DARREN Pratley is clinging on to hope Wanderers can save their Championship skins this Sunday.

The Bolton captain is focussed on gaining the win needed against Nottingham Forest to give his side any chance of avoiding relegation to League One.

For that to happen, Burton Albion, Barnsley or potentially Birmingham City would also have to lose their respective fixture.

Wanderers have taken just one point from a possible 21 and sunk to a desperate 2-0 defeat at Burton last weekend – sparking angry protests from the travelling supporters at the Pirelli Stadium.

But while there is hope, Pratley says every effort must be made on the pitch to make a last-gasp escape.

“Since the international break we’ve fell off a little bit,” he said. “I don’t know if that was a bit of complacency because we were six points clear going in. We were in good form, good spirits, but we’ve come away from it. If I knew, anyone knew, what it was we’d rectify it.

“It hasn’t been good enough from our part and, of course, everyone’s hurting.

“But we’ve still got a chance on Sunday if we get a result and others go our way. We can still remain in the league.”

Pratley is one of several first team players out of contract and potentially playing their last game for Bolton on Sunday – even though he has indicated he would like to remain with the club.

A veteran of two relegation campaigns with Wanderers, he is well-aware of the scarring effect it can have on players, whether they remain at the Macron beyond the summer or not.

“Us players are not going into games thinking about our holidays,” he said. “It’s our careers, our futures. It remains on our CV. A lot of people will look at that – if you’re out of contract and looking for somewhere else – it stays with you.

“We will be trying everything to do our part and then it’s up to the big man upstairs, hopefully he can help us, and someone slips up.”

Wanderers have been huge underdogs for most of the campaign and Pratley would love nothing more than to upset the bookmakers again.

“We never do things the easy way,” he said. “We crawled over the line last year to get promotion when I think we were 10 points clear at one stage. But if we can go against the odds it would be great for the club.”