DAPO Afolayan sent a reminder to his manager with a match-winning goal against Peterborough United – but insists he is not sweating his lack of recent game time at Wanderers.

Last season’s player of the year and top scorer, Afolayan has not started a League One game in a month.

But he gave Ian Evatt a nudge by coming on as a second-half sub to hit a deflected effort against Posh, sealing a third straight victory for the Whites.

Afolayan says he has not sought answers from Evatt on his lack of starts.

“I haven’t really had a conversation about it with the manager – if I am picked I am picked. If not then I’ll do my part for the team, work hard, do extras,” he said.

“I have been through a lot in my career already. I was paying to play football five years ago and now I am stood here talking to you guys, so it won’t faze me. Nothing will beat me.

“I will keep my head down and try and take my opportunities.”

With competition high in the Bolton squad, Afolayan knows he is not alone.

He joined Kieran Sadlier, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Amadou Bakayoko, Will Aimson, Aaron Morley and Kieran Lee on the bench on Saturday, and accepts that staying positive is the main challenge when out of the reckoning.

“If the team is doing well, it helps everyone,” he said. “There is more focus on us as a squad, people want to come and watch, we get more support. When I do play I give it my all and try to impress.

“It can get tough for lads when you don’t play and we have got a big squad, good players who have played at decent levels. It would be easy for bitterness to creep in.

“But we are getting opportunities and you just have to take them when they come. For me, I will keep my head down and see where it takes me.”

There was plenty to entertain the substitutes on Saturday, not least the heavyweight tussle between Ricardo Santos and Jonson Clarke-Harris.

“When they both fell over and then got up, they looked like they had done 12 rounds!” Afolayan smiled. “It was a bit mental to watch. I haven’t seen anyone bump Rico but Clarke-Harris did. We were looking at each other on the bench and thinking ‘he’s a big lad’ and when I came on, I stayed away from him.”

Peterborough lost their sixth consecutive game in all competitions, their worst run since 2012 in the Championship. Afolayan predicts that Posh will be among the promotion contenders in the long run.

“They are a good team. I have said before, I think they will do well in this division and they know how to do well in League One. I know they are on a bit of a slump at the moment but any time you play a team you know will be up there and take points off them, it should put us in good stead for the end of the season.”