Ian Evatt insists his Wanderers side will not mope after exiting the Carabao Cup against Wigan Athletic on penalties.
Nathan Delfouneso, who missed the crucial spot kick in the shoot-out at the DW Stadium, issued an apology via the club’s social media channels immediately after the game.
And though Evatt admits the manner of defeat was tough to take, he believes the group will pick themselves up quickly for Cambridge United on Saturday where a victory could lift them into the top six.
“Obviously it hurts,” the manager said. “We don’t like losing. Penalty shootouts are never nice to lose and they are down in the dumps. They do feel sorry for themselves, but that’s to be expected because they wanted to win for our brilliant fans.
“We didn’t get the job done, but I think they’ll forgive us if we do the business in the league.
“We are not going to dwell on it. There’s a bigger picture here and that’s easily said now we’ve lost a penalty shootout, but the bigger picture is we want this club to be challenging at the top end of this division and there’s no reason why we can’t.”
A large contingent of 4,700 travelling supporters were still singing at the bitter end and Evatt hopes the mood can quickly be lifted with a positive result at the Abbey Stadium this weekend.
“I don’t think the fans will feel sorry for themselves,” he said. “I think they can see what we’re trying to do. They can see this club is on the way back.
“I’m immensely proud to be manager of this football club and we just need to go now fully focused on Saturday.
“It is going to take today and tomorrow to get this out of our system, but Thursday morning when they’re back in, we need to have full focus and go and attack Cambridge on Saturday.”
Evatt made eight changes to the side which beat Oxford United, and it came at some cost, with his side struggling to show the continuity in possession that they have in recent weeks.
The likes of Harry Brockbank and George Thomason got their first action of the season, and Elias Kachunga also earned a first start in Bolton colours.
Evatt believes some teething trouble was inevitable.
“It was never going to be perfect and we have to be fair to these lads that have come in. When you make eight changes they’re not going to just gel as they haven’t played together before as a team,” he said.
“They’re not just going to rock up and it be like Brazil. It takes patience and time and could we have done better? Probably is the answer, but they’ve not let anybody down. They’ve grafted. They've done great, they’ve deserved to play. They’ll be better for the experience and better for the 90 minutes.
“Now we are fully focused on Saturday.”