IAN Evatt reckons a “character building” training session in the sleet and sub-zero temperatures at Lostock on Thursday was perfect preparation for a winter’s trip to Northampton Town.

Chilling out, quite literally, at Lostock yesterday, the Bolton boss put his players through their paces ahead of another potential scrap at Sixfields Stadium where victory could be enough to climb back into the automatic promotion spots.

After Tuesday night’s game at Cambridge United was postponed inside nine minutes for a waterlogged pitch, all eyes have been on the weather forecast for tomorrow’s game.

Though more icy rain is expected, the Cobblers have not indicated that the game is under any threat, nor that any pitch inspections are planned.

Evatt and his players have carried on regardless, and yesterday’s training session proved an eye-opener for the Bolton boss.

“We got everyone out on the grass, which was slightly complicated by the weather conditions, but we did the most we could in the circumstances,” he said.

“It was tough, challenging but I don’t mind that, it’s character building. There were lots of snoods, hats and gloves knocking around for most – one or two didn’t.

“It’s a summer’s day for Kyle Dempsey, coming from Cumbria, and George Thomason seemed to enjoy it coming from Barrow.

“A couple of them embraced the weather, some didn’t. We take pride in the culture we have created here and it is great to see how people react in different circumstances.”

Wanderers made a name in the Premier League days for their use of sports science under Sam Allardyce, which included the use of ice baths and cryo-therapy chambers to aid player recovery.

But with temperatures plummeting outside on the famously open plains of Lostock, Evatt admits there was little need for one yesterday.

“Yeah, we got rid of that because we realised Lostock is one big cryo-chamber,” he said. “Four seasons in one day that place.

“I don’t think I have ever experienced cold like that. It was hard enough for the players running around but even among the coaching staff there were some red raw bodies in the showers afterwards, hot aches and all that – nasty but quite enjoyable!”

Evatt accepts that inclement weather presents a hurdle to his own style of play – and offers a potential leg-up to opponents at this time of year.

“If the game would have continued on Tuesday then it would have been difficult for us to play the sort of football we want to play,” he said. “We would have had to adapt and I think we have improved at doing that but the type of game we play is ingrained. It is part of our identity and it isn’t something we want to come away from it.

“Obviously it gives some opponents a lift and it is probably why Neil (Harris) was so keen for it to continue. I have no issue with that, it would have given them an advantage.

“I’m thankful the ref called the game off with player safety in mind and hopefully in a couple of weeks it will be better. But winter football, you have to find different solutions – Tuesday we would, and it won’t be any different on Saturday.”