IAN Evatt says Wanderers will rally around Dennis Politic after he was struck down a potentially serious injury during a pre-season game at Loughborough University.

The 20-year-old was given oxygen on the pitch and stretchered off after several minutes of treatment from medical staff after slipping awkwardly in the 80th minute of a 6-0 victory.

The exact nature of the injury has yet to be confirmed by the club – but Evatt conceded that Politic could face a long spell out and pledged to give the youngster all the help he needs to recover.

It was a heart-breaking end to what had been another encouraging pre-season outing, reasoned the head coach.

“We’re looking at the clock and there are 10 minutes to go and we’ve scored 16 goals so far, conceded none, and things are looking really rosy. We hadn’t picked up any injuries, really, and then this happens,” he told The Bolton News.

“This game – life in general – does come to challenge us sometimes and it can be how you deal with that adversity.

“Dennis has got to stay positive now. It looks like he will be on the sidelines for a long spell but I said to the players in the dressing room that if one of us is hurt, we all have to hurt. We have to rally round him now and give him the support he needs.

“I hope, of course, that the injury is not as serious as it seemed initially – but the most important thing is to make sure he gets the help he needs.”

The friendly did become scrappy in its final quarter with a player from each side shown a yellow card for poor challenges.

Politic’s incident was not the result of a tackle, leaving Evatt fearing the worst.

“They are normally the worst ones, when there’s nobody in close proximity, and he had just gone to press the ball with the intensity we’re asking from him and that sort of thing can happen – a slight slip, and things can happen,” he said.

“In terms of the game, yes, there were a few niggly challenges towards the end. But I said to the players that we have to keep our discipline because when people react like that it normally means we’re winning.

“When you are keeping the ball and dominating for 90 minutes teams are going to get the hump. They are going to get nasty and try to do all they can to knock them off their own game.

“We need to maintain our belief and discipline to make sure we keep 11 on the pitch.”