VICTOR Adeboyejo has already found one thing in common with the Bolton Wanderers fans.

His first footballing love – as was the case for generations of Nigerians – was the great Jay Jay Okocha – and it is safe to assume there are thousands of Boltonians who felt exactly the same way.

Adeboyejo was only four-and-a-half when Okocha made his stunning switch from Paris St Germain to play under Sam Allardyce in the Premier League in 2002 and he concedes if he can make a fraction of the impact he did on Lancashire, it will have been a job well done.

“He’s the first love for any Nigerian player,” said the striker, after scoring his first Bolton goal against Port Vale. “Lukaku, Drogba, they are big players as well, and all I can do is try and add bits of their game to my own but it is not unique to me, I just try and bring what I can to the team.

“I don’t know about following in Jay Jay’s footsteps because those are some very big shoes to fill!

“But who he is as a character and a person, I can try and follow that and do my best. When I look back on my time here, I want to be able to say I did my best. He could certainly say that.”

The Bolton News:

Adeboyejo watched his team-mates secure their place at Wembley last week by beating Accrington and will be there to cheer them on in the final on April 2.

He has been to the stadium before as a supporter – watching Nigeria face England in 2018 – but before that, he is focussed completely on putting more points on the board for Wanderers in League One.

Bolton moved to within six points of the automatic spots once again at the weekend and with their rivals boasting games in hand, it may not be until the weekend of the final that the promotion race really crystalises.

“You can always get carried looking at the numbers and working things out but, for us, it can only be about the next game,” he told The Bolton News.

“We didn’t have our best performance (against Port Vale) but we won. It is all about keeping your mind on the task, and that is just churning out the wins.

“At the end of the season we will see where that takes us.”

Wanderers showed signs of fatigue on Saturday against Port Vale, a game played just three days after the high emotions of the Papa Johns Trophy semi-final. A long trip to the South Coast represent another big challenge to Ian Evatt’s squad, who have been told they will all have a role to play at Pompey, and the following weekend’s game at Morecambe.

“That’s the joy and maybe the downside of the game,” Adeboyejo said. “There’s always another game where you have to go again.

“Physically we have to take care of ourselves at the moment and that has been the message from the gaffer. We need everyone fresh and ready to go, so everyone has been wrapping themselves up before games and we’ll be making sure we are ready for Tuesday.

“Of course, you tire, we’re human. But one thing I always say to myself is ‘if I’m tired, then he’s tired too’ and I just need to mentally know that I can go again, and again, trying to win that battle.

“Nobody will be going into he game fresh. I don’t think Portsmouth will either because they have played too, so we have to look at it as an even playing field and just make sure we win that mental battle to get three points.”

After opening his account at Wanderers, Adebjoyejo is now on 14 goals for the season, by far the best return of his professional career.

After a January move from Burton, the 25-year-old feels he will score more goals in a Bolton team that has creates plenty of opportunities. “I wouldn’t say getting to 20 is my first focus – it’s just two a month, two a month, then that would all add up to 20 but this is the first time in my career where I have been playing every week, enjoying myself, and that was my main aim this season.,” he said.

“We are creating chances and it is about being there or thereabouts to put the ball in the net. Once that starts, it rolls on. It will take some time, as anything does, but I am confident if we keep creating chances me and the whole team will keep scoring goals.”