PHIL Parkinson braved up to life without Gary Madine at Wanderers, admitting: No-one wants to hear a bad-luck story.

While the Bolton boss was clearly disappointed the target man he had built his team around had been sold with just hours remaining on deadline day, he refuses to let the blow define his team’s campaign.

Whites chairman Ken Anderson claimed a written transfer request submitted by Madine had been a major contributing factor in accepting a £6million offer from Cardiff City.

High-flying Bristol City come to the Macron tonight looking to capitalise on the disarray and continue their chase for a Championship play-off spot.

But Parkinson gathered his troops at Lostock yesterday to rally spirits, challenging a squad which now includes deadline-day loanees Zach Clough, Tyler Walker, Reece Burke and Jon Flanagan to use the adversity to their advantage.

“I have been a manager for 15 years and won’t be first to lose a key player on the final day of the window, or the last,” the manager said.

“You have to get up the next day, ready to go again because if you let it fester – no-one wants to hear a hard-luck story at the end of the season.

“I had a few individual chats with the senior ones, and as a group pulled them together, ‘said this is what we’ve got let’s give it everything we have got, starting with Bristol City’.

“I am the kind of person who has always risen to the challenge. It is probably the toughest couple of days I have ever had as a manager.

“But I can quickly switch my mind and say if we were to stay in this division, even if we’d kept Gary, it would have been an incredible achievement.

“If we can do it now after selling Gary then this group of players will deserve enormous credit.”

The cold reality is that Wanderers have won just one league game in the last 22 months in which Madine has not been in the starting line-up.

The return of home-grown hero Clough on loan from Nottingham Forest has raised spirits somewhat but Parkinson admits the loss of Madine has been felt by everyone at the club.

“No manager would want to lose their top scorer and I can’t hide away from that, especially as it was so late in the day when it happened,” he added.