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Nahki Wells ‘happy’ to be reaping benefits of hard work

Nahki Wells notched his sixth goal of the season in Bristol City’s 2-1 defeat against former club Queen’s Park Rangers at the weekened (File photo courtesy of Bristol City)

Nahki Wells says he is happy to be back at his best and making a significant impact at Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City this season.

After spending a long and frustrating period on the bench throughout the previous capmpaign, the 32-year-old striker has been rewarded for his hard work with six goals this season, including City’s consolation effort in a 2-1 defeat at home to Wells’s former club Queen’s Park Rangers at the weekend.

“I am just really happy to be playing regularly and to have a big part and huge significance in our team at the moment, which has not been the case for quite some time,” Wells told The Royal Gazette.

“I am happy to be reaping the benefits of the hard work and staying mentally ready and focused, so when I did get a chance I was able to take it this season. That was my mentality coming into this season, it was a do-or-die attitude.

“I thought I had a relatively decent pre-season but it wasn’t the best. It was OK and I didn’t really start the season in the team like I wanted to.

“It felt like things were starting to go the same way but we didn’t start great as a team and I was given an opportunity and able to take it.”

Wells’s chance came in a 4-1 win over Bermuda coach Kyle Lightbourne’s former team Coventry City in the Carabao Cup first round, with the striker picking up two assists.

He then marked his first league start of the season with his first goal in a 2-0 win at home to Luton Town.

“It was one of those games when I scored after five minutes and I knew that was the moment that change was going to happen,” Wells said.

“I was going to be able to really pull the ball back in my court because the manager [Nigel Pearson] is like that. He gives people chances and, if you take it, he is not going to take you out of the team for the sake of it. He will play you and he does stick to his word in that regard.

“I scored and we won. We got a clean sheet, our first win of the season and I had a big part to play in our performance that day. That’s been the story up to now so there’s been no reason to pull me out or rest me.

“I have just been constantly at it and playing well. My performances have been near excellent every game and I have been scoring. So I am just happy to be back at my best and back playing where I wanted to be all this time.”

Wells was further rewarded for his success by being named in the WhoScored.com Championship Team of the Month for September.

While he is delighted to be back among the goals and playing regularly, the experienced player admits it was a struggle coming to terms with limited playing time last term, when 25 of his 32 appearances came as a substitute.

“It was a tough journey and difficult but I am a tough individual,” Wells said.

“I come from nothing in regards to the fact that all of this is a dream. It was always a dream to be living this life and it turned into reality, so I enjoy it no matter what.

“I am at a fantastic football club, with fantastic support, fantastic facilities and an amazing city.

“It’s everything you would want as a footballer and, while I have a last window of opportunity, I want to try and make the most of that and see where it leads me.

“The club have invested a lot of money in me along with many others, and that motivates me as well. I want to leave this football club, whenever that may be, as someone who gave their all and did everything they can; was unlucky from time to time but turned out to be a good signing.

“That’s just the mentality and I think having that mindset and focus is what is driving me to do well week in week out.

“I am not getting any younger but I still feel amazing and I can play every game and every minute, but I have to take these opportunities when they come because they don’t come too often.”

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Published October 04, 2022 at 5:54 am (Updated October 04, 2022 at 5:54 am)

Nahki Wells ‘happy’ to be reaping benefits of hard work

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