HIS side have lost three games in a row, shipping 11 goals along the way.

But Wanderers boss Keith Hill remains in no doubt – better times are to come.

The Whites’ last outing, their 5-1 defeat at Lincoln, means they will go into today’s game at home to Portsmouth as rank outsiders, Pompey having won each of their last three outings.

Hill is staying resolutely positive despite his Impossible Dream hitting the skids in 2020 and feels that, however painful experiences like Tuesday night are, Wanderers will – one day – come to the fore once more.

“We’re alive and kicking and the off-field troubles bring on-field troubles, there’s no question about that,” he said.

“There’s got to be an understanding that this club is going to rise, the club will be better and this club will be continually beating Lincoln, as it has done over the course of history. That’s fact, that will happen.

“We’re going through the hard times at the moment, being beaten by Rochdale and Lincoln, but that will change, 100 per cent.

“I’m not a betting man but I guarantee that. History will tell you that that happens.

“This is a big football club and it will regain its stature and punch its weight, that’s what we’re striving to do at some point. We have to reach a firm footing and start building.

“From a football perspective we’re still not there because we haven’t had windows where we can build stability.

“At this moment in time the players feel as though they’ve been beaten up. But when you get beat up you make yourself more robust for the next fight, and the next fight after that.”

Rejoining the fray this afternoon is midfielder Jason Lowe, who has completed his three-game ban following his red card in the second half against Shrewsbury in Bolton’s final game of 2019.

And Hill is delighted one of his on-field leaders is available once again, admitting that his presence has been missed since the turn of the year.

“You miss all your key players,” he told The Bolton News. “The players that we’ve got want Jason Lowe out there on the pitch. It’s great from a manager’s perspective and it’s great from a player perspective knowing that you have Jason Lowe in the ranks with you.

“There are people who go out and fight and people who hold coats. He’s a fighter, it’s as simple as that.”