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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Dapo Afolayan: 'I know what a win against Wigan would mean to the fans'

Dapo Afolayan: 'I know what a win against Wigan would mean to the fans'

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Dapo Afolayan: 'I know what a win against Wigan would mean to the fans' 13105004

Dapo Afolayan isn’t kidding when he says a win against Wigan Athletic would mean the world to Wanderers.

While the rest of us were left micro-analysing the performance at Sheffield Wednesday, the in-form Bolton winger cast off the frustration quickly and got into the Halloween mood with a spot of pumpkin picking at a local farm.

Along the way he posed for a selfie with one of the livestock, which made its way on to social media, much to the delight of the Whites fans.

“I went pumpkin picking with my missus, Brandon Comley and his son, and we were feeding goats, reindeers, cows – although I didn’t get near them," he told The Bolton News.

“I think my missus put it on her Instagram and some fans have found it."

On the pitch, the frustration was there for all to see last weekend. And even though there were complaints about Wanderers’ finishing at Hillsborough, Afolayan is confident there won’t be any lasting effects when the players take to the pitch on Saturday afternoon.

“It was a tough day,” he said. “We worked hard to create but it was one of those times where it just wouldn’t fall for us.

“I think we are one of the better sides in the league, the way we play from back to front.

“On Saturday we had chance after chance. They had two shots and scored with one of them.

“Again, we felt it was against the way the game was going, but you have to brush it off and start the week afresh, express ourselves, create, and score goals against Wigan.”

Afolayan has seven goals to his name this season but can recall a time when he first joined Wanderers on loan from West Ham when he regularly felt that the ball was never going to end up in the back of the net.

“There’s a lot of luck needed in football,” he said. “We work really hard in training but sometimes it just needs to fall for you.

“It happened to me last season, I went through a rough patch, and it just didn’t feel like it was going for me in front of goal.

“I don’t think anyone is really going through a rough patch, the team just needs to find different ways to score. We will always create opportunities, you can’t really overreact to it.”

Afolayan has also shrugged off the individual disappointment felt last weekend when he was booked for diving by referee David Rock.

“I was about to take a touch and have a shot, but got tripped up,” he said. “I went down as you do when you get tripped up, but the ref saw it a different way.

“Again, on the pitch there isn’t anything I can do about it. I can’t really express my frustration and shout to the referee because I’ll get another booking and that’s no good.

“As a team we need to move on from it.”

Wanderers have not bettered Wigan in the league since November 2014, when Max Clayton, Craig Davies and Chung-Yong Lee helped Neil Lennon’s side to record a comfortable win at the Macron, as was.

A penalty shootout defeat at the DW earlier this season was a closely-fought affair but Afolayan saw enough of his opponents on the day to go into this game feeling confident.

“The game earlier in the season was a disappointing result in the end but I felt we were the better side over 90 minutes,” he said. “The way the competition is, it goes straight to penalties and then it is the luck of the draw.

“Taking from that game, seeing what they had, I don’t think they have anything we should be afraid of, and I think we can go and give a good account of ourselves. I know how much it means to the fans, it means a lot to us as players, and after a good week in training I think we are ready.”

Passions are bound to be high on the terraces, with a crowd approaching 20,000 expected at the UniBol.

On the pitch, Afolayan says the players cannot afford to be caught up in the occasion.

“I think it’s going to be a good game just because of the emotion and the way the feeling around the ground and the expectation and the build-up to it,” he said.

“For us as players, we have to not completely forget that but also channel it in the right way and make sure we channel it into performing even better and raising our levels because I think if we get too emotional about it then it can go the other way.

“It’s just about for us being in the right mental frame and the right state of mind so I think we’re going to enjoy the game, especially with the way the stadium’s going to be and I know how many fans are going to be there, it’s going to be another great game here, so I think that’s the biggest part for me.”

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