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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Dapo Afolayan on Bolton future and Wanderers' promotion push

Dapo Afolayan on Bolton future and Wanderers' promotion push

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Dapo Afolayan on Bolton future and Wanderers' promotion push 12400356

Dapo Afolayan is living in the here and now as he plays a big part in Wanderers’ promotion push.

The West Ham loanee has impressed in his nine appearances for the Whites as Ian Evatt’s side have marched into the League Two play-off places.

His manager has made no secret of wanting to keep the 23-year-old beyond the end of the season when his Hammers contract expires.

But, for now at least, the forward himself is simply focusing on the task at hand.

“Playing regularly is something that I’ve needed for a while now,” Afolayan said.

“I’ve not had it for a few years. I’ve had injuries and things like that and I’ve worked hard in the Under-23s at West Ham this season and in and around the first team and in January looked to go out on loan and get some regular football.

“It was an easy decision to come here once I’d spoken to the manager and seen everything the club wanted to do.

“It’s a really good club and I’m really enjoying my football here and to be honest I’m just working hard and trying to help this team get promoted this season and then I’ll reassess my options after that.

“I’m just focused on Saturday now, we’ve got another big game (at Port Vale).”

The versatile attacker’s relaxed attitude extends to the one thing that would cap his fine start with Wanderers, a first goal for the club.

“I’m not too worried about that, it’ll come,” Afolayan said.

“My performances have been good and I’m working hard for the team.

“That’s the main thing, the team is winning and we’re going in the right direction in the league.”

Dapo Afolayan on Bolton future and Wanderers' promotion push 12400355

Of that there is no doubt, Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory against Cambridge made it 10 games unbeaten for the Whites who are seventh and just four points shy of the automatic promotion places.

Afolayan insists ahead of the game at struggling Port Vale on Saturday that the squad are continuing to strive for more after arguably putting in their best performance of the season against a U’s side who are second in the table.

“We don’t fear anyone, we’re strong and we know we’ve got a good base to build from,” he said.

“As a group, and as individuals, we’re all confident, we don’t go into games thinking we’re going to lose, we go into games thinking about how we’re going to win them.

“We’re not satisfied with draws, we just want to win. Even winning this game we’re not satisfied, we just want to build on that.”

With that level of drive, could it be that Wanderers are even eyeing going the rest of the season unbeaten with 12 games between them and a potential immediate return to League One?

“There is no reason we can’t,” Afolayan said.

“Everyone in the building feels it. The whole group is confident, we just have to make sure we take each game as it comes because they are coming thick and fast.

“We’ve got a game Saturday and then we do have a little break where we can regroup and then I think we’ll get even better.”

Having arrived on the final day of a January transfer window that has helped transform Bolton’s fortunes, the early struggles under Evatt will likely seem a little alien to the Hammers prospect.

But it is that, believes Afolayan, that is keeping feet firmly on the ground as things start to get very interesting at the UniBol.

“It’s in the past,” he said. “The manager has alluded to it and is trying to keep us grounded because they’ve been on runs like this before and things have come down.

“I think that’s what is helping us, we’re being quite grounded.

“We’re humble as a group and some of the lads have said while we are humble but we need to realise how good we actually are, because we are a top team.”

As Wanderers increasingly look to be hitting top gear at just the right time, one thing is missing however.

“It’s enjoyable, I just wish there were fans here because I know the building and the place would be buzzing right now,” Afolayan said.

“It’s always a good feeling to be in a winning team and I know the fans at home will be happy and looking forward to every game.

“We’re trying to build something and hopefully get up this season.

“Cambridge are a good team, they’re second in the league and we put a statement out that we feel we can beat anyone.

“We’re pushing in the right direction as a squad and as individuals we’re all getting better with each game.

“It’s perfect timing for everything to come to fruition now.”

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