NICKY Ajose has no problems carrying the burden of Swindon Town’s League One relegation fight on his shoulders.
The 25-year-old striker was brought back to the County Ground on loan from Charlton Athletic in January with the express purpose of getting the goals that would keep Swindon in the division.
Ajose has hit the back of the net three times in seven appearances since returning to the club and he will not shy away under the pressure of trying to fire Town up the table, starting in tonight’s game at home to leaders Sheffield United.
“I am a striker and you get paid to score goals,” he said.
“We have got a lot of other players here who can do that as well – not just the strikers – but I am more than prepared to take that responsibility.
“I would have liked to have scored a few more goals but that’s just what I’m like. I have got nine more games and I’ve a number in my head, and I will see if we can get to that.
“If I can, I am pretty sure those goals will contribute to us staying up.”
Ajose only joined Charlton from Town last summer but was allowed to return to Wiltshire on a temporary basis, despite netting seven times in 28 games for the Addicks.
Although he acknowledges he has not reached the heights of his 24-goal haul for Swindon last term, Ajose has not lost any confidence in his own ability.
“For me, it’s been by worst season for about four years but I’ve still scored 10 goals. The Charlton fans are probably slating me but I think their top goalscorer is at Swindon,” said Ajose.
“I am by no means walking around laughing and joking that I have had a great season but sometimes, you have to be realistic.
“If you are having a bad season but still getting double figures with nine games to go and a lot of determination to get a lot more, it’s not the worst one is it?”
A hamstring injury saw Ajose miss Town’s clash with Chesterfield on March 4 but he was fit enough to return for last weekend's 3-2 defeat at Port Vale, and he felt head coach Luke Williams came in for some harsh treatment for subbing him before the final whistle.
“When Luke got pelted when I came off, I was surprised. I am not Ronaldo – I am allowed to be subbed,” said Ajose.
“I can’t come back from a fatigued-based injury and play 90 minutes the next week.
"It was going to be 60 minutes maximum. I think he pushed and gave me 75 minutes.
“I feel good and ready for Tuesday.”