KEITH Hill faced up to mounting criticism of Wanderers’ rapidly deteriorating campaign and insisted: “I will fight on.”

The Bolton boss has suffered a backlash from segments of the club’s support over the last few days, both after his post-match comments at Rochdale and following a 5-1 defeat at Lincoln City on Tuesday night.

The club's recruitment has also come under scrutiny after two senior left-backs - Adam Chicksen and Josh Earl - left without a replacement, leaving no recognised specialist in the squad.

Wanderers host eighth-placed Portsmouth on Saturday with Hill determined to keep the season alive.

The club remain 17 points from safety, have two games in hand on AFC Wimbledon and Southend, and three on MK Dons.

“We are all learning on the job. I am really not trying to have a go at anyone – I am trying my best to see the light, which is BWFC’s future,” Hill protested after the heavy defeat at the LNER Stadium.

“But at this moment in time there are people who’ll beat me up for this, but we’re not as good as Lincoln. We haven’t got as strong a squad as Lincoln.

“The challenge hasn’t changed since I took over and the remit is still the same. It’s difficult.

“I believe you shouldn’t be a victim. We shouldn’t perceive ourselves as being weak, we should perceive ourselves as being strong-willed, strong enough to make change and make a difference.

“It’s hard when you getting beat like that but it depends on how brave you are, how you want to take it on, or whether you just want to pack in. Why do that, what’s the point?

“I think some don’t realise how far they have come but there’s no giving in. I have asked the players and they need to take responsibility, they want to go again Saturday, as hard as that game will be. We will have to make a fist of it. I’ll fight on.

“The future for this club will be built on hard nights like this and I hope the sensible people understand that because the rest of the football world does.”

Hill is likely to be without Yoan Zouma against Pompey after he damaged his hamstring at Lincoln but has Jason Lowe back from suspension.