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Nahki Wells determined to turn his fortunes around at Bristol City

Nahki Wells (Photograph via Instagram/BristolFC)

Nahki Wells is determined to get his career back on track at Bristol City.

The Bermuda striker has not enjoyed the best of times at the Sky Bet Championship side this season, having scored two goals in 24 appearances while being unable to cement a regular place in Nigel Pearson’s starting line-up due to inconsistent form.

However, the 31-year-old is prepared to do whatever is necessary to turn his flagging fortunes around and hopes to make the most of the opportunities that come his way.

“My main aim is to get my career back on track by playing; doing well and scoring goals and grabbing the headlines for all the right reasons,” Wells told The Royal Gazette. “And that comes on the back of playing and doing well, which is very difficult to do from the sidelines.”

Wells had big plans after rejoining City during the preseason after impressing on international duty in the Concacaf Gold Cup qualifiers. However, things have so far failed to live up to his expectations.

“I came back to preseason in optimum shape fully prepared on the back of two decent performances for my country in the Gold Cup,” he added. “I came back in a good place but having represented my country and come back a bit late, kind of left me behind the eight ball.

“The team kind of shaped itself. A team which I saw myself being a real important figure turned out to be completely the opposite, and I think not being here for the start of preseason had a part to play in it.”

The good run of form of fellow strikers Chris Martin and Antoine Semenyo has also made Wells’s bid for more minutes all the more difficult.

“Others who have come in this season have done really well,” he said. “The people who have been selected, who have been in front of me this season, have done relatively well for the most part and have earned the gaffer’s trust and that’s exactly why they have been picked week in week out.

“It’s not like they’ve had any injuries or been unavailable for loads, so I’ve kind of had to play my bit part and when I’ve had my opportunities I just did all right. I didn’t exactly turn out really top performances.

“I’m still doing everything right; conducting myself right, training well and playing as well as I can. I’m trying to make an impact when I come on, but that little bit of luck you need at certain moments just hasn’t really fallen for me this season, and it’s part and parcel of football.”

Wells had contemplated moving away from City during the January transfer window, with Championship rivals Cardiff City making two failed attempts to secure his services on loan until the end of the season.

“Obviously it’s no hiding the fact there was transfer interests,” he said. “Not only this window but the window before, which I contemplated going. Definitely this January as I wasn’t too focused about the window in September because I was still focused on implementing myself and doing what I had to do in the side and nothing came of it.

“The club turned down a bid for me and I was more than happy to stay so I got my head wrapped around that. Then obviously since then I haven’t played as much football as I would like, so I told my agent if there’s an opportunity for me to play football that suits myself and my career going forward then I’m all for it.

“In the end Cardiff were a strong candidate but the club decided for me not to go there; one because it’s a lot to do with the rivalry and the competitive nature of the two clubs, and two finances and stuff like that. For every player you lose you need to replace and it just ended up being a club’s decision.

“It wasn’t my decision it was a club decision not to let me go because they still felt I had a big influence and a big part to play, even though from my perspective I would like to be playing more and not just sitting here picking up a wage playing a bit part. Trying to play week in week out at this stage of my career, that’s what is really important for me.”

Wells says he has no ill feelings towards the club’s decision.

“It didn’t transpire and I respect the club’s wishes for that and they promised me that there will be more opportunities going forward for me to play,” he added.

“Now it’s just down to me to do as well as I can and hopefully take those opportunities in which I can start games more regularly.

“I’m an experienced player here so I have to be a leader and be a true professional, which I feel is a very important factor that’s got me to where I am today in football.

“I will just keep doing as well as I can on and off the pitch; train hard, do extras and be willing to go the extra mile to stay fit as possible.

“I played an Under-23 game the other day because I felt that would benefit my fitness really well and took positives from that. I scored a couple of goals and went on to score against Blackpool (in the Championship) the following game, so it gave me a platform to build from.”

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Published February 17, 2022 at 7:57 am (Updated February 17, 2022 at 7:57 am)

Nahki Wells determined to turn his fortunes around at Bristol City

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