PENALTY shootout defeat at Blackpool was only part of the pain for Wanderers as they potentially lost TWO key defenders to injury.

Ian Evatt admits he may be forced into some emergency transfer business in the next two days depending on the result of scans to Ricardo Santos and Eoin Toal.

Santos damaged his calf in the warm-up but managed to play until half time, when he was withdrawn for Josh Dacres-Cogley.

Toal is also managing a longer-term issue, which leaves Wanderers without any central defensive cover.

On Santos’s injury Evatt said: “We are not too sure of the extent but what I will say is it didn’t get any worse, and he did quite a lot in the first half – he was excellent. But it didn’t get any better either.

“All we can do is get an image of it and see what we are dealing with. Toaly as well is carrying an Achilles issue. He managed to see the game through but until we get it on a screen, we don’t really know.”

Wanderers lost 5-4 on penalties with Zac Ashworth missing the decisive kick in a tense shootout.

Joel Coleman made saves from Ollie Norburn and Jordan Gabriel and got a hand to Karamoko Dembele’s effort but could not prevent it crossing the line.

During 90 minutes the Whites had been on top in the first half but struggled after making defensive changes and had a few nervy moments under heavy Blackpool pressure.

Kyle Dempsey’s bright cameo from the bench nearly help conjure something late on, with Dion Charles also going close to a winner.

Evatt was disappointed but by no means despondent.

“I thought it was a good match between two good teams,” he said. “First half, we should have been comfortably ahead. We missed some key chances and opportunities.

“Then obviously with the captain going off at half time, we had to re-shuffle and it was a makeshift back three or five.

“We had to monitor and manage minutes so we don’t break anyone down. The lads stuck at it and in the last five or 10 minutes, I thought we were going to nick it.

“We had one or two good opportunities at the end. Penalty shoot-outs are a hard, it is a lottery. Some people like to take them and some don’t. I thought Joe Coleman was excellent, close to the ones he didn’t save as well. It is frustrating but the fans’ reaction at the end really said it all. “Everyone’s focus now has to be on achieving our main goal and ambition, and we are in a good place to be able to do that.”

Ashworth looked crestfallen when he walked off the pitch, Bolton’s fans already in full consolatory song.

“He is upset because he probably feels like he has let everyone down, but he hasn’t,” Evatt said. “The fact is he was brave enough to step up and we will support anyone who takes penalties. If they miss, they miss and we have to deal with it.

“It is a frustrating way to lose because I don’t think we deserved to lose on the night. There can’t be any feeling sorry ourselves or negative body language. Now that has gone and we all have to focus on what our main goal is.”

Wanderers were handed a boost with the news that league leaders Portsmouth dropped points at Oxford, their former player James Henry netting a 90th minute equaliser at the Kassam Stadium.

Evatt says his players cannot afford to dwell on their exit from the Bristol Street Motors Trophy with Barnsley the visitors to the Toughsheet Stadium this weekend.

“As I said, it is a frustrating way to lose because I didn’t think we deserved to lose on the night,” he added. “I think the boys performed well on the night, especially in the first half.

“But we have to take our chances when we dominate games and we didn’t. Penalties is always tough, it is a lottery, it is 50-50 and we lost out tonight.”