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David Wheater feels like an adopted Boltonian

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Back in the team, over his injury nightmare and wearing the captain's armband – David Wheater admits life could not be much better for him at present at Wanderers.

The big defender recently celebrated four years at the Macron Stadium, though he couldn't mark his 28th birthday last Saturday with a victory against Watford.

Nevertheless, Wheater and his young family remain content with life in the North West and he even admits to feeling like an adopted Boltonian after swapping Teesside for Lancashire in January 2011.

It is that love for the area and the club that have led the north easterner to state he would not hesitate to sign on again with the Whites if a new contract beyond his current deal, that runs until 2017, was put on the table.

Wheater told the club: "I have definitely put down roots here with my wife and daughter.

"It's a beautiful place with all the countryside nearby and obviously you are only 10 minutes away from Manchester.

"It's a great place to live.

"I consider myself a bit of an adopted Boltonian now – I've even been told that I've started talking like one a bit.

"I'm contracted until the end of next season but for me, I don't see any reason why I'd want to move anywhere else.

"Obviously, there is some good competition in the team, especially in the defence where I'm up against some really good players.

"But it spurs you on to play better and hopefully I can stay injury free and work my way up to earning a new contract."

Injuries have been the only downside for Wheater during his four-year stay.

Having missed 10 months with a cruciate knee ligament injury picked up at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, the curse struck again this season with a back problem and then a recent dead leg sidelining him again briefly.

He admits it has been frustrating but hopes those trip to the treatment room are now behind him.

Wheater added: "It's been a really tough couple of months, especially because they have been really rubbish injuries that I've been picking up – just absolutely freak ones that aren't even the result of a bad tackle or anything like that.

"The one at the start of the season was really frustrating – I was playing in the game against Leeds and I literally slipped at the side of the pitch and ended up slipping a disc in my back.

"I even ended up playing on for a bit because I wasn't aware of how bad the injury was but in the end I had to concede defeat and come off.

"It's probably the most painful injury I've ever had during my career to date to be honest – I literally couldn't move for two or three days because my spine was pushing on my nerve. It was a pretty awful time for me.

"The one which forced me off against Derby was something that I'd picked up against Liverpool and it was a bit of a dead leg.

"I tried to shake it off in the game but it was just a bit too much for me.

"That said, I'm the kind of player who will always play through the pain threshold because I just want to be out on the pitch every week.

"You don't want to be known as the player who comes back from injury, plays a couple of games and is then right back to where you started."

Wheater also has another target in mind ahead of Saturday's trip to Nottingham Forest – to catch up to defensive colleague Matt Mills in the goalscoring stakes.

His only goal so far this season came in the reverse fixture when the two sides played out a 2-2 draw at the Macron Stadium a week into the current campaign, though he went close on his birthday against Watford at the weekend.

The Forest goal took his total to five in Wanderers colours – the same amount Mills has at the top of the scoring charts this campaign.

Wheater said: "I think Matt has got as many this season as I have in my whole Bolton career.

"I definitely need to catch up.

"It's about time I found the net again.

"They just don't seem to have fallen for me so far this season.

"But I'm more than capable of getting myself in and around the box.

"I've always seem to have been quite good with set pieces, being a defender, so hopefully I can get my name on the scoresheet again sooner rather than later."


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