OPPORTUNITY may be about to knock for Liam Gordon to complete an unlikely return to first team football with Bolton Wanderers.

After a rocky start to life at the UniBol last season, the full-back was loaned back in November to his former club Dagenham and Redbridge in the National League.

Gordon returned this summer with big question marks hanging over his future but performances in pre-season, plus a man-of-the-match display against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup, have given Ian Evatt confidence to put him in at Sincil Bank if Declan John fails a fitness test on a hip injury.

The Guyana international’s journey over the last 12 months can also be an inspiration for Dennis Politic and Ronan Darcy, who are both set to spend time away on loan.

“Liam has done very well and sometimes when you get given these opportunities it can make or break you, and we hope he steps in and makes the shirt his own,” the Bolton boss said.

“He is a young man and the two young players we are sending out on loan can take a lot from him, he went out on loan and did very well, got extra experience and how he looks a more rounded player who is closer to our first team. He is a great person to look at from their point of view.”

Gordon was not in the squad at Wimbledon on Saturday but Evatt has no qualms about putting him in against a mobile Imps attack.

“He will be fine. He did well against Barnsley and when we have been naming the substitutes and I am putting a keeper on there, by the way, it is how you balance it – defensive, midfield, attack – and who can play where. That’s why he hasn’t been involved.

“Liam can play left-back alone. Harry can play left, right or centre, George can play left or centre, so he’s unlucky on that front but if anything happened to the left back he slots straight in.”