ANDY Taylor admits Wanderers were caught cold in their Championship curtain raiser against Leeds United.

Phil Parkinson’s side found themselves 3-1 down at half time at the Macron, giving themselves too much work to do in the second period to salvage a point.

Taylor branded the goals “sloppy” but insists there is plenty of scope for improvement after an opening day defeat.

“We know it’s going to be tough, and maybe in the first half we got caught a little bit,” he told The Bolton News. “I don’t know how it looked from the outside.

“Second half we gave it a right good go and if we’d played like that, maybe we’d have a point?

“In the end it wasn’t enough. I think we played well in spells but there are things we need to tighten up on and we’ll definitely have a look at the goals again.

“We showed character to stay in the game and we could have nicked a point.

“It felt like we were on the back-foot first half, I don’t know why. I think maybe we needed a bit more confidence about us to force the issue earlier in the game rather than playing catch-up as we did there.”

Taylor isn’t unduly concerned by the defeat, which marked the first time Wanderers had conceded three goals during Parkinson’s time in charge at the club.

“The league isn’t won, lost, promoted, relegated at this stage of the season,” he said. “Of course, we’d have liked to get off to a good start, it breeds confidence for everyone, including the fans. We’re working hard and we’ll keep giving it our best shot.

“It is a tough league but we have got character - we showed that last year. We had defeats last season and we bounced back. We’ll do that again.”

Parkinson named Stephen Darby and Josh Cullen in his starting line-up and had another five potential debutants on his bench against Leeds and Taylor believes there will be a spell of settling-in for some of the Macron new boys.

“We’ve got a few new signings but it’s no excuse, we’ve had all of pre-season to get that sorted,” he said. “We have had a few come in over the last week or so but I think they have integrated quite well.

“I’m sure in the coming weeks things will continue to gel and we’ll be fine in the end.”

Injuries to Sammy Ameobi, Josh Vela and David Wheater plus the absence of captain Darren Pratley through illness have now thrown up an early-season problem for manager Parkinson. But Taylor has backed his boss to shuffle the pack and cope with a Carabao Cup game against Crewe to come on Wednesday night, followed by a trip to promoted Millwall.

“That’s football, unfortunately,” he said. “We have got a decent enough squad to be able to deal with that.

“Sammy is a bit of a blow having injured his knee before the season has even started. Prats should be okay, he was just a bit poorly.

“Wheats and Vels are big players for us and hopefully they are not too bad, can get patched up and then go again as quickly as possible.

“The lads who were on the bench came on and did very well, I thought, and we’ve also got players who were sat up in the stands who can come in and do a job for us.

“The manager has put together a good squad which can compete in this league. We need to all move on together and move forward.”

Parkinson was not pleased with his side’s defending for the three first half goals.

“I’m disappointed with the goals we conceded in the first half,” he said. “The first one was a well-worked corner but we could have got tighter.

“The second one we didn’t defend the back stick and the third was particularly disappointing because we had just got back into the game. We felt like Leeds were creaking a bit.

“To concede at that point was a body blow but the lads played better in the second half.”