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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Riverside holds no fears for us, says Dougie Freedman

Riverside holds no fears for us, says Dougie Freedman

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Dougie Freedman is backing his Wanderers team to silence a packed Riverside stadium tomorrow and spoil new Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka’s first home game.

The Whites head to the North East looking for a fourth consecutive away win in the Championship after an eight-match unbeaten run.

Freedman acknowledges it will be a partisan home crowd with Boro expecting their biggest gate of the season after reducing the prices of home tickets to welcome the new Spanish manager.

But he sees a steely determination in the eyes of his players on the road at present and believes characters like Jay Spearing, Medo, Neil Danns and Jermaine Beckford will thrive on the atmosphere rather than fear it.

Freedman said: “For me, the bigger the crowd, the better, because it makes for a better atmosphere.

“I’ve been to Middlesbrough a few times when they haven’t had a lot of people there and it can be difficult.

“We won’t be intimidated at all. We have a very experienced team that are playing well away from home.

“We will prepare right as always and hopefully the players will do what they have been doing again.

“They have been terrific and you have to give them credit for what they have done.

“We had a real kick in the teeth for a fair few weeks and it has not been easy.

“But they have worked hard and picked themselves up.

“I feel now they go away from home and look like they can get a result, where maybe at the beginning of the season we travelled hoping for one.

“We are quietly confident when we go to Middlesbrough if we do things right we can win the game.”

The reduced prices for home fans has been a contentious issue for Wanderers with the travelling Whites supporters having to pay full price, which, for an adult, is more than twice that offered to the Boro fans.

Wanderers raised the issue with the Football League but Middlesbrough have stressed they have not broken any regulations and just wanted a big welcome for their new boss.

It means a Wanderers following of around 700 could be outnumber 20-1 on the day.

Freedman says it is disappointing but knows his side will have superb backing again on the road, just as they enjoyed in their last two away trips – at Bournemouth and then Watford last Saturday.

The Scot said: “The only thing I am disappointed with is the ticket pricing issue.

“If you are going to do it for that game then do it for our punters as well.

“The more inside the better but I’d rather it be more cheaper tickets given to us.

“We will still take 600-700 and the away fans have been good, it’s just a shame the prices couldn’t be the same for everyone.”

Freedman and his team rightly head to Teesside in confident mood after their recent run and he is looking at the next three matches, with back-to-back home matches against Huddersfield (Tuesday) and Doncaster next weekend up next, as a chance to gain more ground on the top end of the Championship table ahead of a busy festive schedule.

He said: “I have always felt from the beginning of the season we were capable of getting into the top six. Even in the darker days I maintained that and nothing has changed.

“These three games are all winnable for us in the current form we are in and wins against Middlesbrough, Huddersfield and Doncaster would put us in a good position.

“If we are in the top half at the turn of the year, it would be good for us and we can then kick on.”


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