‘AZ it bin dun?’ – arguably the most Boltonian question ever posed, and one we all wanted an answer to at the time.

The year was 2019, the month August, and Wanderers fans had travelled in number to watch a game at Wycombe hoping that the darkest days were behind them. Oh, if we only knew.

The summer had been a hurricane of administration, EFL statements and cancelled contracts but by the time that first game of the season came around, it felt like an achievement that there would be a team on the pitch to watch.

Manager Phil Parkinson was on the last thread of his nerves. Striker Josh Magennis had refused to board the team bus after yet another broken promise over payment, at least three players travelled without knowing that they had been registered by the league. And club staff shuttled youth teamers up the motorway from 6am on Saturday morning to make sure the bench was filled.

A takeover from Football Ventures had been mooted for months but, for a myriad of reasons, had failed to complete. It was close enough, however, for the EFL’s acting chair, Debbie Jevons, to give the go-ahead for the fixture to take place. Bury, it transpired, would not be so lucky.

One can only assume the chaos that was going on behind the scenes – the scramble to muster a team, the protests about wages, the lingering presence of a certain Laurence Bassini – was played down by the club as it tried to continue business as normal.

But when Barry Gore – a hardcore Bolton fan, and just about as pleasant a fella as you would wish to meet – confronted the would-be owner of the club as she made her way into Adams Park that day, there was genuine hope it would all be rectified before the weekend was through and that business would be back to normal.

As it turned out, it hadn’t ‘bin dun’… It wasn’t even close. It was another 25 tortuous days before the club was safe.

Wanderers go to Wycombe again on Tuesday night with more questions.

Is this team good enough to achieve automatic promotion from League One, or will it need another bout of investment in January to give them a better chance?

Can the system and style employed by Ian Evatt bring a fourth successive season of improvement? Or will the steadfast devotion to his footballing principles prove a hindrance to success?

Should Gethin Jones get the nod ahead of Will Forrester in the back three?

Football questions.

There has been a mood of frustration of late around Wanderers, as performances rather than results fail to convince folk that the club can chase down one of those top two spots.

Some might say it is a glass half-full approach. I’d prefer to view it as healthy scepticism, anchored in those years where we were being told the grass was green, and it most certainly was not.

Importantly, it is coming from a good place. Wanderers fans desperately want their team to succeed because they want to move on from being that crisis club that turned up on Wycombe’s doorstep four years ago without the proverbial pot.

Historically, this is not where Bolton belong. That is not entitlement, this is just a club that has spent less than 14 per cent of its 124 seasons in the third and fourth tier. A club that currently averages more than 21,000 supporters for home games. It is now primed for the next step in its long-term recovery.

In Bolton’s last two visits to Wycombe under Evatt – both 1-0 defeats, both God-awful games – allowances could be made. The club was rebuilding. Even last season, the play-off target seemed sensible, achievable, and they got there way ahead of the Chairboys. This time the expectation of Championship football next season is very real, the fairy-tale of Football Ventures saving the club has evolved into a tale of ambition not unlike any big club at this level.

Once again, Sharon Brittan and Co are being respectfully asked: “Az it bin dun?”

Huge credit is due to all involved for making this a football conversation again. There was a time when talk of corner kicks and calf strains felt a long way away.

But this would be an opportune time for Evatt and his Wanderers to go to Wycombe and underline they are a club intent on returning to the upper echelons, moaners, groaners, optimists, pessimists, pragmatists, happy clappers, and all.