Wanderers report back for duty at Lostock this morning still licking their wounds from a damaging derby defeat against Wigan Athletic.
More than 24,000 fans watched Ian Evatt’s side capitulate against their local rivals and lose their 100 per cent record this season.
For club skipper Ricardo Santos the result was the nadir of his three years with Bolton, and he was at a loss to explain how it came about.
But the big defender hopes the fog of disappointment can be quickly cleared this week in the build-up to another stern test at Burton Albion on Saturday.
“I think that is the worst I have felt since I have been here,” he told The Bolton News. “It is even worse than the last time they came here because it is so hard to explain.
“Football is funny, there are so many highs and lows. It is about how you react, and we have to show more at Burton.
“It has to start on Monday, watch the game back, and we have to learn from it. That can’t happen again.
“At one point you can feel you are playing so well – and don’t get me wrong, I still think this has been a good start to the season. But we know this was a game we had to win, it is disappointing we didn’t do that for ourselves and for the fans of the club. We have got to go again, it’s still early days.”
Charlie Wyke and Stephen Humphrys scored two each as Wigan recorded their second successive 4-0 win on Wanderers’ home patch. The result was enough to lift the Latics out of the relegation zone and back into positive points equity and knocked Bolton off top spot into second place.
Santos struggled to explain Wanderers’ sluggishness at the start of a game in which they still managed 20 shots at goal but put just four shots on target.
Defensively, Evatt’s side had conceded just once in their opening three games but Santos felt the visitors were given too much of an incentive in the first half.
“Honestly, they took their moments,” he said. “There were lapses in concentration for a couple of their goals and they made us pay. It was one of those games where we tried to put everything into it, but they just came out on top.
“It is so frustrating because I felt like we had started the season defending well as a team and scoring goals too but there, it was all preventable.”
Manager Evatt said some performances in his team had been “very poor” but backed his players to respond.
"All along we’ve been asked questions here, and rightly so, and today that isn’t acceptable in any way, shape or form.
“That’s not our standard but we can do is react and react in a positive way and get our fans back on side with us.
“We need to lift ourselves off the canvas and go again. I’m sure we will.”