Nicky Ajose, Swindon Town’s on-loan centre-forward, has admitted preparations for this weekend’s visit to Bramall Lane are being overshadowed by uncertainty surrounding his long-term future at the County Ground.
The 22-year-old, who is expected to spearhead the promotion hopeful’s attack during Saturday’s League One fixture against Sheffield United, revealed parent club Peterborough have yet to indicate whether he can remain in Wiltshire until the end of the campaign.
Having struggled to command a regular place in Darren Ferguson’s starting-eleven after leaving Manchester United 29 months ago, Ajose could be forgiven for harbouring misgivings about the prospect of returning to London Road.
Speaking ahead of Town’s meeting with Nigel Clough’s side, he said: “It’s not the best situation to be in. I don’t really have much contact with them (Peterborough) and I don’t think I’ll be talking to them about much.
“It’s not something I can really control. I’ve just tried to do my best on the pitch when I’ve played and it’s up to other people to sit around the table and talk about.
“Obviously everyone likes to have their future sorted, but I’ll just try to train every day and try to do well to give myself the best possible platform for the future - wherever that may be.”
Ajose, who has scored nine goals in his last 14 outings, was on target during Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy success over Stevenage. Nullifying the threat posed by Town’s prolific attack - only Leyton Orient and Coventry City have hit the target more times this term - is likely to feature prominently on United’s agenda at the Redtooth Academy tomorrow.
Ajose, whose temporary contract is scheduled to expire on New Year’s Day, added: “What we’ve got here is great management staff, a young team who are all trying to develop their careers and I think it’s been good for me. I think it’s brought out some good play from myself. I’ve enjoyed my time here and I’m not finished yet.”
Meanwhile, Mark Cooper, the Town manager, is bracing himself for a nervous transfer window after accepting Australian midfielder Massimo Luongo is likely to be the subject of interest from rivals clubs.
“If Massimo plays to the level he has been then of course that’s going to happen,” Cooper said. “That’s natural and normal.”