Dapo Afolayan is biting his tongue before proclaiming Wanderers promotion candidates in League One.

Despite not playing at the weekend, Ian Evatt’s side remain sixth in the table with a game in hand on Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday above them.

The solid start has raised hopes that the Whites can improve on last season’s ninth-placed finish and make a serious challenge for the play-offs.

Afolayan reckons it will be easier to judge after a busy October which sees eight games in all competitions, a schedule likely to test the strongest of squads.

“We are capable of anything,” he said. “But football is a funny game and you have to be careful of over-wishing it.

“For us, it’s the cliché about taking each day and each week as it comes. Things change in a heartbeat so I tend to look at what is coming up in the month and then review it at the end to see where you are and how you take on that next month.

“We have a squad which can do it but we’ll do nothing talking about it now.

“Eight games in a month is a lot and that is where the depth of squad comes into it.

“Hopefully the lads who have gone away on international duty come back in one piece and then attack October make sure we take care of our business.

“There are a lot of opportunities to get a run going, and as we have seen you can really go places with two or three wins in a row.”

Afolayan has found himself out of the reckoning over the last couple of weeks, starting just one of the last six league games.

Ian Evatt’s squad rotation system has given players in the squad a different perspective to find this season but the former West Ham man believes it is part of being a modern footballer.

“We are professional footballers and we have to be professional,” he said. “When it is your time you have to try and take your chance.

“Yes, there is disappointment when you are not in the team. Football is a short career and sometimes when you are on the bench you can feel like it is wasted time, it can be hard. But I know if you keep working hard, things normally work out for you.

“Five or six years ago I was paying to play football, so this is a blessing.

“At West Ham I waited for an opportunity for a long time and could only work as hard as I could before I got my chance.

“The key is to try and take the opportunities when they do arise and keep working hard.”

One player who has forced his way into Evatt’s side on a regular basis is George Thomason.

The midfielder had been used sparingly at the start of the season but has now – in the manager’s words – made himself “impossible” to drop.

Afolayan was confident from early on that the former Blackpool trainee would become a first team regular at Bolton.

“Thommo has done well,” he said. “I always thought he was a really good player.

“He has days where he is pivotal and when we got promoted he played a lot of games and I thought he did really well.

“Last season he didn’t play as much because it was a step up but I always thought he was capable and he is showing everyone now what I already knew, he is a talent.”