A goal in each half ensured that Wanderers slipped to their first defeat in pre-season away at Fleetwood Town on Saturday afternoon.
Efforts from Jordy Hiwula and Conor McAleny saw the Whites beaten at Highbury in their fifth outing so far as they prepare for the upcoming Sky Bet Championship campaign.
And speaking following the final whistle, manager Phil Parkinson covered the following points.
On the game as a whole…
Sometimes in pre-season, you get a bit of a reality check. Things have gone well for us so far in pre-season, but today we were off the pace.
We found ourselves playing in a pre-season sunny afternoon kind of mode and they were sharper than us all over the pitch.
We’ve got to accept that though. Up to this point, we’ve looked really good in pre-season ourselves, but today we’ve got some lessons that can be learned heading into the season itself.
On a disappointing result come full time…
We played a new system today which we didn’t get too much of a chance to work on yesterday in training, so in the lads’ defence it was thrown on them a little bit.
That said though, we all have to be honest and admit that we were second best in too many departments today.
It doesn’t matter what level you’re playing at or what team you’re playing – you have to be first to every ball.
In the first half, we played too deeply and we weren’t able to hurt Fleetwood.
From last season, we know the kind of team that Fleetwood are – once they get a goal ahead, they’re very good at retreating into their own half and making life difficult for you.
We were too slow on the ball today though and we have more quality than we showed.
On the positives that can be taken from the game…
It was important that we stretched the lads to 90 minutes – that is definitely the positive part of the day for us.
It is good sometimes to taste defeat in pre-season as it gives you a jolt that you may need and I don’t think this will do us any harm.
Last pre-season, we went to Mansfield where we were sloppy and it was a bit of a wake-up call for us which is needed sometimes.
On the backing of the Bolton fans…
The fans were superb again today. They’ll have seen pre-season go well to this point and that’s why they turned out in their numbers.
We didn’t live up to what we produced in Scotland though, so it’s back onto the training ground on Monday.
And finally, on the team’s remaining pre-season encounters…
The games we have coming up will all be good challenges for us. All the games that you have in pre-season though are good tests for you.
When you come up against teams who are deemed to be of a lesser standard to yourselves, they will always want to raise their game.
Fleetwood, being a league below, did that today and we will do the same when Stoke come to us next weekend.