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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
John McDougall

Elias Kachunga's case for Bolton Wanderers Port Vale selection & discusses Dion Charles absence

Elias Kachunga believes it does not matter to him if Dion Charles is out injured or not as he wants to show how good he can be upfront for Bolton Wanderers as he hopes he has made a case to be involved in the weekend clash against Port Vale.

The Whites take on the Valiants this weekend at Vale Park. Wanderers aim aiming to continue their good start to the season which has given them four points from their first two matches.

This weekend's opponents Vale won promotion to League Two via the play-offs last season. Darrell Clarke's side will be aiming to cement their status in the third tier of English football this season and avoid the drop as a minimum.

READ MORE: 'See what happens' - Ian Evatt provides update on Bolton Wanderers transfer window state of play

Kachunga started the midweek victory over Salford City as Wanderers booked their place in the second round of the Carabao Cup with a 5-1 win. The former Huddersfield Town man scored and notched an assist in the victory.

Wanderers are poised to be without key striker Dion Charles owing to a thigh strain. The forward to poised to be out of action until the home game against Sheffield Wednesday later this month.

Competition for places upfront are intense at Wanderers. As well as Kachunga and Charles, Ian Evatt has Dapo Afolayan, Amadou Bakayoko and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to choose from in the centre forward department.

But Kachunga insists it does not matter if Charles is fit or not for him, as he just wants to show what he can do on the pitch when given the chance. He hopes his showing against the Ammies puts him in Evatt's thoughts for a starting berth.

He said: "It doesn’t matter if he (Charles) is injured or not. I think I just want to show a good performance. I think today was a good start, especially with a goal and an assist, it’s always good as a striker to score goals, so hopefully I can take this into the season and score as many goals.

“League business is obviously a bit different, so we go there just in the mind to get the three points. I think we can go there with a big chest after these two games but we know we have to work hard. It’s not just coming from nowhere so we have to keep working hard to push each other and then I think we can do good.

"For us, it was important to make him think what he can do at the weekend. I think it’s always better for the gaffer to not be sure who he can put on the pitch because there are so many top players. I think this was good to give him something to think about, but we have to keep pushing each other.

“You see we can change the team and different players can be on the pitch and the same performance is coming out so this is really good.

“You can’t play every game, but this is why we have these cup games as well and if you keep winning, there are even more games so everyone can play more. It’s a really long season.

“I think everyone is looking forward to it. We had a good start and I think it was good literally from the start of pre-season all the players have been in, so it was easy to adapt to each other because most of the players have been already here last season so I think you can see this now on the pitch that everyone is working as a unit, as a team and I think this makes us strong.”

Kachunga has had a full pre-season under his belt as he heads into his second campaign at the University of Bolton Stadium. He is feeling sharp and fit following injuries last season and is looking forward to kicking on this campaign.

He said: "Obviously I had a really strong spell before I got injured, showing already what I can do on the pitch and how I can perform. I was then a bit unlucky with the injury but this is in the past now.

“I said it before, I had a good pre-season, I feel good, I feel sharp, I think I showed this today on the pitch and hopefully I can keep performing like this

“It was good to have a pre-season from start to finish, being with the team the whole time and obviously now a year with the team, I think helping each other as well with my experience. I feel good on the pitch.

“Today was a good game but it’s just one game. I’m looking forward already to Saturday and hopefully we can keep performing and take three points.”

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