WANDERERS came crashing back down to earth with a bump after their midweek win against Birmingham City, humbled 4-0 by promotion-chasing Norwich City.

Phil Parkinson had no complaints about the margin of victory, admitting his team had been comfortably second-best on an afternoon where the Canaries showed their class in abundance.

Teemu Pukki scored twice, Marco Stiepermann and Emi Buendia adding one apiece as Daniel Farke’s side preserved their two-point lead at the top of the Championship.

Remi Matthews also saved a penalty from Kenny McClean, when a fifth goal would have equalled Wanderers’ heaviest-ever defeat at the new stadium.

“We were beaten by an outstanding team today,” summed up the Bolton boss. “Sometimes you have got to hold your hands up and say they were outstanding, as they have been all season.

“Some of the goals they scored were right out of the top drawer. We can always do better and everything has got to be so perfect to get a result against a team like Norwich.

“You need to stay on your feet when you are closing down, you need to track your runners, you can’t get done on one-twos and we didn’t have those bits of detail in the first half.

“We can do better but equally some of the football they played was outstanding and you have to hold your hand up sometimes.”

Hopes had briefly been raised in midweek as Callum Connolly’s winner at St Andrew’s seemed to breath some fresh life into a stagnating season.

But home fans made their feelings clear as Wanderers struggled to get close to Norwich for large spells of the game – keeper Matthews perhaps the only player to be absolved of blame on a dreadful afternoon.

Parkinson refused to fixate on the margin or manner of defeat, and remains adamant that Bolton have the time and ammunition to save themselves.

“Obviously it’s mathematically possible… We are going into next week’s game three points from safety,” he said.

“If, prior to the Birmingham game, you’d have said ‘three points from the next two games’ then we’d definitely have taken that.

“If we can come out of the Leeds within touching distance of the teams around us then we have got a better run of games against the sides around us. We have had a run of very tough fixtures and here we came up against side who responded to the defeat against Preston, which I went to, and they had 22 attempts on goal in that game and didn’t put the ball in the back of the net. Pukki had about three one-on-ones but today he was clinical.

“Of course we can do better and we’ll look at that in the build-up to the next game but we have just got to move on.

“It reminds me of the game against Wolves here where they have got so much talent and unless you are absolutely perfect, fresh, spot on in everything you do, you’ll get punished. And we got punished.”