Though Ricardo Santos is older and wiser than the last time he happened across old employers Peterborough United, there is still a mischievous glint in his eye when asked about the personal importance of a win on Saturday.

It is just over five years since the Bolton captain helped non-league Barnet inflict an FA Cup shock at London Road, a game in which his celebrations sparked a furious reaction from fans of his former club.

Things must have been bad – for Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony still bore enough of a grudge to claim last year that Santos “owed an apology” for his behaviour.

These days, the big defender has no particular interest in fanning the flames as he looks towards this weekend.

Now a veteran of 100 games as a Wanderer, the 27-year-old is more focussed on continuing a positive start to the season which could, with the right results elsewhere, leave Ian Evatt’s side fourth going into the international break. Or at least, that is what he would like to say.

“I always want to get one up on them,” he says with a grin. “I want the win and hopefully I could get a goal, that would be even better.

“But, to be fair, I’m not really going into the game thinking about that. I’m just thinking about us, the team and trying to get three points.”

“Peterborough are a good team. I played there before and I played a lot of games for them. We’re playing back at home so we have ust got to play how we have been playing, like we showed against MK Dons and against Charlton. Play the same way with the same intensity.

“We didn’t give MK Dons a minute's rest and it will be a good game.”

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Santos was given his debut by Darren Ferguson as an 18-year-old on in May 2014. In the Posh team that day was current manager Grant McCann, and Wanderers winger Lloyd Isgrove – then on loan from Southampton.

The big defender had been plucked from non-league Thurrock for £8,000 in a typically shrewd bit of business from a club renowned for shining up uncut gems.

But Santos’s time at London Road soured as he eventually fell out of the first team picture, leading to his departure for Barnet in January 2017.

“I played a lot of games,” Santos recalled. “I think the first season I went there I probably made my debut in the last game of the season and then the season after that, I think I played about 60 games maybe for them.

“I think it was just the new manager coming in and rotations really and I was young at the time, I was on the bench and all I wanted to do was play. I had a chance to go on loan but it was my first time really being on the bench, so I really just wanted to get out and play football, so I went to Barnet.

“I’m a humble guy and football is all about opinions and if a manager does not want to play me, then I won’t sit and sulk or anything. I’ll just keep working hard but nothing against any managers that want to change it. They’ve got to play what feels best at the time. I don’t really look much into that.”

One manager who has certainly put his faith in Santos is Ian Evatt.

No player in the Bolton squad has made more appearances in his two-year reign, during which he has won a host of accolades.

So when Santos returned at the start of this season in indifferent form – put down to a succession of minor injuries – a very public backing from his manager was well received.

“I was surprised to get to 100 games so fast,” he said. “The first season I was here, I played every single game and I was surprised about that because before I came here, I suffered a lot of injuries at Barnet and I was out for a year. I didn’t play many games but the gaffer believes a lot in me.

“Even the games where I’ve made one or two mistakes, me and him talk a lot and he’s always giving me encouragement and he gives me the confidence.”

“I feel like the more I play, I find my confidence and I keep building on it.

“I thought the boys against MK Dons were outstanding and I’m just happy about the clean sheet.”

Santos will be charged with keeping one of League One’s sharpest attacks in check on Saturday.

Jonson Clarke-Harris and Jack Marriott have already shared nine goals between them but make for familiar opponents for the Bolton skipper.

“I’ve played against them two before, especially Jonson Clarke-Harris,” he said. “He’s a big boy, he loves being physical, but on the other end he’s a goalscorer.

“Jack Marriott as well, he’s lively. Like any other striker in this league, you’ve got to just stay on your toes and just be ready for anything.”