Ian Evatt says now is the time to stand and be counted as Wanderers look to retain their place in the play-off places.
The Whites have been hit by a taxing run of injuries with the possibility of more being added to the absent list for Saturday’s trip to Oxford United.
But Evatt is determined not to let those challenges de-rail Wanderers’ bid to stay in the top six as he backs those that come into the side to keep the promotion push on track.
“Four points over Easter, off the back of what was a very good performance at Wembley, and a minute away from taking all six, things aren’t all bad,” insisted the Wanderers’ boss, whose side was denied back-to-back wins by a late Cambridge United equaliser on Bank Holiday Monday.
“It’s easy to sit here and feel sorry for ourselves with what we’re up against injury-wise at the moment but we’ve still got a squad full of talent and we’re going to work extremely hard to try and make sure we stay in that top six.
“We’ve still got some pretty good players. We’d all like everybody available because we think we’re a pretty good team when everyone is available. But it doesn’t mean the ones coming into the team aren’t fit for purpose or able to do the job required.
“We believe in ourselves. We’ve got a good squad of players and now people have to stand up and be counted. There’s no hiding place. We just have to roll up our sleeves, get on with it and find a way to get results.”
Wanderers have lost the services of defenders Eoin Toal and Ricardo Almeida Santos since their Wembley win over Plymouth and are still without the experienced trio of Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Jack Iredale and Lloyd Isgrove.
But Evatt’s men have pieced together a four-match unbeaten run wrapped around their Papa Johns Trophy final win and remain sixth in the table with a game in hand over all of their immediate rivals.
“I still think we’re in the best position,” added Evatt. “It’s in our own hands. We have that extra game, which is a home game, and I think we’re a tough team to beat here. But it is tight and we need results.
“Obviously there’s pressure and in an ideal world with everybody fit and available I think we’d all be pretty confident we’d get the job done.
“But we’re not in that position. Everyone keeps telling me Bolton Wanderers doing do things easily.
“We went against the grain at Wembley with that, so hopefully we can do the same thing now with the last six games. I don’t think we’ve been outside the top six since September, something like that.
“We deserve to be there but you get nothing given in this game. You’ve got to go out and earn it and we’ve got six games – one more than others – to go out there and earn our spot.”