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'It's just built in me' - Why Bakayoko will never dial it down at Bolton

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

'It's just built in me' - Why Bakayoko will never dial it down at Bolton 13081943

Amadou Bakayoko won’t be dialling it down, even if he is fresh out of the treatment room.

The big striker, back after missing nine games with a calf injury, is raring to go after scoring twice in the Papa John’s Trophy in midweek.

Ian Evatt admitted he was nervous watching the combative Bakayoko clatter into Shrewsbury defenders as his front man made a first team return last weekend.

But Sheffield Wednesday beware – chances of him taking a backward step now that he is back in contention for a place in the team look very slim indeed.

“I think it’s just built in me,” he said. “I had it with my previous club, and I think fans know I give 100 per cent. That is what they want to see.

“Coming back from my injury I think people were expecting me to do it calmly, get a few passes, ease myself in but I wanted to get straight in there and get my tackles in. I wanted to do what I needed to do to feel fit. That’s in me.

“I think I scared everyone on the bench. They are telling me to stop the acrobatic stuff but no way, I’ll score one of them eventually. I’ll keep trying.

“This is my third club and at each one I have learned the way to manage myself but I think that 100 per cent is always going to be in me, no matter which shirt I am wearing.

“People love it, and I enjoy it too.”

Watching Wanderers from the side-lines after damaging his calf in the 1-0 win at Lincoln was tough at first for Bakayoko, who had only recently arrived as a summer signing and quickly endeared himself to his new supporters with a goal on debut against MK Dons.

But seeing Bolton adapt well to life in League One and keep themselves in and around the top six eventually spurred him on to make a recovery ahead of schedule.

“The most disappointing part was that I felt I’d let the boys and the gaffer down when it happened,” he said.

“I’d made a good start and was really enjoying playing in front of the fans. Then the injury happened and it was tough.

“But I feel like I managed it with the staff at the club, the boys pushed me because of the wins they got. And when I came on at the weekend (against Shrewsbury) it was great to hear the supporters, hopefully there’s a lot more of that to come.”

Around 3,000 Bolton supporters are currently set to make the trip over the Pennines to Hillsborough, where the Whites have not won on their last three visits.

Bakayoko played there last season in the Championship for Coventry and reckons there will be a healthy respect for the way Ian Evatt’s side has started the campaign.

“I think when we go to other clubs they are looking at us, the way we are setting up and playing, not the other way around,” he said.

“Obviously you show a club like Sheffield Wednesday respect but we go out there to win games every Saturday, no matter where it is.

“The way the gaffer sets us up, and we’re lucky we have got the players who can play those roles, it has been going well.

“We know at times we’ll have to mix it up, depending on the type of team we are facing but I think we have got a good squad which can rotate, so long may this continue.

“There’s a lot of quality in this squad and we haven’t shied away from any of the top teams or bigger names. The way we play I think has been key for a lot of teams who have got promotions, so I think there is more to come from us. I think you will see that in the next few games.

“Other teams are starting to realise the way we play and some will just sit back and so you need to find out different ways of getting into the box, getting goals. But we’ve watched clips and we’re starting to learn from the gaffer what to do when that happens, so it is about putting that into the game.”

With Xavier Amaechi nearing the end of his injury rehabilitation, Wanderers’ forward ranks will soon be as competitive as they have been all season.

And Bakayoko is confident both the mood and the quality of the dressing room can add up to success this season.

“You really need competition through the season if you want that end goal to be promotion,” he said.

“Injuries will happen, some players won’t have the best game at certain times, so the more options you have the better.

“It takes togetherness, sometimes a bit of luck as well but I definitely think the spirit in this team is enough. Every game we go into we’re expecting to get something and it’s a good feeling to have.”



Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

He does like to get stuck in, one of his tackles against Shrewsbury reminded me of Super Kev sliding in to terrorise full backs and put them in the stand  Very Happy

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