Ricardo Santos says the Wanderers squad have rallied round Elias Kachunga following the red card controversy against Forest Green.

The forward was involved in a mix-up which saw team-mate Dion Charles sent off after he lashed out at Brandon Cooper off the ball.

The FA has now transferred the three-match ban to Kachunga, meaning he will miss the fixtures against Charlton, Cheltenham and Peterborough.

The 30-year-old took to social media to apologise for his actions earlier this week, and Ian Evatt has since spoken out against the “disgusting” online abuse he has received.

Santos told The Bolton News: “It was a bit of a weird one. At the time I didn’t actually know what was happening, I thought (the linesman) had flagged for offside.

“I knew at half time what happened, but he’s alright. He has already apologised to the boys for what happened and he just kind of lost control because I think the guy hit him.

“He said he has never done that in his career. It is gone now and we are moving onto Saturday and Charlton.”

He added: “We have already spoken to him in training and I text him after the game. I told him to try to keep his head and not let anything affect him, just worry about himself.

“He seems alright. I don’t know what is going to happen but I will keep supporting him. I sit right next to him in the changing room so I will keep him happy.”

Santos has had to be patient since returning from illness but came back into the side against Forest Green.

The towering defender admits it wasn’t easy having to watch from the sidelines, but he did his best to keep morale high.

“(It has been) frustrating because I want to be playing,” he explained. “But at the same time, especially with the defenders, I was always supportive and speaking to them every day.

“I would make sure I encouraged them, I am a supportive guy. Even though I want to be playing, at the time I wasn’t so I just had to play my role and support the boys from the side.”

Santos was given the task of marking former team-mate Amadou Bakayoko on Tuesday night, who he has a close relationship with.

“It was a bit weird,” he added. “Obviously I know Baka well, he’s a real close friend and I spoke to him before the game.

“I knew what to expect from him. I knew if I made him angry, that’s when he performs at his best. But we got the job done and that is what is most important.”

Santos could be in action this afternoon when the Whites make the trip to the capital to take on Dean Holden’s in-form Charlton side, who overcame promotion contenders Barnsley in their last outing.

“We know Charlton have picked up a few results but we aren’t really worrying about any other team,” said Santos.

“We have just got to worry about ourselves. Before the loss against Derby we were on a decent run.

“We need to get back to that, hopefully get more wins and just stay consistent in the play-offs and push higher.”