OTHER than a few nods of acknowledgement, Wanderers’ players filed out of Fratton Park in silence on Tuesday night.

A tired-looking team which had ploughed their way through eight games in February had failed to keep hold of their lead at Portsmouth, and had been deservedly beaten by the end.

There was plenty to reflect on during the journey back north but Ricardo Santos, who stopped to give the dressing room’s view of the game to the local press, hopes the gloomy mood will pass quickly.

“I’d felt we were comfortable in the game,” he reflected. “But it will be one of those results where we’ll have to look at it on Thursday and move on, not be too down about it. There is still a lot to play for.

“We’re disappointed for the travelling fans because they came a long way. But we go again, we can’t be too down.”

Wanderers remain fourth in the table but know the teams around them have games in hand, and will spend much of this month watching rival sides try to eat into their points advantage.

The Pompey game had been rescheduled because of international call-ups earlier in the season and coupled with the Papa Johns Trophy semi-final against Accrington Stanley last week, the schedule has tested Bolton’s squad to the full.

“I don’t want to blame it being a busy month but maybe it played a part,” Santos said.

“It was all us today – we were comfortable and then we concede at three set pieces, which is not us. We haven’t conceded many of them this season.

“The wind and the rain was difficult. Traff was trying to kick it and it was spinning back but to be fair to them they made it tough for us, there was a lot of energy, a lot of pressing. Once they scored we found it difficult to get going again.”

Santos was booked early on by referee Stephen Martin for a foul on Colby Bishop and felt the decision affected his game from there on in.

“Personally, I know I didn’t touch him,” he said. “I felt they were looking for fouls and the ref was giving them.

“It was one of those. I can’t say too much about it.

“It was harsh and put me off my game a little bit because I couldn’t be as aggressive as I usually am.

“I felt I’d done OK. Bishop is a strong boy and I’d kept it quiet on my side until the set piece.”