ONLY Nicky Adams could cite Paul Gascoigne, Michael Jordan, Michael Thomas and Steve Dale as his chief inspirations for gaining yet another promotion medal from League Two.

If Wanderers need any pointers on how to get out of the fourth tier of English football, they don’t have far to travel to get some pointers.

As Boltonian as they come, the 33-year-old midfielder has just helped Northampton Town complete a remarkable ascent after looking dead-and-buried against Cheltenham Town in the play-off semi-final.

Trailing 2-0 after losing at home in the first leg, Adams helped the Cobblers overturn the deficit at Whaddon Road to claim a place in the final against Exeter City.

And though the showpiece in an empty Wembley Stadium was cut short by a hamstring injury – likely to keep him out of action for four to six weeks – Adams was still able to celebrate as his team-mates rattled four past their opponents to ensure they would be celebrating at the final whistle.

Adams – who had already gone up twice with Bury and once more with Northampton at this level, and also helped Leicester City and Rotherham United out of League One – lifted the lid on Keith Curle’s motivational techniques between the two semi-final games.

“We had a team meeting after losing the first game and the gaffer showed us videos of Arsenal beating Liverpool on the last day of the season in 1989,” he told The Bolton News. “I was so pumped up – I said to the lads afterwards, ‘this isn’t over’.

“After that I was watching ‘The Last Dance’ on Netflix, episodes 7 and 10, repeat. It was winning mentality, nothing else, and you saw what happened in the next game.

“I honestly think that second leg won us promotion because after that we were absolutely flying.”

Breightmet winger, Adams, managed 16 assists this season in all competitions – a total only marginally bettered by Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.

What should have been a crowning moment was sabotaged somewhat when he went down with a hamstring injury after half an hour, with his side 1-0 up.

“If I’d come off the pitch at 0-0 I’d have been in the bin,” he said. “But we were winning and as I went off the pitch we scored the second one and I started jumping around. The physio was going: ‘What are you doing?’

“But the experience of playing at Wembley, I’d never done it as a player. I’d gone close, lost in the semi-final and then at Rotherham I’d fallen out with the manager and he left me at home. But to get out there and feel the history of the place, it was incredible.

“Honestly, the whole time I was out there I had Gazza playing in Euro 96 in my head.

“And though we want football fans back in as soon as we possibly can, there were 650,000 people watching the game, which was a record for League Two. We knew we had to turn up.”

Just 12 months ago, Adams was celebrating promotion to League One with Ryan Lowe’s Bury. The club had already sampled some of the financial issues that were to come but could not have possibly imagined at that point that they would face expulsion from the EFL a matter of months later.

Adams was one of the most vocal critics of club owner Steve Dale as his club went up in smoke – and with a phoenix side looking to start again in the non-league next season he is keen to see Bury fans have a team to support once again.

“I’ve wasted just about enough words on that bloke,” he said. “People know what I think of him and what he did.

“But I feel for the fans because they have not had a team to watch. And if there’s a new team starting up then they can count on my support, I’ll be down there watching them whenever I can.

“It’s the same with Bolton. What has happened there, it’s unbelievable, but I have mates who support the club and I went and watched them as a kid, so I want to see them do well.

“For me, though, I feel like after what happened at Bury last season I owe it to myself to play in League One and enjoy it next season.

"Besides, now I have got a promotion medal for each one of my kids, so I'm happy."

Adams fancies Bolton to make an immediate return to League One - and believes the club will be a big draw for free agents this summer.

"Why wouldn't you want to play for Bolton if you were given the chance?" he said. "The manager appointment was a good move. I know people who have played for him and the style of football is great. It's exciting."