Updated: Monday, 6th April 2020 @ 1:59pm

'Hopefully I've repaid manager': Josh Vela desperate to force way into Bolton squad and justify Freedman's faith

'Hopefully I've repaid manager': Josh Vela desperate to force way into Bolton squad and justify Freedman's faith

By John McDougall

Josh Vela has vowed to force his way into Bolton Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman’s plans after finally overcoming his injury demons.

The 19-year-old returned from a knee injury in the Trotters’ 2-0 FA Cup win over Sunderland after a five-month absence for his second start of the season.

Now the young Salford-born midfielder has returned to the first-team fold, he is hoping to give his manager a selection dilemma over the coming weeks.

“I am really happy to be back playing in the team,” Vela told Bolton’s official website. “Hopefully I have repaid the manager’s faith he had in me.

“It has been a difficult few months, but I have been able to get my leg strength up and get back into training.

“Hopefully I can now keep my head down, continue to work hard on the training ground and work my way into the league side.”

The Bolton academy graduate – who signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the club last February – managed 74 minutes on his return, being replaced by Stuart Holden.

Now back fit and firing, Vela wants to play a greater role at the Reebok Stadium, starting with Saturday’s Championship clash against Crystal Palace.

“It is going to be a hard game at Selhurst Park,” he said. “Hopefully I can get a start against Crystal Palace.

“It may be a bit too soon for me to play two games in a week, but hopefully I can be involved on Saturday.

“It is going to be a hard game but we managed to beat Sunderland and it should give us confidence after beating a Premier League team.”

Picture courtesy of bwfcofficial, with thanks

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