Striker looks ahead to Accrington's visit to SJP
There’s nothing quite like basking in the glory of a derby-day victory – but for the Exeter City lads, the focus has switched quickly to this Saturday’s game against Accrington Stanley at St James Park.
The midweek win at Plymouth Argyle has brought back that feel-good factor in spades – in particular as it followed a comprehensive picking-off of Fleetwood Town at St James Park the previous weekend. The 3-0 win against the high-flying Cod Army ended a lengthy run without a win at the Park.
Fears of the drop have been eased dramatically with back-to-back wins, and the verve with which the team has played has only accentuated the point.
Striker Tom Nichols was pleased that the team were able to deliver a famous win for the fans to enjoy – but also insists all the focus since at the Cat & Fiddle has been on the next task at hand.
“That was for the fans,” said Tom. “They’ve stuck by us, even though our home form has been abysmal really. We picked that up against Fleetwood, and now we’ve got another good result at Plymouth. Beating Accrington on Saturday would be another good one.
“We’re all still buzzing about the game [against Plymouth] – but to be honest, the mood has been good for a while. We know we’ve been playing well and not getting results – and now we’re playing well and we are getting results.
“We know that not much needed to change, and we’re getting rewards for sticking by our methods and how we play.
“It’s two wins, but we’re still not safe. If we lose the next five games, then those two wins count for nothing – so we have to keep building on it. We haven’t done anything yet – we have to keep on winning.
“We enjoyed it for the day, but there’s always another game to be won. If we play against Accrington like we did on Tuesday night, I’m sure we’ll do fine and win the game.”
It was the game up at the Crown Ground that really kick-started Nichols’ season and his Grecians career.
Having scored from the bench to equalise against Bury in City’s previous game, the 20-year-old was handed his first start of the season in Accrington and netted twice in the opening 11 minutes, as City won 3-2.
With the exception of the trip to Burton Albion, Nichols has taken to the field for every first-team game since.
Stanley’s results have picked up since the opening months of the campaign, and Tom isn’t expecting the Lancashire club to lie down on Saturday.
“I had a good game up in Accrington – that was my first start this year,” continued Tom. “It’ll be a tough game though, as they’re a lot stronger than they were back then. They work hard and they are more of a unit now.
“But I’ve got good memories of that game – I got two goals, and hopefully I’ll get another.
“I knew that I wasn’t going to give up my place again without a fight, and I’ve played a lot of games since. I’m really happy with how things are going at the moment and hopefully I can stay in the team.”