AS any computer-user knows, sometimes the only way to solve a problem is to reboot.

Before the international break, Phil Parkinson had the vexed look of a man who had exhausted every conceivable play in the coaching manual.

Performances against Swansea and Aston Villa had improved but results had not. And after slipping into the relegation zone, serious questions were being asked about how quickly a once promising campaign had disintegrated.

Parkinson’s response was made directly to his players at the training ground. By offering the whole squad a completely fresh slate on their return he pressed the reset button.

If the manager follows through with his promise, the door could now be open to players who have failed to hold down a regular starting place in the first 17 games, provided they returned to action with the right attitude.

Early reports from the training ground this week have been encouraging and levels have remained high. But the success of the plan will only be judged at Millwall on Saturday.

It would be a surprise to see Parkinson rip up his blueprint completely at The Den, especially as he had praised his players’ efforts in the previous defeat to Swansea City. Wholesale changes at this stage of the season would be destructive, anyhow.

There are players in the squad, however, who could benefit from some fresh incentive – and if Parkinson’s challenge is accepted readily it could help improve standards across the board.

At the top of the list is Mark Little. The full-back looked like a candidate for Wanderers’ player of the year midway through last season. His bullish runs down the right and partnership with Sammy Ameobi had earned him plenty of fans – but then one rash challenge at QPR and a red card later, it all unravelled fairly quickly.

Jon Flanagan was preferred for all but three of the remaining 14 games, and though he played on the final day against Nottingham Forest a question mark remained on Little’s claim for a first team spot.

Pawel Olkowski’s arrival in the summer said it all. The Polish international could hardly have made a more impressive start to life at Bolton but it is fair to say his form has plateaued of late.

Such has been the clamour to see Little back in the side that some fans have called for him to be used on the left side of defence. Either way, re-establishing the link-up with the fit-again Ameobi might just be an unused ace hiding up Parkinson's sleeve.

Christian Doidge not only inherited Adam Le Fondre’s number nine shirt but also his frustration in being unable to hold down a regular starting spot.

The former Forest Green striker looks to be the most natural goal-scorer at Parkinson’s disposal and though it was unrealistic to assume he could pick up where he left off in League Two, he has now had ample time to acclimatise.

By his own admission, Doidge struggled on his first start against QPR and has since started just one of the last 10 games. He showed with a clinical finish at Rotherham, however, that there is certainly some promise – so in an attack which has struggled so badly for goals, can Wanderers afford to restrict him to late cameos from the bench?

Luke Murphy generally got good reviews early in the season, featuring from the start in four of Wanderers’ first five league games. His performance in the 3-0 home defeat to Sheffield United was not one for the scrapbook but the 29-year-old can probably consider himself a little unlucky not to have played another minute of first team football ever since.

Murphy has been kept out of the side by Everton loanee Joe Williams, although the EFL rules have also done him no favours as the need for a home-grown player to be named in the match-day squad has meant Josh Vela has filled the midfield quota on the bench more often than not.

After Gary O’Neil’s calf injury proved worse than first feared last month, it looked like Parkinson would turn towards Murphy to plug the gap. But other than an outing for the Under-23s against Sheffield United on Monday night, Bolton fans have not seen sight nor sound of a player with a decent CV at this level.

Vela is also vying for more game-time in midfield and, like Little, suffered a rapid fall from grace in the latter half of last season – making just five starts, post-QPR.

This term, the academy graduate played in victories against West Brom and Reading but has again found himself out of the reckoning. His four starts – Sheffield United, Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest and Hull – have all ended in defeat, and that seems to have taken its toll on Vela’s confidence.

When on his game, few snap into challenges or show as much passion for the cause. And if anyone knows what a result in the local derby against Wigan Athletic would mean to the Bolton fans, it is Vela.

But 2018 has not been particularly kind to the 24-year-old who appears to be struggling to show Parkinson exactly where he fits in the side. Vela has never looked especially happy when played in a deeper-lying defensive role but recently his goal threat has also slowed, meaning he has dropped behind the likes of Erhun Oztumer at number 10.

With his contract up next summer, Vela faces a big six months to show he can be a major performer at this level for the club he holds so dear.

Much was expected of Yanic Wildschut when he arrived on loan from Norwich City and, in brief flashes, he has been able to live up to the billing. But if anyone needs a fresh start at Wanderers, it is the powerful Dutch winger, who has not set the world alight in his time at the University of Bolton Stadium thus far.

Despite scoring against West Brom and Reading in the opening month of the season, Wildschut has managed just three starts in the Championship, the last of which was in the 3-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest. Another 10 appearances have been made as a substitute.

Harking back to the days where wingers hugged touchlines and could be the most inconsistent breed of footballer, Wildschut seems destined to divide opinion. Whether Parkinson can afford to show him the patience he needs to play his way into form is debatable too.

Lloyd Dyer is another wide man who is looking to find a niche – although his chances of a regular start could hinge on Parkinson reverting to a back three and using his experience as a wing-back.

The 36-year-old has had a tough start to life in Bolton, looking off the pace at Rotherham United and against Hull City, but is a seasoned competitor.

Clayton Donaldson is another experienced front man who despite still searching for his first goal, has shown the sort of unselfish running which has won him a few fans on the terraces.

It remains to be seen whether Parkinson's 'fresh start' will also apply to the formation. Fans have called for some time to see two strikers played up front, particularly at home, but the smart money is on a return to 4-2-3-1 at The Den this weekend.

Wanderers have scored just once in 10-and-a-half hours of football, a statistic which has prompted some supporters to look back at the decision to allow Adam Le Fondre to move to Australia in August with some considerable regret.

Much could hinge on Parkinson bringing the best back out of Josh Magennis, who has been away with the Northern Ireland squad and returns with a point to prove.

The striker who snarled his way to four goals at the start of the season has cut a rather more frustrated figure over the course of the last two months and was eventually dropped to the bench. He may not have been present to hear Parkinson's challenge first hand, but the sentiment applies perfectly to his situation.