IVAN Klasnic is desperate to put last season’s off-field distractions behind him as he looks to cement his place in Wanderers’ first team.

The Croatian international faced a battle to prove his innocence after being falsely accused of rape in October.

Striker Klasnic was cleared of all wrong doing by the police – but the married father-of-one admitted the incident took its toll.

“I tried not to think too much about everything, but I was calm as I always knew that I was innocent,” said the 31-year-old hot-shot.

“But everything was just so sad, because there were a lot of rumours and talks.

“The hardest thing was that I had to say I’m sorry for everything but I wasn’t even guilty. Luckily my family was by my side. They believed me, but I had to explain to them why me, why is this happening.

“It was hard time for me as everybody was asking me questions. But I showed once again how strong I am. Nothing can break me.

"I always loved football and that - with my family - helped me to stay on the surface."

Now German-born Klasnic is hoping to put his problems behind him and concentrate on his football.

He added: "I don't know what will happen in next season but because of everything that happened to me, so many bad things, I just want to enjoy it."

Klasnic did not start a single Premier League game last season.

The Wanderers hitman still managed seven goals in 27 appearances, 20 of those coming off the substitutes’ bench.

But Owen Coyle, the Bolton manger, has told the former Nantes and Werder Bremen forward he must work harder if he wants to be a regular starter at the Rebook.

He previously said: “He knows the harder he works the more chances he’ll get.”