City man looks ahead to Shrimps' visit to the ParkGrecians front-man Tom Nichols is looking forward to Morecambe visiting St James Park on Saturday and another chance to keep putting the pressure on teams above.
City have eight game remaining to try and claim an all-important play-off place and the chance for promotion via a Wembley visit – and a recent run of three wins and two draws in five games has put Exeter onto an upward trajectory.
With the Shrimps – who look good value for a mid-table finish – in Devon on Saturday, it represents the latest opportunity to keep the points tally ticking over in the right direction.
“We’ve been on a good run of form and we’ve got the buzz back about this place,” Tom said. “We are going into each game feeling like we’re going to win and it’s a good feeling to have. There is a lot of confidence at the moment.
“A month or so ago we were feeling like there was not a lot to play for, because we hadn’t won for a while and we were slipping down the table. Now we’re right back in the mix and only four points off – a few teams above us are struggling and we’re on fire at the moment. If we can continue that, hopefully we can get in those play-offs.
“We’re in the ideal position because you want to be on form going into the play-offs, rather than the likes of Luton who have been up there all season but are in freefall at the moment.
“We would like to be a few points better off but we’re gaining on them pretty quickly so we’re pleased how things are going at the moment.”
Five of the six games that City are scheduled to play in April are against teams that currently sit ahead of the Grecians in the table.
Therefore Nichols is keen to make sure that all the immediate focus is put onto Saturday’s game, to put City in a good position when they meet their next opponents over Easter and beyond.
“If we don’t win on Saturday and the others do, then games are running out for us,” explained the striker. “We really have to keep focusing on each game at a time and keep winning.
“And if we can’t win, we have to get a draw like we did against Stevenage. A few months ago we would probably have lost that game – Clinton [Morrison] said that that will be a big point come the end of the season, so we have got to keep picking up the points.
“Hopefully we can do that on Saturday against Morecambe – they are a few places below us, and it doesn’t look like they have got a lot to play for. That could help us or it could hinder us.
“All we know is that we have to play we have recently and we’re a match for any team.”
Nichols came off the bench at the Globe Arena back in October and scored just his second goal of the campaign that afternoon, sealing a comprehensive 2-0 win in stoppage-time.
Since then, he has once again established himself in the team through his all-round performances and added a dozen more goals to his name.
Now he is keen to keep firing Exeter up the table, and keep to keep contributing to the team’s efforts as a whole.
“At the start of the season if you said that I would score 14 league goals, I probably would have taken it,” said Nichols.
“Now I’m at 14, I am hoping to score more and keep doing the other things right for the team. I’ve got to keep doing the other things to keep me in the team, and hopefully once I’m in it I can keep scoring.
“That’s come from the manager – he has made it clear that I’ve got to do those things, otherwise I won’t play. He has engrained that in me and the penny has dropped and I realise the importance of doing those things that will keep me in the team.
“A lot of it has got to go down to him for engraining that in me, and now I realise how important it is to me and the team. I’m a lot more pleased with my all-round game this season.”