James Trafford hopes to repay Wanderers’ belief in him by taking them all the way in the League One play-offs.

The Manchester City goalkeeper has kept a club record 26 clean sheets in all competitions this season and fought his way to international caps with England Under-21s.

In total he has spent 18 months at the UniBol and matured to the degree he got a new long-term deal with City last summer.

Trafford has been on loan at Accrington prior to his arrival at Bolton but says he feels a different character as his time with the Whites draws to an end.

“I am massively grateful for the manager and the staff for putting their faith in me when nobody else really was – and I hope I have repaid that faith,” he told The Bolton News.

“The loan has helped me massively as a person and a goalkeeper and has given me a platform and a catapult to my future.

“I joined effectively as child. I was 19 but in my looks, my ways and actions, I hadn’t really experienced anything. But over the past 18 months I feel like I have developed into the personal and the goalkeeper I am, so I thank everyone massively for sticking with me and for their continued support.

“Promotion was my aim was when I signed again in the summer. The expectation was to try and get to the Championship and that is what I am solely aiming to achieve. It has been the aim since the start of the season and it is what we have all been working towards.”

Asked if he had considered his next move, Trafford hopes to use a stint on international duty this summer to see whether he will return to the Etihad full time as cover for Ederson, or potentially to look for another loan club. But it is understood that a return to Bolton is not on the cards.

“I have briefly thought about it but nothing major. I want to see how my performances go for the rest of the season and I have got the Euros in the summer as well, hopefully, so I’ll go away and think about next season,” he said.

“I feel like I have achieved a lot at Bolton but I expected to do that, I back myself and have confidence in what I can do. I think Manchester City are pleased – but to be honest we don’t talk too much about positive stuff, it is always about where I can get better, how I can improve – and that is what I am focusing on, really.”

Trafford has become a fans’ favourite with Wanderers and on Saturday night shared the club’s young player of the year with fellow loanee, Conor Bradley.

The 20-year-old is now dead set on making sure their route through the play-offs is a successful one – and Bolton will find out this weekend whether they face Barnsley or Sheffield Wednesday over two legs for a place a Wembley.

“I will be sad to leave, “he said. “I came here after Accrington where I hadn’t had the best of times in what was essentially a low point in my career. This has been a huge platform for me and they have helped me get to where I am – hopefully now I can help them get to that next level.

“I just know that Bolton Wanderers will stick with me for the rest of my career, and the rest of my life.”