Macauley Bonne admits he is “buzzing” at his goal haul for Charlton Athletic in his first season in the Championship.
The 24-year-old was a £200,000 signing from Leyton Orient in June 2019.
And at the time the Addicks manager Lee Bowyer made it clear that Bonne was a long-term project who needed development.
But the forward scored his 11th goal of the campaign in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Wigan, producing a late leveller at The Valley.
“I’m buzzing,” Bonne said in an interview on the club’s website. “When I first signed here I didn’t think I’d play as much as I did – just because of the level I was coming from. Once I got thrown in due to injuries I took my chance.
“I think today [Saturday] might be my 30th appearance in the Championship – for me that’s a massive achievement from where I’ve come from.
“I’m humble. I’m working my socks off to get to the very top with Charlton.
“It [his leveller against Wigan] could be massive for us. We just kept pushing on. It’s about our time we got a late goal and it could be a massive one for us regarding our safety in the Championship.”
Bonne has been criticised by Bowyer in recent weeks for missing chances against Reading and Birmingham.
And he also failed to convert a first-half chance against Wigan after a superb crossfield pass by Naby Sarr put him in on goal.
“There’s been recent weeks where I’ve had so many chances like that,” he said. “I know I need to be finishing them but this could be a very important goal when we see the results over the next three days.
“I’ll criticise myself – I’ve got to be scoring them. But as long as I keep getting in those areas [is they key thing]. Like at the end – if I wasn’t there I wouldn’t be scoring.
“I’m happy with it but I know I’ve got to score more goals.
“It’s my job to score goals and keep us in the league.”
Bonne has netted three times in his last four matches.
Next comes judgement day as Charlton head to champions Leeds on Wednesday.
Barnsley and Luton can both still catch Charlton. If Wigan do get a 12-point deduction for going into administration it would drop them into 22nd spot – although they could climb out with victory at home to Fulham.
Charlton won the reverse fixture with Leeds in September – Bonne claiming he got the final touch to open his account for the South Londoners.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side were confirmed as champions when West Brom lost to Huddersfield on Friday night.
“You hope they’ve been partying and celebrating,” said Bonne. “It’s another three points to get, regardless of what team they put out.
“We’ll go and try and win the game.”
PICTURES BY PAUL EDWARDS
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