Bolton manager Dougie Freedman believes hard work is starting to pay dividends for England Under-21 striker Marvin Sordell.

Sordell is gunning for another Barclays Premier League scalp in the FA Cup when Wanderers welcome Everton the the Reebok Stadium on Saturday, having scored three goals across two matches against Sunderland in round three.

It is a far cry from the dejected, peripheral figure Freedman found when he arrived at the club last October and comes after Sordell had his social media use addressed by his manager, who felt it was bordering on an "obsession".

"When I first came here I saw a very sorry young man - a not very fit, homesick young guy," said the former Crystal Palace boss.

"I think I've got a not bad record of working with young players and understanding them and we stripped him down, we got him fitter - he was working three times a day in the training ground.

"We organised his off the field activities with his Twitter and we spoke to him about how he needs to handle his life in terms of living up north."

Freedman sympathises with the strain felt by Sordell after his big-money move to Bolton from Watford last winter.

He added: "His family has come up more, he's been down a bit more, he's working hard and the result's been a player feeling confident in himself and scoring goals.

"There's never been any doubt that he's got a bit of talent and can score goals but he's found it very hard to settle in. I don't think we can ever fully understand how hard it is for a young guy, at 20 years of age when he first came up here, how hard it is.

"We've got to leave off him a little bit. Let him do what he does best, let him play and let him get on with it. And I think we'll start to see a very improved Marvin."