Nobody saw the Wigan drubbing coming but as Ian Evatt said, Wanderers cannot afford to let one bad result define their season.

The Whites were put to the sword by a clinical performance by the Latics last weekend, with Charlie Wyke and Stephen Humphrys both bagging braces in front of more than 24,000 fans.

It was a real sucker punch after an impressive start to the campaign, taking maximum points from the fixtures against Lincoln, Cheltenham and Fleetwood and scoring nine goals in the process.

The stats told a different story to the scoreline, with Ian Evatt’s men having more around 60 per cent of the possession and 21 shots on goal compared to Wigan’s 11.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the Whites failed in the key moments – at both ends of the pitch - and lacked resilience in a game of such importance to the fan base.

Losing a derby match will always sting, and especially by a four-goal margin, but Wanderers must dust themselves off and get ready to go again ahead of their trip to Burton Albion.

Saturday’s game could be another physical test for Evatt’s side, who must get back to what they do best.

Despite the Wigan defeat, Wanderers have the highest expected goals figure from open play in the division after four games, which is testament to the number – and quality – of chances they are creating in the final third.

Dan Nlundulu went closest against the Latics but couldn’t find a way past Sam Tickle after getting on the end of Josh Dacres-Cogley’s cross.

The Whites have also retained possession better than any of their League One counterparts, averaging four passes per sequence.

The Bolton News: Kyle Dempsey in action against WiganKyle Dempsey in action against Wigan (Image: Camerasport)

Moreover, they have had 58 sequences of at least 10 passes, which is nine more than second-place Peterborough in the list.

This might just seem like a barrage of numbers, but the data proves Wanderers’ possession-based approach is generally working well when looking at the overall picture.

Of course, it all counts for nothing if you lose “the battle in both boxes” as Evatt has previously alluded to, and that was certainly the case against Wigan.

But if the Whites keep controlling games in this manner, they will have plenty of joy over the coming campaign as they aim to build on last season’s play-off heartbreak.

There has been progression in each of Evatt’s seasons in the hot seat and the squad is almost unrecognisable from what he inherited - only Ricardo Santos, Gethin Jones and George Thomason remain.

Wanderers are one of only five teams on nine points and only sit behind current leaders Cambridge on goal difference at this stage.

However, their fixture list isn’t about to get any easier with league games against Derby County, Reading and Peterborough United coming up next month.

The main priority for the Whites is making sure they keep up with the pace in the coming weeks and months.

Last season, Plymouth, Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday were all pretty much out of sight by the halfway stage, but the divisions seems to be more open this time around.

Three points at the Pirelli Stadium this weekend would certainly boost morale after a sobering experience for everyone involved.

Dino Maamria’s men have picked up just one point from their opening four fixtures, and that came following a goalless draw at Wycombe last weekend.

The Brewers have lacked a threat in the final third, finding the net just once in the league so far this season.

Burton brought in Cole Stockton over the summer following his departure from Morecambe after the Shrimps’ relegation to the fourth tier.

It was hoped that the forward’s arrival would help fill the void left behind by Victor Adeboyejo, who was among the top scorers in the division during the first half of last season.

However, Stockton was forced off with an injury against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup and has missed the last couple of matches.

Adeboyejo will be keen to build on his positive start to the campaign, having already scored four league goals this term including a first-half hat trick in the 3-1 win against Fleetwood.

The forward had a tough start to life at Bolton, having to adjust to a new way of playing, but seems to have benefitted from a full pre-season in the North West.

Wanderers were held to a 1-1 draw at Burton in April, with Josh Walker cancelling out Adeboyejo’s early opener at his old stomping ground.