DAPO Afolyan doesn’t mind being front and centre in Wanderers’ play-off chase.

Regarded largely as a left-sided attacker through most of his stay in Bolton to date, the former West Ham man has found himself adapting to a new role as a supporting striker over the last few weeks.

A change in formation from 4-3-3 to 3-4-1-2 left the wing positions redundant but, thankfully, the goals have continued to flow for a player who has progressed significantly in the last 12 months.

Since January 15, Afolayan has played 486 minutes of football and scored four times.

Wanderers have, on occasion, looked to him as a sole scoring source this season but after Ian Evatt strengthened his squad with the likes of Kieran Sadlier, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Dion Charles last month, the weight is no longer squarely on Afolayan’s young shoulders.

“You have to try and be a good footballer and learn different positions and systems,” he said of the chance to play behind Charles and Bodvarsson in Saturday’s win against Wimbledon.

“Earlier on I was playing on the left, my favourite position, but the 10 role is not a bad one for me because I can affect teams centrally and go either way.

“It gives them something different to think about.”

Afolayan was one of the January additions which made such a profound difference to last season’s squad at Wanderers, propelling them from the depths of League Two to secure automatic promotion on the last day at Crawley.

Many of the faces have changed this season, and Saturday’s starting line-up contained only four players who were involved in Evatt’s squad 12 months ago.

Behind the scenes, however, Afolayan says some of last year’s stalwarts are still driving standards on the training ground in an effort to help the Whites make another late dash for success.

“A big part of last year was the experience we had with the likes of Alex Baptiste and Matt Gilks, and they are still here driving things the way they did last year,” Afolayan added. “And obviously there is myself, Rico, MJ, Geth, who were involved at the time.

“We speak about last season and how things panned out but we quietly want to go about our business until April and then see where we are. That is where the decision will be made.”

Even though Afolayan, Evatt and Co have downplayed promotion talk, the improvement since seven new players were signed last month is undeniable.

“We always felt that earlier in the season we had performances that deserved more and football has a funny way of levelling things out so I think that is what we are seeing now. We are getting more luck now that we did,” Afolayan reflected.

“We are not expecting things, we are working for them. And that is a big factor in this run.

“We just focus on winning games. Winning matches brings confidence and you can see it in every player.

“Marlon, Dion have come in and lifted us, Morley, Demps, you can go through all of them. Jonno, Rico and Geth have been excellent since we switched shape and I think everyone has given themselves a kick up the arse really because we knew we were better than the position we were in.

“We had to see our true selves, really.”

Tonight, Wanderers take on a side that has underachieved so far this season.

Lincoln City were regarded as one of the dark horses for promotion back in August but have been largely inconsistent, now sitting 17th in the table after losing 1-0 at home to lowly Doncaster Rovers on February 15.

Michael Appleton’s side had their weekend game at Fleetwood postponed because of the weather and Afolayan expects a close game, mirroring the reverse fixture at Sincil Bank.

“Lincoln have been at this level for a while and have done well,” he said.

“Things can happen and we know that from what we have seen this year.

“They have a good manager, good players, and a good staff but I think if we apply ourselves we shouldn’t have problems.”