INTENSITY is the byword for Wanderers as they go into battle at Reading tonight.

Phil Parkinson is demanding that a game the Whites ill-afford afford to lose is contested at a higher level than the disappointing defeat against Preston North End on Saturday.

Reading start the evening level with Bolton, four points above the relegation zone.

But with midfield general Karl Henry and dynamic wing-back Mark Little back after suspension, Parkinson is confident his players will produce a swift response.

“I have looked at the Preston game and, okay, Preston have been good on their travels, but I also look at myself and ask if there’s anything I would do differently,” he told The Bolton News.

“Maybe so, but equally I know the lads weren’t at the races. To get results at this level we have to be absolutely flat out. When the ball changes hands, everyone has to be sprinting back to get back into position.

“People complain about Arsenal and why they are not doing well. The reason isn’t on the ball, it’s without it. They are not reacting quickly enough.

“Look at the top teams, they do both sides of it. We need that against Reading. It has to be all-out.”

Parkinson has defended himself against accusations that his team has been set up to play “negative” football.

“I played 5-3-2, two very attacking wing-backs – a wide man I have converted into a wing-back and Antonee Robinson, who’s very attack-minded, and two up the top of the pitch.

“It is what got us the result against Bristol City and what I thought was a great result against Fulham.

“We didn’t set out to play in a different way. Was it negative? When you lose I always analyse myself, and that has definitely been the case.

“Supporters will look at it and say ‘was it because of this or that?’ And it’s fair comment. You expect it.

“I think they have seen some good home performances, so you have to accept people will have opinions when you get beat. But we’ll draw a line under it and try to pick a team which can get a result at Reading.”