Wells itching for first QPR goal
Nahki Wells insists his confidence has not diminished during his goal drought and believes it is only a matter of time before he ends his barren spell.
Wells has earned plenty of praise for his effervescent displays since joining Queens Park Rangers on loan from Burnley, although he has not scored in eight matches for the Sky Bet Championship side.
The striker’s goalless run stretches back to April 5, 2017, when he notched for Huddersfield Town against Norwich City, having failed to score in his ten substitute appearances in the Premier League for Burnley last season.
Wells’s self-belief is undimmed, however, and he is positive the floodgates will open once he rediscovers his scoring touch.
“It’s only a matter of time before I get my season up and running goal-wise, because performance-wise I feel as though I’m doing everything I need to do,” Wells told The Loftcast, the club’s podcast.
“Having not scored in a while, I miss the urge. I can’t really describe what a goal can do for a striker who is going through a spell like I have.
“I have been double-figure games without a goal before in my career, so I know what that’s like and I know what it’s like to come out of it.
“It’s a bit weird because I feel like I’m doing everything right. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and not put much too much emphasis [on goals].
“Hopefully when that first goal goes in, I’ll get the itch and they will continue to fly in.”
There is far more to Wells’s armoury than just scoring goals these days, with the Bermuda striker believing his overall game greatly improved while training with top-flight players at Burnley last season.
The 28-year-old has embraced his role as the first line of defence in manager Steve McClaren’s system and has turned creator with several assists.
“I know that if I’m not contributing with goals I need to contribute in every other way,” said Wells, who made himself unavailable for Bermuda’s 12-0 home win over Sint Maarten last Friday.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of goals; I’m doing everything I possibly can to help the team win.
“Once it all comes together and I start scoring goals, I think you’re going to see the best me.
“I don’t think I’ll lose that confidence [in front of goal] — that’s what got me to where I am today.”
Wells admits he felt like an “outsider” at Burnley as the club’s fourth-choice striker behind Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood and Sam Vokes. He fell further down the pecking order after the arrival of Matej Vydra from Derby County for £11 million in the summer.
“I almost felt unimportant,” Wells said. “It’s credit to the players in front of me: Ashley Barnes, Sam Vokes and Chris Wood — they all did fantastically well.
“It was a setback not getting the minutes and opportunities I would have liked; it was a real dampener on my career.
“Psychologically, it took a toll on me, but I knew I had to come back and give it everything this season at Burnley and right that wrong.
“Unfortunately, I still wasn’t given an opportunity, and, if you want to look at it from a different angle, I wasn’t able to take the very small opportunities that were given to me.
“The club thought it was best for me to go out [on loan] and get back playing to get back to my best. This opportunity arose and I felt [QPR] was the perfect place for me to do so. I definitely feel that it was the right decision.”
QPR were without a win in four games, including a 7-1 defeat away to West Bromwich Albion, when Wells arrived at Loftus Road. He has helped the club climb to eighteenth in the table with four wins in eight games, and hopes to score at least ten goals this term.
“I’m playing regular football, so, at a minimum, I’m looking at double figures in terms of goals,” he said.
“We have to believe that we can get in the play-offs and achieve promotion. You have to believe that it’s possible.
“I’ve settled in quite well. It’s still been a short period of time, but it feels like I’ve been here longer.
“Maybe that’s because there have been so many games in such short succession.
“It’s a good group and a lot of that goes down to the manager. He told me before I joined that I would enjoy the group and settle quickly. It was an easy transition.”
Wells has been “first class” says Andy Sinton, page 23
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