Exeter boss Gary Caldwell admitted his side weren’t good enough in “every aspect of defending” following their 7-0 defeat against Wanderers.

Dion Charles bagged a brace, with Jack Iredale, Victor Adeboyejo, Paris Maghoma, Kyle Dempsey and Dan Nlundulu also getting on the scoresheet as the Whites climbed to the top of the League One table.

Caldwell, whose side have now gone nine games without victory in the league, says they have to “stand up and be counted”.

“It’s not good enough,” declared the former Scotland international. “We were very much in the game after half an hour, the gameplan was working and we were frustrating Bolton. They had created very little.

“We concede a goal and a really poor second from the corner, well-worked from their point of view. Second half, we caved in and it is nowhere good enough.

“We need to be better, I have just said that to the players. We all have to stand up and be counted in this difficult run.”

He added: “We have to defend better, not just in and around the box but the actions before that. We have to win duels, we have to be hungrier and be willing to run with people when they run off from the midfield or wide areas. We have to stop crosses.

“It is every single aspect of defending, we have to be so much better. We have had problems scoring goals but, for me, defensively there is an even bigger worry.

“Forwards, midfielders, defenders, we all have to take responsibility and we have to be much better in those actions.”

Caldwell opted to play Cheick Diabate, who is usually a defender, in attack after a promising cameo against Swindon in the EFL Trophy.

“I thought he did well,” he explained. “He linked the play and gave us an outlet.

“We didn’t look after the ball well enough in that first half hour when we were frustrating Bolton and winning the ball back. We made them attack down their left-hand side.

“I thought it was a good effort from him, he did what we asked him to do. He just didn’t get enough support and we didn’t keep the ball well enough when we got in their half.”