Despite seeing Wanderers narrowly lose their final friendly match against Vitesse on Sunday afternoon, Kevin McNaughton has every confidence that Wanderers have emerged from their pre-season campaign ready for the new season.
In what was a game of few chances, a 25-yard free-kick from Marko Vejinovic proved to be the difference between the two sides as the top-flight Dutch side returned to Holland victorious.
Although disheartened to have been defeated, McNaughton believes the Whites’ general defensive display against Peter Bosz's side will give Dougie Freedman’s side a strong platform ahead of next weekend’s Championship opener against Watford.
“It was a difficult match for us,” the Scot conceded. “Vitesse kept the ball well and enjoyed large periods in possession so we had to organise ourselves.
“It was a good test for us. Obviously the result isn’t great, but there were some pleasing points throughout the match."
McNaughton continued: “They didn’t create too many chances - most of them were from long-range and they had a few half-chances in the first half, but apart from that they didn’t create too much.
“It was a great free-kick from Vejinovic. I think it’s now a case of us creating a bit more going forward and just keeping the backdoor shut at the other end.
“It is frustrating but we’re going to learn from it and take it into our next match.”
After spending six months on loan at BL6 in the first half of the 2013/14 campaign, McNaughton returned to Wanderers last month on a season-long loan deal from Welsh outfit Cardiff City.
Now back at Bolton, the defender is delighted to be playing regularly again and admitted his eagerness for the season to start.
“It’s been good to be back," said the 31-year-old. "My family are up now which makes life a bit easier so I don’t need to do too much travelling - it’s good to be back playing, I enjoyed it last year and I’m enjoying it again.
“We go into a difficult fixture next week and the boys are looking forward to it. I remember last season that we had a tough match against Watford, but we stuck to the game-plan and got a result.
“It will be the same again for us next week as they will be a tough team to beat, but we know that we're capable of doing so."
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