WANDERERS’ players have been warned to buck up – even if they are heading for the exit door this summer.

Only nine professionals with first team experience are contracted to the University of Bolton Stadium beyond the end of this season, and with no end in sight to the takeover and relegation inching closer, there can be few guarantees given.

Phil Parkinson insists motivating those nearing the end of their deal has not been a contributing factor to the club’s struggles.

But the Wanderers boss has advised his squad that they could do their careers some permanent harm if they turn in more performances like Saturday’s against Ipswich Town.

“I said that to the lads prior to the QPR game that irrespective of what happens in the league position there are 14 players out of contract and everything they do will be scrutinised either by us or by other teams watching them from now on,” he told The Bolton News.

“Players in contract should know that too. Everyone is judged on every single game. And that wasn’t good enough.”

Middlesbrough arrive tonight on a poor run and Parkinson hopes his own side can capitalise on their depleted morale.

“They are on a bad run, lost six on the bounce, and I saw them against Bristol City last Tuesday,” he said.

“They actually played very well in the game and should have been three up but Bristol got a goal from a set place.

“Obviously they have gone to Swansea and not performed well at the weekend, so they have dropped four points outside that play-off zone, and there are a lot of teams in-form who are ahead of them at the moment.

“But they will still be thinking they can get in there. They have some good players but we’ll be playing them when their confidence is low so we have to concentrate on ourselves and make sure we play better across 90 minutes than we did at the weekend.”