sport

Andrews door isn't closed

Dougie Freedman has refused to call time on Keith Andrews' Bolton Wanderers career, with the midfielder currently out on loan.

The 33-year-old still has two years left to run on his contract at the Reebok Stadium, but was allowed to link up with Sky Bet Championship rivals Brighton & Hove Albion last summer on a season-long deal.

He will play no part against his parent club this weekend, under the terms of his loan, but will be hoping to end the campaign strongly and keep as many options open as possible.

One of those will be to start afresh at Bolton, with Freedman prepared to welcome the Republic of Ireland international back into his plans if he proves himself worthy of a regular role.

The Trotters boss said in The Bolton News: "I spoke to Keith and, at his age, he wanted to play football, which I respect.

"He wasn't one of those who wanted to sit around, so we let him go out on loan and sponsored the deal. After his loan has finished I expect him back here this summer and we will take it from there.

"If he shows what he is capable of showing in the summer, it is a different season and we can look at it again."

Freedman believes Andrews made the right choice in seeking game time elsewhere, with it important for experienced professionals to remain active.

He added: "I don't disagree with Keith and I respect him for that.

"I have come across many players who sit back, take the money and don't go anywhere because it's too inconvenient.

"I went to play at Southend and I went to play at Leeds, so I agree with him.

"In the summer I can look at my squad and if it is the same, numbers-wise, we may be having the same conversation.

"Or if someone leaves we can have a conversation where I can give them a go in the team and say, 'It's up to you Keith to hold your place'. But that can only wait until the summer."