ALI Crawford’s Wanderers comeback has taken a step closer as the midfielder returned to full training yesterday.

The Scot has been out of action since sustaining a knee ligament injury playing against Manchester City’s Under-21s in the Trophy back in October.

Crawford had been a key figure in Keith Hill’s early efforts to build a side at Bolton and the former Doncaster Rovers man’s absence has been felt acutely at times.

Hill has confirmed that Crawford is back in full-contact training, but it is not known how quickly he could be drafted back into the first team.

And he was joined this week by Tottenham winger Anthony Georgiou, who delayed his arrival on loan from the Premier League club to have treatment on a minor injury sustained whilst on loan with Ipswich Town earlier this season.

Hill, who also gave Joe Bunney his first taste of competitive action in a Bolton shirt at the weekend and saw Jack Hobbs come through a full game for the first time in four months, is determined to keep his chin up amid difficult circumstances in the league.

“I’m looking at positives in Joe Bunney getting on the pitch, Ali Crawford training with us, Anthony from Tottenham training with us, and Jack Hobbs has got through 90 minutes,” he told The Bolton News.

“You have to try and hold on to them. The negatives come with the territory, it’s something you have to accept. We are working for a big football club whose expectations are far bigger than the bottom of League One and losing football matches.”

Hill has come in for criticism in some quarters as Wanderers lost seven of their last nine games in League One, drifting 19 points from safety.

He accepts, however, that it could come with the territory as the club continues the healing process.

“It has been more than the last few years, I think. There was the one anomaly where the club got promoted – and it was a magnificent season – but the cost of that promotion was very similar to what happened with Bury,” he said.