BENIK Afobe’s whirlwind week from hospital waiting room to the starting line-up might have ended in disappointment, but the young striker is convinced Wanderers’ season is not on the critical list just yet.
After pulling out of the squad to face Crystal Palace on Saturday just an hour before kick-off, suffering with a chronic pain in his groin, the on-loan Gunner had to listen to his team-mates slip to a 1-0 defeat through a pair of headphones.
But after making a speedy recovery he was plunged straight into Tuesday night’s high-pressure match with Leeds United – his first league start since arriving from the Emirates in the summer.
Afobe admits he should have played a part in a comfortable victory but, while many are dismissing the Whites’ chances of making good on their pre-season billing as promotion favourites, he reckons it is too early to write them off completely.
“We’re still confident we can do it,” he said. “It’s disappointing that we’ve dropped five points at home, especially after starting so well against Leeds.
“We’re not thinking about nicking draws, we want to win games convincingly and even though it hasn’t happened so far, I think it can.
“I remember Reading last season not doing too well until January, and they ended up winning the league. There is still a long way to go before anything is decided.”
Afobe is confident the groin injury that caused his hasty withdrawal last weekend will not hamper his chances of facing Millwall this weekend.
“It wasn’t a major problem, thankfully,” he said. “I had a little problem with my groin and we thought it was best to get to hospital just to check it out and make sure it wasn’t anything serious.
“Unfortunately I ended up missing the game but obviously my health was more important. It feels fine now, so hopefully it won’t happen again.
“I ended up sat in the hospital waiting room and listening to the radio. It was disappointing to hear the result.”
Afobe saw one golden chance go begging in the first half against Leeds, at a time when Wanderers seemed to finally have clicked into gear at home.
And he accepts Wanderers have got to start being more ruthless if they are going to ease the pressure mounting on their manager.
“If we had gone 2-0 up I think we would have been comfortable,” he said.
“I thought my chance had gone in, but that’s how it goes as a striker, you just have to keep going.
“We haven’t had much luck, to be fair. That’s four penalties in four games and you could have an argument against all of them.
“All we can do is just hold on and hope our luck will change. There is still a long way to go.”