WANDERERS’ new era is far from certain to get under way with a relegation season.

That is the view of caretaker boss Jimmy Phillips, the academy manager once again in charge of the first team as they look to start racking up some points.

Bolton began the campaign 12 points in arrears, a punishment for entering administration that may yet be compounded by deductions for failing to fulfil fixtures against Brentford last season and Doncaster Rovers this time around.

But Phillips says there are far too many points still to be won for anyone at the University of Bolton Stadium to think about giving up.

“I think we’ve played four games and we’re only playing 44 this season so there are 40 to go,” he told The Bolton News. “We need to win four more games than the teams around us and when you put it like that – four more games out of 40 – it is very achievable, but the sooner we appoint a first-team manager the sooner he can get to work and get the players into the building that he thinks will make a difference to the club.”

Today’s assignment sees Wanderers face a Gillingham side still searching for their first win of the season four games in.

Despite the hosts’ own early-season troubles, Phillips expects yet another difficult afternoon for the youthful Whites team, who shipped five goals in each of their last three outings.

“Gillingham, from the videos we’ve seen, are a very hard-working team, they really get players forward and when they’re on the attack they get players into the penalty area, added Phillips.

“Any team that Steve Evans has built has been very difficult to play against, hard-working and that’s what we’re expecting. That’s why if we can get some more experience into the building it will certainly be beneficial for us.”

Phillips confirmed that, although Bolton were hoping to conclude four signings in time to face the Gills today, only one – returning centre-back Jack Hobbs – was finalised before the deadline of 12 o’clock yesterday.

Wanderers now have until 5pm on Monday to register any further permanent or loan transfers.