WANDERERS can set the tone for a successful season by making the most of a training camp in Portugal, says Gethin Jones.

The Bolton vice skipper flew out with the rest of Ian Evatt’s squad for a week of intense fitness and tactical work in the Algarve.

Although there will be no games played on the trip, Jones believes the work done on the plush green training pitches by the Atlantic could be vitally important to the club’s chances of getting out of League One.

“You know where we want to be at the end of this season and it doesn’t come without hard work,” he told The Bolton News. “That is why it was important to be together for this first week, really, to come together as a team, eat the right foot, get straight down to business really.

“We have been speaking quite a bit on the group chat and I know the lads are really looking forward to it. We can’t wait to get going.”

Evatt and his coaching staff have developed a reputation as hard taskmaster in pre-season, looking to get his squad up the required levels of fitness to play his style of football.

Jones – who has been through both the manager’s previous summer schedules – insists while there will be a team bonding element to the week, the main focus will be on hard work.

“The team spirit here at Bolton is second to none, and I have said that many times,” he said. “Everyone knows what I think of the club and the way it has been run.

“We enjoy training, we enjoy coming into work. But I probably won’t be laughing when I’m out there this week. It’ll be tough going, but that’s the job.

“You don’t get a good pre-season and it can catch up with you. There are lads in the squad who maybe didn’t get that at other clubs last year and they will want to get it right.

“If we do – I think we can push on this season.”

The club has yet to confirm if Northern Ireland international Conor Bradley will link-up with the squad this week, with his impending loan move from Liverpool yet to be rubber-stamped.

Summer signing Jack Iredale is with the group but James Trafford has been given a week off after recently returning from international duty with England’s Under-21s.

Meanwhile, reports suggest Wanderers are pushing for an answer from ex-Preston North End winger Tom Barkhuizen, who has been on the club’s shortlist all summer.

The 28-year-old appeared to be heading to League One rivals Derby County but problems with their takeover may have scuppered his chances.

Evatt made a similar move with Jack Tucker last week after the move had lingered for too long – with the defender electing to stay in the south with MK Dons.

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