Wells reviews his first 12 months at Huddersfield Town
A goal against Watford was the ideal way for Nahki Wells to cap his first year as a Huddersfield Town player.
Last Saturday was the anniversary of the striker’s club record arrival from Yorkshire neighbours Bradford City and the Bermudian played a pivotal role as the Terriers recorded a 3-1 win over promotion-chasing Watford.
“I’m delighted to have finished my first 12 months at Huddersfield Town strongly; I’ve scored a few goals and the team has picked up good points in the last three games. It’s been important for us to try and build a rhythm to get a run going,” Nahki told htafc.com.
“I definitely think I’ve progressed as a player after a full year of Championship football. I don’t consider myself a newcomer anymore as I understand the league, so I still think I will get better as time goes on. Hopefully my progress over the next 12 months will be even quicker than the first year.
“It’s definitely been up and down, but it’s still been a great year. This season I’ve scored 11 goals so far and I want to get to the 20 goal mark as a minimum. I think I’m well capable of that as a minimum and I want to get there as soon as possible. That starts on Saturday against Middlesbrough.”
Nahki’s anniversary at the Club was made all the better by a visit from his family, who were at the John Smith’s Stadium to witness his Man of the Match performance.
Nahki continued: “It’s difficult that they’re so far away, but I’ve been in England for just over four years now and it’s nothing new to me. It was lovely to have them watching me last weekend – they were there right at the start – and they drive me on to do well, as I’m representing them. The hard work they put in for me drives me to get to the top. I cherished the bit of time I had with them.”
Still only 24, Town’s top scorer knows he can still improve a lot as a footballer:
“It’s as clear as day that, in order to progress as a player, the hold-up play is an area I need to improve upon. I’ve needed to do that here in order to get myself a starting spot – and I think I did it well against Watford last Saturday. Now I need to build on it, because until now I think consistency has held me back. If I can build on it, my performances will get better.
“I definitely think I’m stronger than people give me credit for, but it’s difficult to challenge someone who is a foot taller and 30kg heavier than me! It comes down to timing and intelligence; I have to be one step ahead of defenders. I was on Saturday.
“I don’t think I have to play off a big man. I think people believe that’s the case because they are the signs I’ve shown, but I know I am capable of showcasing the other sides of my game.
“It’s on the training pitch that you improve. You do a lot more training than playing games and that’s where you reap your rewards.”
Nahki also believes that the management style of Chris Powell can bring the best from him:
“It’s clear that the manager is not a 4-4-2 type of man; he’s changed the shape numerous times. I’ve played in a three, a two and alone and he likes us to play different roles at different times of the season. I actually think that flexibility is good for the football club.
“He’s told me to keep working hard on the things that aren’t my strengths and I think I’ve done that quite well. At this point, I probably feel as confident as I ever have in my footballing career and that probably shows in the matches. If I can continue to train and play like that, I’m sure the manager will continue to put me in the side – whatever formation he chooses.”
Recently Powell has chosen to play Wells up front alongside fit-again James Vaughan; a partnership that bore real fruit against the Hornets.
Nahki explained: “I’m trying to use my strengths to build the partnership with him, because I think our strengths and weaknesses complement each other. We’re getting an understanding of how we need to move forward over the last two weeks.
“It’s nice to see Vaughany growing in confidence and finding his rhythm again. We’ve worked really hard together on the training ground and you could see that pay off last Saturday; we both scored in the game and I set his goal up in an important home win. Hopefully that has given the manager a lot of food for thought.”
Next up for Nahki and his teammates is Saturday’s game at Middlesbrough; another chance for the team to improve its record on the road.
“Middlesbrough are near the top for a reason; they score goals and don’t concede many. We’re going away to a big ground and big club with very high expectations, but we believe we are capable of beating anyone.
“We’ve had good results and not followed them up, which has sent us back to square one. We want to leave Middlesbrough with something this weekend, which would be a good return. We respect Middlesbrough, but we’re going there expecting to return to Huddersfield with some points.
“Everyone knows our home form has been very good, but our away form is holding us back; that’s why we are where we are in the table. We understand what needs to improve to get results away from home, when you come under pressure. We know what needs to happen. Now is a good time to get a run going.”
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