FEW would agree with him, given recent results, but Wanderers assistant manager Steve Parkin still expects the club to be in the Championship next season.

Parkin and boss Phil Parkinson have been unable to arrest the club’s slide into the relegation zone and after four games without a point or a goal to their name the pressure has mounted on their positions at the University of Bolton Stadium.

But while the vastly-experienced Parkin admits it is an uphill task to compete in the second tier of English football, he is steadfast in his belief they can turn their form around and avoid relegation back to League One.

“If Phil was 35 and I was 40, we’d probably feel frustrated,” he said. “But we’re both experienced, I don’t know how many games we’ve done between us but it’s a fair few.

“Whilst we don’t like it and it sits uncomfortably that we’re constantly questioned we are trying our very best with a squad that is doing the same. Sometimes it’s not enough.

“The key thing for us – if we can get that first goal, the crowd behind us, get the tackles steaming in and upset the opposition – we still believe we can create the results we did at the start of the season. The lads are conscientious, they are good lads. We’re not getting rolled five or six and you’re thinking they are not trying.”

Though the supporters’ angst has risen in recent weeks – Bolton have collected just one point from their last seven games – Parkin insists the work ethic and effort from their squad has never faltered.

And while they remain committed to the cause, he says with so many points still to play for no one at Wanderers should be panicking.

“There’s pressure because they want to do well for the club and well for us,” he added. “So there’s pressure there in that respect.

“But they have gone about their work in a good way. They have to be big and bold enough, make sure they all want the ball, be committed in the challenges and see where it takes us.

“You can expect to compete on the day, out on the pitch, of course you should, but over 46 games it’s difficult.

“Our job is to start winning a few home games and keep this club in the division, which we did last year and we’d expect to do this year.”