IAN Evatt admits Wanderers’ failure to secure promotion has cost them a chance of signing Paris Maghoma next season.

The Bolton boss had been keen to keep the Brentford midfielder permanently after a promising campaign but admits he will now be out of reach having lost to Oxford United in the play-off final.

“It is going to be difficult to sign Paris now we are stuck in League One,” he told The Bolton News. “That is how it is.

“We are thankful for him, thankful for what he has achieved this season, and we wish him well.”

Maghoma won the club’s young player of the year award after an encouraging campaign which saw him score nine times in 50 appearances.

His last, at Wembley, was wrecked by an ankle injury sustained in the opening minute of the game, and would mean he left the stadium on crutches, wearing a protective boot.

Maghoma has a year left to run on his contract with Brentford and looks likely to be made available at his parent club.

The 23-year-old posted a message of appreciation to Wanderers on his social media accounts, thanking supporters for the “best year” of his career.

“I’m not sure where to even begin, the game on Saturday has truly broken my heart. We didn’t give you the performance that you deserved. You’ve cheered us on this season, you’ve been our 12th man. You’ve helped us push through and on the most important day, we couldn’t deliver and for that I am sorry.

“This season, playing for this amazing club has been the best year of my life. You’ve treated me like family, from the staff, the players and you fans. It’s been nothing but a joy playing at the Toughsheet. I’ve enjoyed every single moment of it, the highs and also the lows.

“Because of the tremendous love I’ve been shown, on Saturday after the first minute I knew that I couldn’t give up. I knew I had to try and fight and do everything in my power to carry on. But at the end of the day, I couldn’t. I really wanted to end the season on a high but I guess God had something else planned.

“Next season, Bolton are going to need its fans to support, cheer and push the team through so I ask that you stick with the club, keep the belief, be the anchor and help the club get promotion into the Championship.

“Bolton, you have a very special place in my heart. I’ve made memories and friends that I will cherish for life. Once a Wanderer, always a Wanderer.”

Both Eoin Toal and Dion Charles will be on international duty in June after being called up to the Northern Ireland squad for friendlies against Spain and Andorra.

Michael O’Neill’s side plays Euro 2024 finalists Spain in Palma on Saturday, June 8 (kick-off 9.30pm) before facing Andorra in Murcia on Tuesday, June 11 (kick-off 8.45pm).

Northern Ireland begin their Nations League campaign in September with a home game against Luxembourg.