PHIL Parkinson admits Wanderers are going to have to bare their teeth if they are going to achieve Championship survival.

Disappointed at the lack of fight shown at Hull City before the international break and in patches against Leeds United and Derby County, the Whites boss wants to ensure Middlesbrough do not get an easy ride at the Macron Stadium tomorrow.

Boro’s spending has dwarfed that of most clubs in the division not least Bolton, who have not spent a penny on transfer fees in two years.

But Parkinson is demanding instant improvement from his players, who he feels need to show they deserve to be playing on an equal footing.

“We are an underdog on Saturday against Middlesbrough, we’re one of the underdogs in the Championship, so we need to start acting like it,” he told The Bolton News.

“We need to show more bite and make sure we give ourselves a chance.

“In patches we have shown we can compete but we have to be at our very best. I believe we have got players capable of getting results at this level but we need to improve areas in our game.

“I think decision-making has got to get better, there has been a bit of a lack of desire around the penalty box. All those little bits of detail are important.

“Yes, we’ve come up a level and we’re playing against better players but the lads are honest enough to have sat through the footage with me and hold their hands up and say ‘come on, let’s improve’ - it’s all we can do.”

Wanderers have been boosted with the news Jem Karacan has returned to training and could take his place in midfield against Boro.

Parkinson received an apology from referee’s chief Dave Allison after he reviewed a replay of David Meyler’s challenge on the Bolton playmaker 10 minutes into the defeat at Hull City.

It was feared Karacan had broken his leg at the time - but Parkinson is pleased to see him back up and running.

“It was a very reckless challenge and Dave phoned me up on the Sunday to say they had got it wrong, it was a straight red. But thankfully the injury wasn’t that serious, it was just soft tissue damage. He has trained well this week. He was outstanding against Sheffield Wednesday. He’s a complete modern day midfielder with terrific energy.”