Dougie Freedman regrets leaving Crystal Palace

Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman looks dejected at the end of the game

The former Forest boss believes joining Bolton was a mistake and he regrets leaving Selhurst Park

Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman looks dejected at the end of the gameFreedman regrets leaving Palace in 2012

Dougie Freedman has told Holmesdale Radio that he believes he made the wrong decision to leave Crystal Palace in 2012 to take over at Bolton Wanderers.

The former Eagles striker, who spent eight years of his playing career at the club, took over the reins at Selhurst Park in 2012 having previously played second fiddle to Paul Hart and George Burley.

Freedman successfully took Palace away from the bottom three of the Championship in his first season, securing their safety with a game to spare, before starting in equally positive fashion at the beginning of the 2012-2013 campaign.

Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie FreedmanFreedman as manager of Bolton

However, in October Bolton Wanderers came calling, and Freedman believes he made a rash decision to leave the Eagles.

"It was the wrong decision and I do regret it – let me put that on record – it was by myself. Nothing was forced, it was a decision made by myself," Freedman told the station.

"At the particular time of leaving, looking back, I sometimes question myself. I was strong-willed, hard-headed and ambitious, and I could not take a no.

"I kind of thought I was King Kong and I could fight the world and that it was my way or no way. That was wrong of me."

Freedman believes that then Bolton chairman Phil Gartside offered all that he wanted to hear, despite having another offer from a Premier League side.

Dougie Freedman  - Crystal Palace ManagerFreedman had enjoyed success at Palace

“The most disappointing thing for me was that the decision to leave for Bolton was made over 24 hours," he said.

"I didn't have much time to think and that's what happens in football sometimes. I also turned down a Premier League job – but the offer was made through the wrong channels, so there was a lot going through my head.

"Bolton made an enquiry and paid a fee and you get the licence to talk to them. I spoke to them and I remember going to the movies that night to think about it.

"Phil Gartside, God bless him, played me like a kipper and told me everything I wanted to hear and the decision was made."

Bolton were twelve places below Palace in the table at the time of his departure in October 2012, but it appeared he may have made the right call as he got off to a blistering start, taking the club on a five-game winning streak in November, a first for the club in nearly six years.

However, despite taking Bolton from 20th to seventh in the Championship table, his Bolton side narrowly missed out on the play-offs, while Palace secured their place and then were subsequently promoted.

Nottingham Forest manager Dougie FreedmanFreedman has since gone on to manage Nottingham Forest

From then it was downhill as an inconsistent second season was matched with a poor start to the third, and Freedman then left the club in October.

Freedman has since gone on to manage Championship mainstays Nottingham Forest, but despite appearing to do what was widely considered to be a good job under the constraints of financial embargo and persistent injury problems, he was sacked by the middle of March this year.

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