Wells opens account in City win
Nahki Wells says he is “happy to get off the mark” after opening his account on his full debut for Bristol City in a 3-2 home win over Derby County in the Sky Bet Championship today.
The Bermuda forward was one of three changes that City manager Lee Johnson made to his squad and took his chance as he headed home his fourteenth goal of the season from Jay Dasilva’s cross to break the deadlock at Ashton Gate.
“As a striker we thrive off scoring goals,” Wells told the club’s website. “It’s important to get that goalscoring feeling again, having made two substitute appearances but not having been involved too much, so to stay patient and I got myself in the right position.
“Thanks to Jay who put it back to me and I had to score. I don’t score too many headers as well, so it was one I will enjoy a lot.”
City appeared to be cruising to victory after additional tallies from Filip Benkovic and Famara Diédhiou put them 3-0 up before the visiting side hit back through goals from Martyn Waghorn and Chris Martin to set up a barnstorming finish.
Derby threw numbers forward in search of an equaliser.
However, the home side, who were denied a fourth by the woodwork, held on to secure the points and get their promotion bid back on track.
“It was exciting home performance, a big win for us,” added Wells, who was replaced in the 77th minute.
“It’s human nature to feel under it and nervous. We could have killed the game off in the last five or ten minutes, we were a bit unlucky not to get a fourth.
“We dug deep and they did well at times. That was at our own downfall, we let them on to us a bit too much but it’s a learning curve.
“They scored goals at bad times for us but to get the three points and dig deep shows our desire and regardless it’s a big win for us.”
Johnson has high expectations for Wells, who joined the club for £4 million on a 3½-year deal from Burnley before the January transfer window closed.
“He’s been really good to watch in training; he’s been a cold finisher as the ball comes into him,” Johnson told BristolLive.
“We’ve had good finishers here for different reasons, Jonathan Kodjia, Tammy Abraham, Bobby Reid ... But he’s the best I’ve seen in terms of being able to slow down his mind’s eye and finish with a clinical feel.
“I’m excited to work with him and that’s what he’s here to do.
“He’s probably only had that one chance today of real value, and he was in that area as free as a bird, which is not easy to do.”
The result leaves City seventh in the Championship table. one spot outside of the play-offs, level on points with sixth-placed Preston North End.
Wells is the second Bermudian to join City after Shaun Goater, who netted 45 goals in 81 appearances for the club from 1996 to 1998.
“Well done @BristolCity on the big win and @nahkiwells on your first goal and hopefully many to come,” Goater posted on twitter.
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