Burn or goalkeeper Randolph.

Instead, the Blues boss rued the fact his side were a shadow of the one which had won their previous three home matches, scoring 11 goals in the process.

"They're just individual errors from two lads who have been brilliant for us all season," Clark said.

"They're human beings, we all make mistakes, unfortunately for the two lads their errors have cost us goals.

"There's no finger pointing at them.

"Our general first-half performance, in terms of not being the driving force we have been in our previous three home games, was the catalyst for the result."

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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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