Wells hails special bunch of team-mates
At the beginning of the season Bradford City striker Nahki Wells sensed something special about his team’s current crop of players.
As it turns out the Bermuda International’s haunch proved to be correct as the Bantams completed a 4-3 aggregate win against Aston Villa in the two-legged League Cup semi-final earlier this week to set up a final showdown with Swansea at Wembley Stadium on February 24.
Bradford are the first fourth tier side to reach a major English cup final for more than half a century, an accomplishment Wells is proud to be an integral part of having scored in his team’s 3-1 win in the first leg at Valley Parade on January 8.
“It’s great to be a part of this history making team,” the 22-year old striker told
The Royal Gazette. “I had a good feeling at the beginning of the season that it was something good about this squad. We have a group of players that are capable of achieving a lot in football. It’s a young squad and to make it to the final as a fourth division side is amazing.
“I’m looking forward to the future with this squad and happy to be in the situation we’re in. We’re in a strong position in the league and in an even better position in a major domestic cup final so the future looks bright for the club.”
Bradford lost their League Cup semi-final second leg match against Villa 2-1 at Villa Park but did enough to protect their overall lead.
Villa piled on the pressure from the outset and were eventually rewarded when Christian Benteke’s 24th minute goal shaved his team’s deficit to one-goal.
“We knew they were going to come out firing,” Wells said. “We knew they were capable of getting a good start and what they could bring to us, so we had to weather the storm.
“We knew going into the break we had a strong chance of drawing the game or losing by one goal, and fortunately we got that so we are just happy to be in the predicament we are in.”
City striker James Hanson eventually equalised for the visitors in the 55th minute to restore his team’s two-goal advantage. However, Villa’s Andreas Weimmann netted in the 88th minute to set the stage for a nerve-jangling finale just minutes after Wells was substituted.
“I came off with a couple of minutes to go so it was more nerve-wracking than anything because I was in no control of what could happen,” Wells said. “But for them to score a goal was not too much our concern if we were able to weather it and not concede a third and that’s what we did.
“We‘ll take the loss but at the end of the day it wasn’t about going out there and having the best performance or going out there and beating Villa, it was about going out there and getting through to the final and that’s what we did.
“When that final whistle went it was just the best feeling in the world. I thought I had felt a lot of good feelings in football before but that was just unbelievable. It just gives us the motivation to try and win it because it’s hard to be in predicaments like this. You just want to go out and do the best you can.”
Wells is now excited about the prospect of playing in next month’s League Cup final at Wembley.
He was denied the privilege of playing at the iconic stadium two years ago during a playing stint with Carlisle. Wells was overlooked for selection to Carlisle’s team for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.
“I didn’t get the chance to play previously at Wembley with Carlisle but that cup is no comparison to this and so I’m on a high,” he said. “It’s a big opportunity and I’m looking forward to going out there and try my best to bring the cup back to Bradford.”