IT will soon be time to say “até a próxima” to the Algarve and a short trip which has got me feeling quite confident about the road ahead for Wanderers this season.

This hasn’t been a summer of blockbuster signings and speculation and ordinarily I’d be concerned that the club has been beaten to the punch on a couple of transfer targets so far.

That unease has been cured after sitting down and talking to Ian Evatt, Ricardo Santos, Gethin Jones and others in the past few days and listening closely to what they had to say.

The manager freely admits he has seen a couple of signings slip through the net, and other deals he had lined up post-January change direction in the last few months of the season. But as he rightly says, Bolton are looking to attract a better grade of player, so of course the ratio of success is going to decrease.

Evatt maintains wholeheartedly that finances are there, and only his own desire to avoid bidding wars with other clubs has caused him to move on from certain targets. Worthy sentiment but knowing how cut-throat the football transfer market really is, I hope he and Chris Markham’s patient approach pays off.

What I did notice, however, is that Evatt and his players seem calmer and more focussed. Of course, promotion has been discussed but it has not been the central point of every conversation, beaten like a giant drum on the terraces to the point of nauseum. Long may that continue.

There is a quiet confidence, particularly among the more experienced members of the squad. And if Evatt can bring in a couple more signings of similar quality to Jack Iredale, James Trafford or Conor Bradley, then I do not think it is misplaced.

The players have been in buoyant mood, and even if I cannot understand the general fixation with Love Island it is good to see the training camp has brought them closer together.

There have been occasions where the atmosphere on trips such as this has not been as positive, or that there have been distractions that detract from the purpose of being there.

I need not remind people of the issues faced by Phil Parkinson in three successive summers, the last of which was spent scrabbling together a team of trialists only able to play at the training ground.

But previous trips with Neil Lennon, Dougie Freedman, Owen Coyle and Sammy Lee have all suffered a little from a story lingering in the background, or some form of negative subtext. In comparison, this training camp – touch wood - has been hassle free and very, very focussed.

Will it set the tone for success? I certainly hope so. Already some of Wanderers’ rivals are shaping up to look strong next season – Barnsley, MK Dons, Peterborough United and Ipswich, especially. Who knows what shape Derby County will be in by the time the fixtures begin, but one can only hope they find a semblance of stability. We will know a lot more in a few weeks as clubs start to shuffle their squad and more deals are done.

Talking of long roads ahead, spare a thought for the two poor lads who have to drive back in the equipment van.

Kit man Ted Moulden and the club’s head chef, James Berry, drove down to Lagos via the Channel Tunnel, France and Spain, to make sure Evatt and his squad had everything they needed on arrival at the hotel last weekend.

The same pair will be doing the 1,723-mile journey in reverse, which according to Google is scheduled to take 29-hours. Not only do I hope they both arrive safely and get some well-deserved sleep, I also hope they have brought a few decent tunes for the drive.

The logistics of a trip this size, with 23 players and a good dozen staff, are not to be under-estimated. That Bolton Wanderers are doing this type of thing again, though, is a very strong indicator of the progress it has made.