Bolton Wanderers boss Phil Parkinson says his side have not lost sight of their battle against relegation despite climbing out of the drop zone.

Phil Parkinson’s Bolton side lost 2-0 away at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, but remain two points clear of the bottom three of the Championship.

Parkinson told BBC Sport “We’ve always been in a battle. If we ever thought we were clear of it then we were looking at a different table,”

“We dust ourselves down. I thought the application of the lads was great against QPR, we had some good chances,” 50-year-old Parkinson continued.

“We’ve got one or two bumps and bruises in there and we’ve got to make sure we patch everyone up and get a team out which is ready to go on Tuesday.”

Bolton’s survival hopes was damaged when they lost star man Gary Madine on deadline day to Cardiff City. Madine, 27, signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with the Welsh club for an undisclosed fee. The striker scored 10 goals in 28 appearances for Bolton in all competitions this season.

But Phil Parkinson tried to replace him by adding former fan favourite Zach Clough. The 22-year-old forward returned to the Trotters on loan for the rest of the season, a year after making a £3m switch the other way.

Bolton Wanderers next face fellow relegation strugglers Sunderland on Tuesday.

Bolton face frustration over the team selection for their game against the Black Cats, with Mark Little unavailable after his sending off against QPR.

However, experienced forward Aaron Wilbraham could return from a calf injury and tireless midfielder Darren Pratley may feature after almost two months out with a cracked fibula.

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman will have Lamine Kone and Paddy McNair available for the trip as they return to fitness.

Bryan Oviedo may also return after he missed the Black Cats’ 2-0 home defeat by Brentford on Saturday.

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