REDEMPTION will be the watch word for Wanderers as they go into battle at Wigan Athletic tonight.

Ian Evatt accepts that his side owe the fanbase a performance against their near neighbours, who have had the clear edge in recent encounters between the two sides.

Pride was dented by a 4-0 home defeat back in August and the Bolton boss admitted there were “sore heads” on the training ground yesterday as the coaching staff and players reviewed Saturday’s dismal defeat at Blackpool.

Another sold out away end will be watching in expectation at the DW Stadium and Evatt is determined not to be caught out again by the Latics with local pride at stake.

“We are fully expecting Wigan to produce their very best,” he told The Bolton News. “They always seem to manage that against us and, at times, that has caught us off guard.

“That has to be our focus here. We ignore the noise, focus on being the best we can be. You have to play with emotion, of course, in this type of match, but we also need to play with the calmness and confidence that suits the way we play.

“There is no good us going there just to scrap and fight, we have to do both sides. We also have to show what we are capable of doing with the ball, and we can produce better performances than we have done of late with the ball and punish teams more with the chances we create.

“We know what we are going into, it’s intense, intimidating and aggressive on the pitch, and we have to cope with that. We have to take it on and believe we can play well.”

Wanderers were waiting on the FA to make a decision on Ricardo Santos’s red card at Blackpool as we went to press, but the club is confident their skipper will avoid a suspension.

Evatt was contacted by the PGMOL over the weekend, engaging in “constructive talks,” but knows that defeat at Bloomfield Road extended beyond the performance of official Josh Smith.

“Saturday hurt us all for a lot of reasons,” he said. “There was a lot that went on we didn’t like, some of it wasn’t in our control but we need to focus on the things that were, and we have to get back to doing thing better. The players we have available are the ones we have available, hopefully the other lads aren’t too far away and will be back soon to help us, but regardless of the refereeing decisions at Blackpool the result was mostly our fault. We have to own it.

“There is no better opportunity, I think, than to go to Wigan and put things right with our fans and ourselves and get three points.”

Wanderers can go back into the top two tonight if they can better Derby County’s result against Charlton Athletic. And with a dozen games to come after Wigan, Evatt admits he has had to remind himself that the club is still in a strong position.

“We are still there and sometimes this industry has a nasty habit of knocking you on your backside and back down to earth,” he said. “In the heat of battle you can lose perspective of where we are, what we are capable of achieving. And we are right in the mix. I am sure that other than Portsmouth, everyone else is feeling that way at the moment.

“We have to brush it off quickly and react. We have done it before and we will do it again.

“There isn’t a better game than this one to show what we can do and what we are about.”