MILTON Keynes is a place in which it is easy to feel you are going around in circles.

The town of 130 roundabouts and counting can be a surreal place to visit for the uninitiated, a soulless suburb that somehow manages to feel futuristic and dated at the same time.

Controversially grafted from Wimbledon 14 years ago now, the football club has a similarly unusual feel. A gorgeous stadium, sparsely populated, and a modern brand of expansive, possession-based football played under ex-Norwich and Scotland defender, Russell Martin, which may be great to watch on a day it really clicks; unfortunately, this wasn’t that day.

The metronomic passing and the absence of any real attacking desire could – for the first hour at least - have put a concrete cow to sleep. So why then did Wanderers manage to climb back aboard the team bus with nothing to show for it again?

What is now officially the worst run of results at the start of a calendar year in this club’s entire history is becoming a reason for serious concern.

Most people have made peace with the fact Wanderers are heading for League Two, a relegation which could be confirmed as early as next month at current rate of knots. The way they are going about it, however, is causing the type of consternation among supporters which is already threatening to spill into next season.

The lack of discipline shown in conceding the 68th minute goal to Rhys Healy does not reflect well on Keith Hill, who had spent the week preparing his team to contain and counter, nor on the players whose hard work to that point was effectively cast away on one moment of madness.

But what will have worried those loyal folks who continue to show up in good number is the lack of response to going a goal down – whether on the pitch or from the dugout. Once behind, did anyone seriously think Bolton could get back into the game?

Defensive mistakes have proved Wanderers’ undoing so often of late. And here in MK there was a clear edict to contain and frustrate the hosts, something which worked to a point. Indeed, had Hill’s side managed to avoid breaking rank in the way they did for Healy’s goal, we could have been talking about a dull, but perfectly serviceable point and clean sheet.

Toto Nsiala stood out as Wanderers' best defender on the day but there were a few other honourable mentions, players who continue to put in the hard yards even though the results are yet to follow.

There would no doubt have been complaints about the lack of attacking quality. And Wanderers’ one really good chance of the game was pulled wide of the post by Daryl Murphy just a couple of minutes before MK’s decisive strike. Other than that, brief flashes of the returning Ali Crawford’s creativity were all we really had.

Alex Gilbey was the one player in a home shirt who looked to make things happen. In the very early stages he got behind stand-in full-back Jason Lowe on a couple of occasions but, to Bolton’s credit, they got back on lock down and his impact was lessened for a while.

During that time Carlton Morris had a shot blocked well by Brandon Fleming and Remi Matthews denied Healy with a smart stop.

There was a sign of things in store when some good high pressing from Bolton hassled a mistake out of Jordan Moore-Taylor, presenting a half-chance to Dennis Politic that the youngster just failed to gather. In a flash, Gilbey surged through midfield and Louis Thompson fired narrowly wide.

The tempo slowed to a crawl. Centre-half Moore-Taylor had twice as many touches of the ball in the first half than any Bolton player, with the exception of Lowe, who was still busy down the right.

Chess-like and as lateral as you like, the game became tough to watch. Even the home fans, who have presumably watched the Dons acclimatise to this new brand of football, began to moan and grumble every fruitless attack.

Wanderers struggled to move the ball at pace but also wasted the few relatively simple chances they had to put pressure on their hosts. Set pieces are especially frustrating at present, with little or no quality and inventiveness shown on Saturday afternoon.

Bolton’s big chance came on the hour. Crawford nudged the ball through for Daryl Murphy who fired left-footed to beat Lee Nicholls, and sadly the far post too.

In a match of so few chances it seemed almost inevitable that the Whites would go on to rue that miss. We have read this script before.

Eight minutes later, Bolton suddenly abandoned their defensive principles and with eight players in the MK half, Politic’s misplaced pass allowed the home side to spring forward. One pass to Gilbey, who powered through the middle, he fed Healey and though his first touch was poor the second bounced under the body of Matthews, beating the retreating Toto Nsiala on the line.

There was a certain amount of head-scratching going on when Hill brought on Josh Emmanuel for Crawford and the formation remained pretty much the same until he added Joe Dodoo to the mix with 12 minutes to go.

By then MK had the game in their grip. Matthews made a good save from Gilbey and in the dying moments Healy nearly grabbed a second when he skipped past the Bolton keeper but had his shot cleared off the line by Nsiala.

The only opportunity Bolton did muster came from Politic’s jinking run and shot, which stirred Nicholls into action. But the referee’s final whistle prompted a slumped-shoulder walk to the away end with conciliatory applause that we have seen so often on our travels.

Hill was right to be pleased about the defensive organisation his team had shown, albeit MK are hardly one of League One’s leading lights. But his assertion that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that things will work out okay is not an easy one to get on board with right now.

Much, much worse than relegation is the fact that people are starting to lose interest. And with 14 games to go some level of improvement in results simply has to be delivered with a group of players whose career CV suggest they are capable of doing so.

Divisions are already appearing in an unhappy fanbase, opinion divided on who is culpable for this wretched run and whether it ever really was salvageable?

The grey concrete sprawl of Milton Keynes sums things up in roundabout type of way. The question is, what can Wanderers do to brighten up the mood?