Former Forest star Dougie Freedman trying to engineer change at Bolton Wanderers
HAVING played with Nottingham Forest during their last spell in the Premier League, Dougie Freedman knows a thing or two about expectation.
But being able to cope with that burden in his current job is proving to be a handy attribute.
Bolton were one of the pre-season favourites for promotion in the Championship.
A poor start to the campaign cost Owen Coyle his job at the Reebok Stadium and, while Freedman has been a steadying influence since his appointment in October, the expected challenge for the top six has not materialised, even after the change of manager.
And he admits his main challenge is to live up to that expectation for success.
"That's what fans have got to learn to live with. It's what I am trying to do here – I am trying to change things," he said.
"It takes time. I am trying to change the way we play, entertain the crowd with possession, while trying to score goals through the control of the game.
"I am trying to change a whole mentality but it does take time.
"I believe you can never look back – and that applies to Nottingham Forest fans, Manchester City fans, Bolton Wanderers fans, or whoever.
"The good coaches are always looking forward and that is what I am trying to do at this football club.
"I can't comment on what Forest are doing right now, but certainly at my club I am trying to concentrate on the future, rather than what has happened in the past.
"It isn't about what happened five years ago, it is about how we are playing. Have we got new players in the team? Are there young players coming through? Looking forward is the challenge I have got."
Freedman says he enjoyed his time at the City Ground, even if he will be looking to inflict defeat on his former club tomorrow.
"I really enjoyed my time there because it was a fantastic set-up," he said.
"The chairman, Nigel Doughty, is sadly no longer with us, but when I was there he certainly was a good man.
"Things have changed, there are new owners, players and staff, but it's still a fantastic club."