KEITH Hill will ask his players to shake-off the disappointment of defeat against Lincoln in midweek and get back aboard his “beautiful journey” at Wanderers.

Eager to leave the 5-1 mauling at the LNER Stadium in the past, the Bolton boss wants his squad’s full focus on the visit of play-off chasing Portsmouth tomorrow.

Hill is fighting to regain some traction after three successive losses and still believes his side can make a fist of their survival effort despite sitting 17 points from safety.

Willing to take criticism on his own chin for the dip in form, Hill hopes to pick his players up quickly before another enforced 10-day fixture break leading up to the visit of Bristol Rovers.

“I don’t want the players to beat themselves up, mentally,” he told The Bolton News.

“You can’t sulk, you have to pick yourself up and be ready to go again. It’s another massive challenge.

“It’s a great match and we should want to be involved, to represent ourselves. And as a player you have to be brave out there making decisions.

“All that pontificating, deliberating, all those opinions, they are from people who don’t actually make the decisions.

“When I make choices as manager and I’ll be responsible for them. I’ll take the criticism.

“I’ll make the decisions and if it doesn’t go right you’ve got 90 minutes, worse-case scenario to suffer. I saw my dad die of cancer, suffering for seven months, every day, never a victim.

“That gives me inspiration for what is a football journey. It’s a beautiful one as well.

“You get beautiful butterflies out of caterpillars and that’s what I want here.”

Wanderers currently have no specialist left-back in the squad, a factor which has not escaped Hill’s attention and is likely to be solved before this lunchtime’s deadline. But as he fights to improve his squad, he is determined to come out stronger at the end of the month.

“There are a lot of things to arrange, sort out,” he added.

“I am not stupid, I know we need a left-back, everybody does.

“I am not disrespecting anything or anyone. I am a fighter and I won’t pack in.”