DAN Nlundulu has made an honest appeal to the Wanderers fans: “Don’t write me off!”

Since agreeing a permanent move to Bolton in the summer from Southampton, things have not run as smoothly as the 24-year-old striker might have liked.

He has had just 184 minutes of league football, his only start coming in the forgettable home defeat against Wigan Athletic, and until Tuesday night’s double against Manchester United’s Under-21s in the EFL Trophy, he had not managed to score.

Eight games into the new campaign, the logic of paying a six-figure fee to keep him after last season’s loan spell was being widely questioned, and those doubts had definitely not escaped the player’s attention.

With Dion Charles and Victor Adebjoyejo establishing a grip on the front two spots, their partnership yielding 11 goals already, frustration for Nlundulu, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Cameron Jerome – the trio of strikers who have effectively made up the ‘second wave’ on the bench – has been difficult to ease.

While Bodvarsson may have enough goodwill in the tank to avoid the worst of the criticism, and Jerome enough experience to not let it affect him, Nlundulu has visibly been gong through the ringer in some of the cameos he has made from the bench.

That may have changed for the better on Saturday when he and Bodvarsson came on with Wanderers down to 10 men and fighting to preserve a point against Peterborough. Widely praised for his work-rate and hold-up play in the last 20 minutes, Nlundulu followed it up with a couple of goals against United’s youngsters in midweek.

Whether he has truly achieved lift-off with the Whites remains to be seen, but the former Saints striker openly admits he and the team will need fans’ backing to find their best form.

“The supporters need to understand they are everything, without them there is no football. That’s what we get a buzz from,” he told The Bolton News.

“We need people to have faith in us, even when things are not going well.

“Getting the crowd going, that gives us motivation. I play for my family and for the club, for the fans, so when they are fully behind you, that goes so far, you’d never understand. I need that.”

Wanderers’ eight-goal rout on Tuesday night provided a route back on to the scoresheet for Bodvarsson too, and gave B Teamers Nelson Khumbeni, Luke Matheson and Sam Inwood a valuable taste of senior football.

A revived Nlundulu now hopes the result can be a springboard to more consistency.

“It is a confidence boost,” he said. “It is for the manager as well because he can see that whoever was on the bench, waiting, they were ready to come on and make a difference. You have to keep that in the back of your mind.

“It is a team sport but I have my individual goals, so all I have to do is keep working hard. Whatever minutes I get, whether I start, whether I sit on the bench and come on, I will give it all for the gaffer and for the club.”

The depth of Ian Evatt’s squad has been a topic of intense debate among the Wanderers supporters since the transfer window closed. While the manager remains happy with the business that he did within the budget offered, others feel he has left himself short-changed for a promotion push.

Even in the midst of a particularly nasty run of injuries, Nlundulu believes there is enough quality among the fit players heading to Port Vale to get a win on Saturday.

“The depth of the team, for me, is the best in the league.

“Whoever comes on, whoever starts at Port Vale, I don’t think our quality changes. Even though we have some important players injured we haven’t got to lose faith because people are working hard to step on and do well. We will recover and go again.

“Among the strikers it is a healthy competition. At the end of the day I have my own individual goals but we are a team, so if they are doing well, I am doing well. If we get promoted, we all do it together.

“Whether they get 25, 20, 15, and I’m there with 10, whatever, as long as I am there and making a contribution, I am fine.”