Striker looks back at draw with PortsmouthFollowing an opening-day 1-1 draw with Portsmouth, striker Tom Nichols declared himself pleased with a point and happy to open his account for the season.
Nichols’ goal was cancelled out by Jed Wallace in the second period, but the striker felt a point represented a good result considering the mitigating circumstances of the team having fallen to illness and injury during recent weeks.
“The squad was thinned out pretty badly before this game,” said Tom. “We’ve got a few boys out who are ill, who have only trained once or twice this week because being ill takes it right out of you, another few days rest and recovery and they should be ready”
“So it was a very good point. They’re tipped to go up and we’re tipped to go down, so to get a point from them is a very good result.”
“At times we matched them and we played better than them for periods of the game.
“I know I was doing the right thing [in pre-season], it’s just a matter of time until if falls into place and I’m delighted to get my first goal of the season – it’s a good place to start.”
Although at times City were under immense pressure from the visitors, but Tom was quick to isolate the positive attitude within the squad.
He continued: “I know the second half was a struggle, but you can’t always have it your own way in football matches.
“I think the more pleasing thing was we didn’t go on to lose the game. We conceded the goal, but we kept it tight and we saw the game out.”
“The way the game was going was they had a lot of pressure, and then they scored. It was quite an unfortunate goal; it went through a few bodies. I thought let’s not let them score again, keep it tight, and go from there.”
The 20-year-old also felt that he and the squad were relishing the tough start to the season and the challenges it brings.
The Grecians’ score-draw with Pompey begins a series of tough tests, which include a home Capital One Cup tie against Bournemouth and a derby against Plymouth within the first week.
Nichols explained: “It’s a tough start to the season but that’s what you want as a footballer. To be challenged. You want to pushed to the max”
“When Bournemouth come here it should be a good crowd. They’ve just beaten Huddersfield 4-0 today, so that will be another tough test for us but we’ll embrace it and hopefully get a result there.”