MATT Mills will take defeat at Middlesbrough on the chin but won’t be reaching for the razor.

The big defender allowed his facial hair to grow wild after Wanderers embarked on an eight-game unbeaten run, helped in no small part by his own fine form.

Even though that sequence has come to an end, Mills has vowed to bide by the beard as he tries to get the Whites back to winning ways.

“It was grown because of the run we were on but I have to take into account my own performances and I’m comfortable in my game at the moment,” he told The Bolton News.

“I’m terribly superstitious but it is what it is. I can’t get rid of it.

“I think we did enough to win. If you look at the highlights or literally the montage of chances created then you’ll probably ask yourself ‘how did Bolton not win this game?’.”

Mills’ partnership with Tim Ream at the heart of the Wanderers’ defence has been the bedrock from which the upturn in form seems to have been built.

And though Ream had a difficult afternoon, conceding the penalty that eventually gave Middlesbrough the goal that sealed the win, Mills has backed his defensive partner to bounce straight back.

“I don’t think there is anything to say to him,” Mills said.

“He’ll watch it back and have his own thoughts on it.

“It has gone now and we can’t do anything about it other than try and put things right with a win on Tuesday against Huddersfield.

“If we go and get six points from the next two games then I’m sure there will be a more positive spin put on today.”

Mills believes that Wanderers need to show an immediate reaction to their first defeat since September 21 when Huddersfield visit the Reebok tomorrow night. He added: “You’re not going to go through the season winning every game, as much as you’d love to so it’s now down to how we react as a team.

“We’ve experienced some really good moments but this is a disappointing one. We have to stick together, go again, and come back stronger.

“I’ve felt very comfortable playing alongside Tim and the rest of the defence.

“The manager sets us up and we’re just little pieces of the jigsaw really.

“That’s all been coming together for a bigger picture when we’ve been playing well of late.

“Of course, we’re disappointed we haven’t kept the clean sheet but we need to try and stay positive.”