DANNY Shittu always knew he could make it as a Premiership footballer – just ask his friends.

The Wanderers defender used to watch Match of the Day, and would tell anyone who would listen that one day he would be on it.

His mates from the tough area of London’s East End where he grew up after moving from Nigerian as a seven-year-old would continually tell him to stop dreaming.

But Shittu’s unremitting faith in his own ability has been rewarded with a £2million move from Watford – and a chance to prove himself in the top flight.

“I used to watch Match of the Day and always thought I was good enough to play in the Premier League,” said the 28-year-old, one of eight Bolton players away on international duty this week.

“I was about 15 and I used to watch it with my friends and think ‘I’m better than these players’.

“My friends used to say ‘what are you on about, you’re not going to make it’. It’s funny because they are the same friends who are knocking on my door asking for tickets now.

“I’ve always wanted to be in the Premiership and have worked hard to get here. Now I’m here, I’m delighted.”

Shittu, who was closed to signing for Scottish giants Rangers over the summer, began his career at Charlton Athletic, before spells at Blackpool, Queens Park Rangers and Watford, where he briefly tasted life in the Premier League in the 2006/07.

The muscular centre back, selected in the PFA Championship team of the year last season, has been handed an early chance to impress following Gary Cahill’s sending off, and subsequent three-match ban.

But he is more than happy to fight for his place at the Reebok – and promised fans they haven’t seen the best of him yet.

“I know you can’t walk straight into the team,” he added. “Every player here is a good player, so you need to push yourself even more.

“Some players don’t like that, but I love the challenge and I’m very excited about being here.

“I know I could’ve stayed in the Championship and played week in, week, but I’m happy to work hard for my place and there’s a lot more to come from me.”