Chris Martin’s missed penalty inside the opening 10 minutes looked to have sparked a fighting display from the Trotters, but the Scottish striker amended for his mistake by netting twice and leaving Bolton with just one win in nine games.
The Trotters sit firmly in the relegation places, one point ahead of Fulham, and three ahead of as-of-yet winless Blackpool, and despite a series of strong performances - including the midweek display at Chelsea - Freedman’s men look unable to find a sun from anywhere.
At the close of the game on Saturday, the Macron Stadium was filled with chants of derision aimed at the dugout and the directors boxes, and it appears as if the situation is getting increasingly fraught for the former Crystal Palace striker.
However, Derby boss McClaren - himself aware of the pressures of management due to a glum-filled spell in charge of England - feels as if it is luck that is preventing Wanderers from picking up results, with impressive performances not bringing the reward they deserve.
Speaking to the Bolton News after the game, the Rams head coach said: “This is management and it can be cruel at times.
“You live and die by results.
“But Bolton were unlucky at Wolves last week, were terrific at Chelsea in midweek and today we played very well.
“When the pressure is on you need a performance from your players.
“We have all been in that situation and we all feel for each other.”
McClaren has yet to experience such a run of form since moving to the iPro Stadium and leading Derby to the Play-Off Final in his first season in charge. Following Saturday’s 2-0 victory, the Rams move into the play-off places, four points off the leaders, having lost just one of their nine games played this Championship season.