GEORGE Taft claims Wanderers’ players know full well the level of disappointment among supporters after a winless start to the League Two campaign.

Despite playing to empty stadia for the first five competitive games, the dressing room are well aware that performances thus far have fallen way below expectation.

Big defender, Taft, a summer signing from Cambridge United, says there is frustration among the group that they have failed to transfer encouraging progress on the training ground to a matchday.

And he accepts the criticism will continue to fall Wanderers’ way until results turn.

“You can’t hide from the fact it has been disappointing,” he told The Bolton News. “We need to turn it around quick and get some points on the board.

“The confidence seems to be there during the week in training. But we haven’t been emulating that in games. Only we can turn that around.

“We have to work harder, scrap harder, win those first and second balls and then it will come.

“It is still early, we’re three games in. We have got time to turn it around and I believe we will.

“It’s just we have to start doing it sooner rather than later. We’ll go again next weekend, it’ll be a tough one, and it is down to us to change what is going on.”

Pressure has steadily built on Wanderers over the course of five competitive games, all of which have ended in defeat, and Ian Evatt’s side go to Harrogate this weekend looking to avoid the worst start to a season in more than a century.

Not since 1902/03 has a Bolton side lost six games on the bounce from the start of the campaign, and in that case it took them until the 23rd attempt to put a win on the board in the old Division One.

Taft says mounting criticism has dented confidence in the squad.

“It can play a part but we have all been in the game long enough – you have to focus on how you play as a team and cancel out the outside noise,” he said. “Once you start winning games and getting points, all that changes.

“We know there is depth in the squad, we know we have got the quality, it’s just a matter of getting it done.”

The dynamic between clubs and their fans is unique this season as the pandemic continues to prevent fans from entering stadia.

Taft misses the ebb and flow of a matchday and admits the lack of a crowd has had a negative effect on Wanderers’ home performances.

“The size of this club and the fanbase, you know you’d have fans behind you if you had a little spell of play, it would give you an edge,” he said. “It can work the other way as well, when you are under the cosh and the fans are on you it can give you the little fright to say ‘come on, let’s get going.’ “But it’s the same for both teams, it isn’t just us that will benefit from fans being there.

“I think if you play at home you’d potentially have a bigger boost but hopefully fans get back in soon and we can get some results to make them want to come back in too.”