Mendes Gomes Relishing Derby Date

Mendes Gomes stock

Carlos Mendes Gomes is relishing another big date but aiming for a different outcome as Wanderers prepare to take on Derby County.

The Toughsheet Community Stadium will host another bumper crowd as Ian Evatt’s men face the Rams on Saturday.

A fortnight ago, the Whites suffered their only League One defeat of the season when they were upset by neighbours Wigan in front of close to 25,000 fans.

But a third home league win of the campaign against Derby would further soften that blow and potentially take Wanderers back to the top of the table going into the international break.

Mendes Gomes substitute

“As a player you want to play big games, good games. I think it’s going to be the same on Saturday,” said Mendes Gomes, who joined the Whites from Championship side Luton Town earlier this summer.

“Derby is a big club and we are also a big club, so we are all going to be looking forward to the game. They are coming to our home, so we are looking to grab the three points.

"They will probably have the same expectations as us, but you look after yourself and that’s what we’re going to do.

“We know what happened against Wigan. We weren’t ourselves on the day. But that’s in the past. We’re not looking at that anymore. There’s nothing we can do about that.

“But we can change what’s ahead and right now we’ve got Derby in front of our fans so hopefully we can put up a performance. We want to win every game and Derby is no different.”

Mendes Gomes autographs

Mendes Gomes is yet to start a league game for the Whites but has featured off the bench in all five fixtures and started twice in the Carabao Cup as he continues to bed into the squad.

And with his ability to operate in a number of forward positions in Evatt’s line-up, the former Morecambe man is ready to make a mark.

“We all have the same goal. Whoever is on the pitch, we are all working hard for the same cause,” he added.

“The manager knows what positions I can play. For me, it’s about helping the team, whether it’s about playing as an ‘eight’, a ‘10’ or a ‘nine’, I will always do my job for the team.

“I can’t wait to actually score in front of that big crowd and get everyone cheering.”

Mendes Gomes Football Festival

Mendes Gomes has also been doing his bit off the pitch in the build-up to the Derby game, supporting Bolton Wanderers in the Community’s Football Festival staged in collaboration with the EFL and Utilita.

Hundreds of youngsters attended the free event at Bolton Arena, where energy company Utilita also highlighted their Football Rebooted project designed to rehome football boots to reduce waste and give someone else the chance to get them back on the pitch.

“I think it is a fantastic project,” said Senegal-born Mendes Gomes, who attended the event along with Wanderers’ team-mate Paris Maghoma.

“With the background I come from, it wasn’t always easy to have a pair of boots, with my family being so big and having the importance of other things instead of buying football boots.

“It is a good project for the kids that can’t really afford a pair of boots or the families who might not have the financial qualities to do that for their kids.

“I remember myself when I was a kid, meeting some first-team players. It meant a lot and is one of the memories that sticks with you forever.”

For more information on Utilita’s Football Rebooted mission, please click HERE and to watch Carlos Mendes Gomes pre-match interview on Wanderers TV, click HERE

Read Time: 3 mins