GEORGE Thomason goes back into battle for Wanderers at Blackpool today with a word in his ear from manager Ian Evatt: “Don’t lose your edge!”

The midfielder is available at Bloomfield Road after a three-match ban picked up for his red card at Northampton Town a fortnight ago.

He has amassed a whopping 15 yellow cards this season, coming under heavy fire from supporters after his most recent indiscretion.

Evatt is expected to launch Thomason straight into action against the club which released his as a teenager – and against whom he also scored the winning goal in November’s reverse fixture.

The Bolton boss backs his young charge to cope with the pressure and not lose the competitiveness which has made him a regular first team pick this season.

“I don’t think he should – and I think he has been unlucky with some (cards),” Evatt told The Bolton News. “I still think he was unlucky with that challenge. There was some naivety, yes, of course, but I know him as a person and there is no bad in him. He is the nicest young gentleman you’d wish to meet, but he has an edge, and there is nothing wrong with that edge.

“It is just about knowing where the boundaries are and what the tolerance level is. He will learn that as he goes on with experience.”

Thomason came in for some criticism after his red card ruled him out of some big games at a time when the Bolton squad was already suffering with injuries.

While Evatt wants the 23-year-old to retain the fearless approach which has been an important element of his midfield this season, he also believes time on the side-lines could have given him some important time to reflect.

“Yeah, I think it is just the nature of football, it throws different things at you on a daily and weekly basis, and George has had to deal with some adversity of late,” he said.

“But I know George, how he thinks about himself and the game, how much learning he wants to do, and he will improve from it all.

“He has been a huge player for us this season, he has been very consistent, and I am very happy to have him back.”

Ricardo Santos is also available for Wanderers for the first time in five league games – but Evatt hinted that the club captain was not automatically guaranteed selection.

“Everybody knows what I think about Rico, it isn’t a secret,” he said.

“I think the players think the same way. He brings a calmness, a level of trust. And not only is he immense for us, he makes the players around him better as well. Having him back is huge.

“Having said that, the other boys really have done great. We are not in a position to take risks with Rico, either, and we want to make sure that when Rico plays he is ready to play and that there is no risk of him breaking down, or that he is fit enough to do himself justice.

“We will make that call but we are all delighted to have him back, he is a huge part of what we do.”