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Nicholls: So rewarding to get the goal and the assist

12 August 2015

Grecians attacker speaks following big display at the County Ground

EXETER CITY star man Alex Nicholls championed the discipline of the Grecians after they held on at the County Ground to earn a place in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

Nicholls scored one and created the other as City were winners at Swindon Town, but he recognised the important work done at the back in securing City their cup progression.

"We came to Swindon knowing it would be tough, and we knew that they would have a lot of the ball, because of the way they set themselves up," he said. "But we came with a gameplan and executed it very well. We wanted to try and sit off them, to let them have the ball at the back and to force them into doing things that they didn't want to, frustrating them in the process.

"We managed to do that, but it's a lot about discipline when you put a plan into place like that. As a team we were very disciplined, especially against a League 1 team like Swindon, with the players they have, they'll always cause you problems at times. Whenever they threatened to pass through into our box, we threw bodies in front of them and I thought that we defended very well."

Strong hold-up play from Tom Nichols carved the opening for Nicholls to put away the first, and Alex showed his appreciation to the efforts of his team-mate.

"Tommy has been brilliant through the whole of pre-season," he said, "and in both of the games we've had this season there have been times where he has got a hold of the ball and shown his strength, and that's exactly what he did to set me up, which did a lot of the work for me before I went through and beat the keeper. I felt I had to hit it early, because the defender was covering quite quickly on my right-hand side - I thought that if I took another touch, it might give him the opportunity to come in and nick it, so I took it early and it went in.

"For the second goal, I didn't quite get enough purchase on my shot to beat the keeper, but Dave and Tom were both there for the rebound, so happy days.

"Tis and Steve [Perryman] and Mel [Gwinnett] tell me all the time to have more confidence in my own ability when I have the ball at my feet - that's what I did when I went for the second goal, and it was really rewarding to get the goal and the assist."

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