Ian Evatt believes Bolton Wanderers must take heart from knowing they will be a League One club this weekend if they pick up three points as it did not look a likely prospect for quite a while this season.
The Whites had the chance to seal automatic promotion back to the third tier of English football on Saturday in their final home game of the season against Exeter City.
It looked like they would do just that when Gethin Jones put the Whites ahead in the first half to put Wanderers in control against the Grecians.
But the Devon side got back into the encounter thanks to Randell Williams as the visitors kept their hopes alive of reaching the League Two play-offs.
And Exeter took all three points at the death when Pierce Sweeney nodded home from Jack Sparkes’ free kick to secure victory for the Grecians.
It means that Bolton must wait until this weekend to try and guarantee promotion, knowing that victory on the road against Crawley Town will see them get over the line in the top three.
Evatt believes he will learn a lot about his players this week, but believes the mood at the University of Bolton Stadium should not be a negative one owing to situation Wanderers found themselves in earlier this season.
Bolton were in the bottom half of the table in January and promotion did not appear to be a realistic prospect at that stage.
But fast forward to May and knowing that a win will take them up, Evatt believes all those connected to the club should still take heart from that fact and knowing that their destiny is still in their own hands.
He said: “Absolutely, I’m going to learn a lot about everybody. It shouldn’t be doom and gloom.
“We’re all disappointed, you guys (the press), the squad, the staff, the board, the fans, but for a long, long time this season it wasn’t looking likely that we’d be promoted and to go to the last game of the season knowing if you win, you’re up, we should still take heart in that and go and do the job.
“I just want my team to do the job and what I think they’re capable of and today we haven’t done it, but we’ll go on Saturday and try and get the job done.”