Neil Critchley has challenged his Blackpool side to “bounce back” against Wanderers at Bloomfield Road.

The Seasiders were beaten 3-0 by Peterborough in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy semi-final in midweek, missing out on a trip to Wembley.

Critchley admitted the scoreline was “hard to take” but insists his players must show character as their focus returns to the league.

“There is no better game to bounce back in than Bolton at home,” he said. “Another good opponent, a tough game.

“We have to concentrate on the league now, we have got plenty of games to go and plenty of points to play for.

“We have to show character to get over this very quickly and come back in ready for a big game on Saturday.”

Malik Mothersille opened the scoring eight minutes before the break and Harrison Burrows struck twice in the final stages.

The Blackpool boss continued: “It is really hard to take, to come so far and get beat like that. I thought the better team won, we weren’t at it.

“It was not for the want of trying, I thought in the second half we had more territory and more ascendency but they had the better chances. We can have no complaints.

“When you are so close to getting to Wembley, those opportunities don’t come around often so of course it is tough to take.

“The players competed, we went after the game. But Peterborough were excellent, they were fantastic on the ball early in the game. They created chances because we didn’t defend well enough in certain moments.”

The second goal came from the penalty spot after Ricky-Jade Jones collided with Richard O’Donnell in the box.

“I think Peterborough were deservedly in front at that moment, but we were in their half a lot in the second half and had some really good opportunities,” Critchley explained.

“We won the ball back a lot in good situations and got more balls into the box. We had a couple of good moments.

“Whenever the penalty was, there was more than enough time for us to get something out of the game.

“It is just a really bad decision. The boy goes to ground and if anything, slides into Rich. It is probably more of a foul on the goalkeeper than it is a penalty.”

Wanderers won 1-0 when the sides met in the league several months ago thanks to George Thomason’s thumping strike.