George Johnston says confidence in the Wanderers camp will not be dampened after Saturday’s defeat at Sunderland.
After Bolton’s first back-to-back losses since December, the young defender brushed off any suggestion that there had been a ‘reality check’ within the camp after promotion from League Two.
Ian Evatt’s men have dropped down to ninth in the table after failing to turn their dominance at the Stadium of Light into an equalising goal – and have now failed to score in five of their last six league outings.
But Johnston remains fully convinced that results will flow again if the players continue to produce football of the quality they showed on Wearside.
“There’s no wavering,” he told The Bolton News. “I think it’s easy in the media to say that we haven’t scored in two games now, but in the dressing room, you don’t even think about that. We just continue to do the same things on the training pitch each day and then take that stuff into the game.
“The system won’t change. We know that will eventually get us there.
“There are a few new faces this season, new partnerships and we’re still trying to build them partnerships and I think we’re almost there.
“It just feels when we’re on the pitch, we’re just one click away from everything coming together for us.”
Johnston was one of Evatt’s stand-out players in defeat at Sunderland and came within a whisker of scoring an equalising goal with a second-half volley.
Striker Eoin Doyle had eight shots on the Black Cats’ goal and also drew a blank on what proved a frustrating day for the 2,000 travelling supporters.
“I saw it coming at the back post,” he said of his volleyed chance. “I think I had a bit too much time to think about it in the end. It just unfortunately didn’t hit the back of the net, but we had a lot of chances today.
“On another day, we’d put a few past them.
“The overriding feeling at the end of the game was disappointment, but the gaffer was quick to come in and reassure us that the performances are what he’s wanting from us and expecting from us and if we keep doing that then we’ll be in a good place come the end of the season.”
Johnston accepted that there is improvement still to be made in Wanderers’ defensive line, which struggled in the early stages at Sunderland.
Carl Winchester’s 17th minute goal proved decisive on the day but the young defender feels his side can take some heart from the performance overall.
“For me, the first five minutes was a bit nervy and we had to compose ourselves after that. I think when Joel (Dixon) went down for a few minutes, the lads got together and said ‘right, get yourselves together, we’ll push on’.
“I think from the moments after that we did start to get a foothold in the game and then they had the moment where they scored which kind of knocked us back a bit, but then towards the end of the first half we started to dominate. We had them pinned back and then second half we completely controlled.”