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Bolton have learned to absorb defeats, says Mark Little

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karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Mark Little reckons Wanderers could out-last their relegation rivals in the Championship this season because they have learned how to deal with defeat.

Phil Parkinson’s men took an impressive nine points from a possible 12 over the festive period, rising out of the bottom three for only the second time since August. They are now a point clear of safety – a scenario which could hardly have been expected before Christmas when defeat against Burton Albion left the Whites facing an uncertain future.

Wanderers also recovered quickly from another blow on Boxing Day at Middlesbrough, and Little believes the team’s new-found ability to keep its composure in the face of adversity will count in their favour over the coming months.

“We have been at the tail end of bad results and I think we’ve learned how to deal with them now. That’s important,” he told The Bolton News.

“Lots of teams in this league, Cardiff for example, haven’t gone through a spell of losing three on the bounce so you don’t know how they will manage it.

“We always seem to be backs against the wall. We know how to deal with it and I think that might be one of our biggest assets going forward because not many other teams will be used to doing that.”

Little considers himself lucky to have played in Monday’s victory over Hull City after nearly getting laid out for the count by his own team-mate a few days earlier at Bramall Lane.

The full-back came on as a second-half substitute only to moments later receive a painful head-butt in the bridge of his nose from team-mate Mark Beevers.

“When Beevs thought I was hurt he had a sincere apology but once he realised I was okay he kept on laughing. Now he keeps making jokes about it,” he said.

“They have said it isn’t broken, and they are calling it a bruise.

“It certainly hurt and Ben (Alnwick) thought I was faking it until I got up and my nose was in the wrong place.

“In all seriousness I was lucky to play against Hull. When it happened I remember thinking ‘thirty seconds ago I was comfortable on the bench watching the boys beat top of the league’ and then I’m seeing stars. It’s no problem now, so I’ll crack on. No pun intended.”

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