Parky backs Trotters players
Bolton boss Phil Parkinson admits a miserable week off the pitch played its part as they slipped to a 2-1 home defeat against Ipswich.
Bolton's players went on strike over the unpaid wages of non-playing staff earlier this week, while the club survived another High Court winding-up order before a prohibition notice and an IT failure threatened the postponement of the match.
The week got even worse as on-loan striker Collin Quaner scored twice in 11 first-half minutes for Ipswich to keep Town's slender survival hopes alive.
But Bolton's chances of joining them in League One next season have increased after they failed to build on the previous weekend's victory at QPR.
"You can only take so many knocks as a team and that's what it looked like in the first half," said Parkinson. "We looked like a team who had had the stuffing knocked out of them and also hadn't trained properly.
"The preparation this week hasn't been good enough for a Championship-level performance in a game of this magnitude. You look at the first 45 minutes and we were so far off the pace, with the ball and without the ball.
"As a staff, if you have two or three players who haven't trained, we always think 'do we play them or not?'
"But when you have a whole squad who haven't been able to prepare properly it shows. Everyone watching the game would have seen that.
"In the first half, Ipswich looked like a team who were already down and playing with a bit of freedom.
"They also played as though they had had a good week's preparation and we were just the opposite.
"Last week we had such a lift by winning at QPR. Then the lads needed a lift in terms of 'are we getting paid? Has the club been taken over?' That didn't happen.
"The lads actually trained well on Thursday and Friday but you could see we looked off the pace."
Michael Holland is a reporter with over two decades of journalism experience. A Bolton fan, Michael often writes football articles, as well as having a strong knowledge of golf, cricket and Australian sports.