AT one stage this summer Jason Lowe was frantically phoning around footballing contacts in an effort to find out whether Bolton Wanderers would exist the following morning.

The de facto captain of a club in administration, veering towards liquidation, Lowe found himself in the middle of a financial nightmare he was quite unprepared to handle.

Thankfully these days, he is more at home with the day job.

The 28-year-old former Premier League midfielder is looking to help rebuild Wanderers’ fortunes on the pitch under new boss Keith Hill – another undeniably difficult task but one he feels more than qualified to take on.

“Thankfully, there’s a normal feel of a football club again,” he told The Bolton News. “We’re talking about football, performance and results and it’s long overdue.”

Wanderers still prop up League One having been deducted 12 points by the EFL for going into administration back in May. That penalty could also be increased for failing to play fixtures against Brentford, in April, and Doncaster Rovers, in August.

Lowe was one of a small handful of players who stayed at Bolton despite going five months unpaid and though that unsavoury past still casts a shadow over the table, he believes the squad which was thrown together around him on a dramatic transfer deadline day is starting to progress.

Ten new players have been added to the squad since Hill and David Flitcroft were appointed and home draws against Oxford United and Sunderland over the last week suggest the team is now bedding in.

“We know time isn’t on our side, so we have to adapt or die, so to speak,” he said.

“We are working hard on the training ground trying to fit with the manager’s ideas and I think you can see over the last couple of games we’re slowly getting there to where we want to be.

“In an ideal world you have a pre-season, you get the lads in, you have three, four or five new players but that’s the situation we find ourselves in. The lads who have come in have been different class, great attitudes, and all willing to fight for the cause so we can’t ask for any more.”

Lowe can afford a rueful smile when asked about a summer spent on the end of a phone, conveying messages to team-mates current and past.

At the height of the uncertainty the squad issued a joint statement complaining at the lack of accurate information which had been passed on by the administration team and their advisors, which made it difficult for players to make educated decisions on their own career.

Some had their path blocked, some were successful in severing ties, others like Lowe opted to take a watching brief. But the former England Under-21 international will not miss the constant sleuthing which became his regular routine over pre-season and is happy to report the flow of information from new ownership appears to be much improved.

“Sometimes it was as simple as waking up and wondering if we had a job today,” Lowe recalled.

“Other times it was constant chasing of information, things you didn’t want to be doing but had to do for the benefit of the staff and everyone connected with the club.

“The lads who had left the club were in the dark and I felt like I had an obligation to look after them and try and get some information back to them if I could about what was going on.

“Andy Taylor was great with the lads when he was the PFA rep and transferring information to the lads so when he left I felt someone had to step into the role, just to ask the questions and get answers to people.

“It was a very stressful time, character-building to say the least. One thing we all want in life is honesty and knowing where you stand. It filters down in a football club and when you know you have got the support and backing from upstairs then it’s a nice feeling to have as a player.”

Although, as football creditors, Wanderers’ players were due 100 per cent of the money owed to them once a takeover was completed, the mention of liquidation less than a month ago by administrators left Lowe and others fearing the worst.

Though the Football Ventures consortium eventually managed to get their deal over the line, avoiding the worst-case scenario, the outcome was not so rosy for Lancastrian neighbours Bury.

“When you read that they are saying the existence of the club is under threat, when things like that come from the hierarchy who are in the know, then you start to really worry,” Lowe said.

“It has been said a thousand times that we went through the mill but Bury went that extra one. I feel for them a lot. It was a bittersweet transition for us because we were happy but with that happening down the road you feel for the staff, community and players over there.”

Since signing from Birmingham City Lowe has worn the captain’s armband and was also made the club’s ambassador for children’s hospice, Derian House, last season.

The Leigh-born midfielder found himself back on the phone last week – but this time it was by choice as he helped staff at the Bolton Whites Hotel bring in more than £500,000 of business for the forthcoming Christmas and New Year period.

“You can never have too many strings in your bow,” he laughed. “I only live a minute away from the stadium so it’s my pleasure to do whatever I can to help out.

“All the lads are the same. I think we all realise we have to help rebuild. It’s a family atmosphere we’re trying to generate.”