Josh Vela relishing attacking role

The midfielder opened the scoring in Wanderers' victory over Millwall

Josh Vela revealed how much he is relishing his new advanced midfield position after Wanderers’ victory over Millwall on Saturday.

The midfielder opened the scoring with a sensational first half volley for his fourth goal of the season against the Lions as the Whites ran out 2-0 winners, leaving him second behind Zach Clough in the Bolton scoring charts so far during the campaign.

And initially cemented his place in the Trotters starting XI as a right-back two seasons ago, Vela shared with how much he is enjoying life in his new role after the final whistle.

“I actually used to play for the Under-18s in the number 10 role,” he said. “I do think if I’m getting in the right positions I can score goals. 

“I was told to shoot more and I just saw the ball bouncing and said to myself, I really fancy a go here and thankfully it went in.

“I like it further forward as it gives me a licence to run in behind and be the leading guy who presses to force them to make mistakes.

“Jay is the one who keeps it together in the midfield and I have the licence to get forward now. He is the main cog, he’s the talker, he’s passing it around.

“The manager is massive on shape. He likes us to get back in our position quick and pick up our men. He’s just got us all working very hard for each other and the team.”

Saturday’s victory over the Lions moved Wanderers up to third in the Sky Bet League One table, and Vela feels the team has to keep working hard to remain near the top.

“It was important to get the first goal and once we got that we showed our quality,” he said.  

“In the second half we had more goals in us and we kept a clean sheet so it was perfect for us.

“We have a big game again now on Tuesday and we have to back up today’s performance. We need another win to keep heading in the right direction.” 

The Whites academy graduate is one of the few players who has been with the club through the recent transitional period and, after experiencing life at the top, is itching to bounce back this year.

Vela concluded: “I’m enjoying my football, it has been brilliant so far this season. I think that’s our tenth win already so I’m hoping we can keep on going.

“I’ve represented this club in the Premier League, but we’ve had a few bad years now and it is important that we bounce back straight away. 

“It looks like we’re moving on again and hopefully we can be back in the Sky Bet Championship next year.”

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