PETER Atherton believes Wanderers can take heart from battling back for a point with 10 men against Northampton Town.

Though the weekend’s talking points centred around George Thomason’s red card, and that of manager Ian Evatt at half time, Bolton did manage to take something from Sixfields thanks to Carlos Mendes Gomes’s header midway through the second period.

Wanderers were far from their best but Atherton maintains that avoiding defeat will give them some encouragement as they prepare to host Wycombe on Tuesday night.

“You can’t always play perfect scenarios and the perfect game,” he said. “But when you are not playing at your best then it is important not to lose games and we didn’t lose that one.

“We just have to keep doing that we’re doing. We are in a good place, we’ll stay positive and we’ll build on that second-half performance and take it into Tuesday.”

A red card for Evatt after a conversation with referee Jeremy Simpson at the break left Atherton directing from the touchline. But he said the job was made easier as Wanderers stepped up their game, controlling more possession.

“It was a bit chaotic,” he said. “I was on the side-lines but other staff were trying to communicate and judge on the state of the game. But the players came out in the second half and totally dominated the ball with 10 men, took the game to them.

“We had a couple of changes in the team, and we have some young players in that back five now who are still learning and adapting to our style.

“Fair credit to the players for what they achieved in the end.

“They had to be resolute at times but we feel we deserved at least a point.

“It was a brilliant finish from Carlos, and we had another chance after that, but it didn’t quite come.”

Calvin Ramsay and Victor Adeboyejo were replaced at half time – the latter having touched the ball just six times during the first 45 minutes.

Atherton added: “The changes were just tactical.”

“The gaffer said to the lads that it had been nothing specific that they had done, we just felt like we needed to change and regroup after going down to 10. We didn’t want to just sit back, we wanted to get something from the game.”