Wanderers boss Ian Evatt says the squad is looking “a lot more positive” ahead of Tuesday night’s Papa Johns Trophy last 16 tie against Manchester United Under-21s.

The Whites were without a plethora of players for Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Shrewsbury due to a combination of injuries and a wave of illness.

But several members of the squad are now back in contention to face United’s youngsters at the UniBol.

And perhaps even more importantly, no other players have been affected by illness as things stand.

Meanwhile, Kyle Dempsey remains on track to return to training “later this week” after suffering ligament damage on an injured ankle.

Evatt also shared an update on Ricardo Santos, who recently had a stay in hospital with breathing problems due to a viral infection.

“I had an update yesterday,” said the Bolton boss. “Aaron Morley, Kieran Sadlier and Owen Beck are back in and feeling much better. Declan John is back in, which is positive.

“As far as I know, we haven’t had any more go down, which is important as well. Ricardo is feeling better albeit still quite chesty.

“Kyle Dempsey should be back with us later this week. And no injuries from the weekend, so a lot more positive.”

Wanderers reached this stage thanks to a 3-2 win against League Two outfit Barrow last month after goals from Dapo Afolayan, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Elias Kachunga.

The Whites missed out on a place in the quarter-final last year following a 1-0 defeat at Hartlepool United, with Matt Daly getting the decisive goal six minutes from time.

Evatt’s men have already faced Under-21 opposition in this year’s competition, recording a 3-0 win against Leeds United’s youngsters in the group stage. Bodvarsson, Sadlier and Amadou Bakayoko were all on target than night.

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