'The manager backs to me to score goals' - Crawley Town's Tom Nichols after his brace against Forest Green

“The manager backs me to score goals” was the words of Tom Nichols after his brace concluded a successful trip to the West Country.

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 9:57 am

Nichols believes the Crawley town boss, John Yems, has given him the confidence to unlock his fantastic finishing ability as he looks to add more to his tally.

The boss himself had shut down comments made about the signing of Nichols, which has proved to be a great addition. “People questioned me about signing Tom, but he’s such a good person.

Tom Nichols celebrates with assistant head coach Lee Bradbury

"I’ve known him a long time and he’s good around the place and he keeps going and got what he wanted and took his goal well. He is full of heart and determination.”

Nichols is pleased he has now passed the 10-goal mark but is disappointed that he doesn’t have more. Tuesday’s game saw dangerous crosses from full-backs David Sesay and Nick Tsaroulla reach the striker but couldn’t convert.

“I like crosses in the box, and I should’ve scored more really. Nick put in a great ball really early on that I should’ve tucked away really, but that’s what strikers want, crosses in the box,” he said.

Nichols also commented on the performance of his team, noticeably his midfield where he had picked up the ball from for both of his goals. He said: “Both assists we’re brilliant really, a lot of their work goes unnoticed, the amount of distance they cover, they do the other side of the game brilliantly for us, might not get all the plaudits but they brilliant today.

"They’ve been a credit to the team and that’s what it’s all about really. Fighting for each other.”

The first goal of the match came from a through ball from Jake Hessenthaler which saw a cool conversion by Nichols. Hessenthaler had a lot of praise for the team after high work rate from start to finish.

He said: “It’s a game plan worked perfectly, first half we pressed them hard and we won the ball high up for the goal, and then the second half I thought we dominated it. I thought in the second half we dominated and should’ve scored more; it was a really good performance.”

Crawley has seen themselves in a good run of form this season and has hopes it can continue past the New Year. With an FA Cup tie against Leeds United in early January, Hessenthaler wants the team want to come into the game on a winning streak. They play Bolton on Saturday.

He said: “I think we are on a really good run at the moment, that’s eight games unbeaten now, so we got to take every game as it comes. We’ve come here and turned these over and I think we’re excited for the next one really. Hopefully, we will go up there (Bolton) and put a good performance in."