Elias Kachunga believes the pressing style at Bolton Wanderers draws some parallels with that of former club Huddersfield Town but the use of wing-backs is the key difference and factor helping the Whites have goals from across the pitch.
Wanderers attacker Kachunga is one of 13 different players who have found the back of the net for the Whites in all competitions this season. Their goalscoring exploits have seen Ian Evatt's side reach the top six of League One, their target for this campaign.
Former Terriers and Sheffield Wednesday man Kachunga believes the use of wing-backs in this Wanderers team has been a key reason why Wanderers have been carving out the chances they have been. Conor Bradley is the club's joint second top scorer so far this campaign with three goals.
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Kachunga admits the club's pressing strategy is hard work, but the reward is there for all to see when Wanderers score. With the positives of the variety of goalscorers the Whites have demonstrated so far this campaign, it is somethign Kachunga wants to see continue.
He said: “It was maybe a little different for the chances we created for the strikers, now we play with wing-backs and that gives them more space at the back post than I had playing for Huddersfield. The press is really important for us because we can win the ball high up the pitch, not far from the goal, and can get the ball back quick. It is high energy but this is how we want to do it and I think you can see this season that it is not easy to play against us.
“They (wing-backs) are getting a lot of chances and they have scored a few goals already, especially at the back post. When other teams recognise that, maybe we will get more space as attacking players because it creates space in the middle.
“It is very positive to see everyone scoring goals and involved. We have had a few midfielders score and the strikers have started to score as well, so we have to keep going as a team.
“I think they will continue to be spread around the team because when we win the ball high up the pitch there are a lot of options, we have pushed players up there. The strikers, wing-backs and midfielders all have a good chance to score.
“It is hard work but you see we get reward from it. If we can keep playing like that the whole team can score, we are not just relying on strikers. As a striker you always want to score but if we can press like that and create chances for others, then that is fine."
Kachunga has not often been a prolific forward in his career, but he insists helping the team win in other ways is very important, and highlighted the free-kick he won for Gethin Jones' goal vs MK Dons as a prime example of this. Wanderers have eight games coming up in a busy October and Kachunga is hoping Wanderers can kick on over the upcoming month.
He said: “Obviously as a striker you always want to score, but I think it’s a team sport so as a team we are performing really well. If you see the goals and what we score, sometimes it’s a good lay-off from the striker and we do the pressing really good. Even the goal away at MK, it’s a foul on me and then we get the free-kick and score, so I’m happy with that.
“Obviously as a striker you always want to be on the scoresheet, but as long as the team is performing this way and winning games, I think everyone can be happy.
“We have strong team and a big squad as well, so there will be for sure rotation to keep everyone fresh and to go in every game to play on a 100% level as well energy wise. We have one target this season, to stay as long as possible up there to go to the next league, and this is our target so we have to go in every game to win it and we don’t have anything else in our head.”
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