GRETAR Steinsson believes the experience of a nail-biting survival battle will pay handsome dividends for Wanderers next season.

The popular Icelander, who arrived at the Reebok in January, admits the threat of relegation was "very stressful".

But he is confident that it will stand him in good stead as he looks to establish himself in the Premiership.

"It was tough at Bolton when I arrived, the fight to avoid relegation was serious," said the 26-year-old full-back, who joined Wanderers in a £3.5m transfer from the Dutch club, AZ Alkmaar.

"But we achieved what was needed and I felt I learned a lot about the game in the UK, which will only help me in the future."

Steinsson will look to recharge his batteries with a holiday before he reports back for pre-season training with Wanderers on July 9.

Another January recruit, Gary Cahill, is confident Wanderers have shown they have the team spirit to build a brighter future. The young centre-back was devastated after being on the receiving end of a 4-0 hammering when he returned to his former club, Aston Villa, on April 5, but says the character the team showed to drag themselves out of the bottom three with 11 points from their final five games, spoke volumes.

"In just three or four weeks we became a totally different side from the one that went out and played so poorly against Villa," Cahill said.

"It was down to everyone who works here.

"When the pressure piles on you like it did, you need people to step forward and take responsibility for their jobs and that's what each and every one of us did.

"It could have been easy to buckle.

"But instead, when the pressure was on us, the lads really took to it.

"For us to keep on taking those knocks and keep on getting back up says a great deal about the strength of character in the squad and shows just what we're capable of."