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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, September 12th 2020

Wells ready to thrive as new Championship season kicks off

Nahki Wells wants to hit the ground running in the 2020/21 Sky Bet Championship season, which gets underway this weekend.

City’s campaign begins at home to League One champions Coventry City on Saturday (September 12th, 3pm KO), the start of what will be a long and demanding journey.

But after a short summer break, the squad are fully focused on hitting their league targets and for striker Wells, that includes how many times he will find the back of the net.

“I’m excited to be less than 24 hours from the first game,” he said. “The squad has come together nicely, with a thick, strong squad and we’re all excited to get going.”

“I get asked that question at the start of every single year,” he said when asked how many goals he has in mind. Wells scored 20 in all competitions last term, five of those in City colours after his arrival in January.

The Bermuda international continued: “It’s always to do better than the season before, to maximise my potential. I think 25 goals is always a very good return for a striker at this level so that’s what I’ll be aiming for. I’m confident I can do that in a full season here. I’ve had a good pre-season in my eyes, my performances have been good, I could have had a few more goals but the setup and how we want to play will help me thrive.”

A quick turnaround

The new season kicks off 52 days since the last ball was kicked against Preston North End, meaning a shortened period of time off before the group were called in for their pre-season preparations.

So how will that impact the players? “I think we’ll be able to tell four to six weeks into the season,” Wells said. “I think we’d have liked the longer break but it has its positives: we didn’t lose our fitness so we came in and hit the ground running, got right into the football, into those top sessions and got back into games quickly.

“We’ve ticked all the boxes, got enough games under our belts and we’re ready to take to the pitch on Saturday.”

Threats of Mark Robins' men

The Sky Blues head to BS3 having lifted the League One trophy in 2019/20, their promotion lifting them back into the Championship for the first time since the 2011/12 campaign.

They lost only three games before the campaign was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic and will now look to test themselves at a new level, while the Robins look to get off to a strong start themselves.

Wells said: “Off the back of winning any league you get that confidence and bring the element of knowing how to win, as they did for the majority of last season. Coming up to the Championship from League One is a big step

“They may not have the name or the squad as others at this level, but they have the continuity and togetherness to give us a tough game. We expect them to come here to play expansive football and break us down but it’s the same tactics we’ll be trying to play against them, and I’m very confident we’ll be able to get the better of them.”

Impact of the supporters

The Championship curtain-raiser will be played at an empty Ashton Gate with supporters unable to attend matches.

But the match will be available to stream exclusively via Robins TV. Coverage starts at 2.30pm - 30 minutes ahead of kick-off - with our new enhanced Robins TV matchday programme featuring four-cameras, multi-angle, multi-replay production, commentary and expert analysis. Academy manager Gary Probert will be a special guest on the show and he will be joined by a first-team player.

Robins TV

And while fans continue to back City from the comfort of their own home, Wells was keen to address their support.

He added: “There is a big appreciation to them for tuning in. We’re grateful for their support, we can’t see them physically, but we know they’re behind us 100 per cent. This club has amazing support and we’re trying to do our very best. We’re well supported behind the cameras and all we want to do is to help propel the football club and try to get this city to the promised land.”

Watch the full interview: Nahki Wells pre-Coventry City (H)

 

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