(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Swindon Town striker Nicky Ajose has defended Luke Williams’ decision to substitute him during the 3-2 defeat to Port Vale on Saturday.
Ajose had been struggling for fitness in recent weeks, but provided the Robins with a boost at the weekend by starting against the Valiants, and scoring his third goal in seven games since arriving back on loan at the club from Charlton.
Nevertheless, after 75 minutes, and with Swindon trailing 2-1, manager Williams opted to take off his star striker as his side desperately searched for a way to get themselves back in the game and claim a priceless point or three.
In the end, it wasn’t enough, and Vale ran out 3-2 winners, but after some fans claimed Ajose’s substitution was a big reason for the defeat, the Charlton loanee defended Williams and said: “I’m not (Cristiano) Ronaldo, I’m allowed to be subbed.
“Luke getting pelters when I got taken off surprised me a bit.
“A player can’t come back from a fatigue-based injury and play 90 minutes the next week. It was meant to be 60 so I think Luke pushed me a bit playing me for 75.”
Ajose enjoyed an excellent season at the County Ground last year, and his form earned him a big-money move to Charlton where he hoped to be helping the Addicks push for an instant return to the Championship.
However, his move to The Valley hasn’t worked out so far, and he is back in Wiltshire, fighting for survival, not promotion.
After back to back defeats, Swindon are four points adrift of safety and find themselves perilously close to League Two, but Ajose believes the squad has enough to stay up, saying: “We’ve got enough quality to beat anyone. We just need to find the consistency.
“We probably need to win half our games to stay up. It’s still in our hands, we’ve just got to put some wins on the board.”