BERMUDA international Nahki Wells is confident of overcoming his recent goal drought as he prepares to finally establish what Huddersfield Town fans had hoped would already be a ‘dream team’ strike partnership.
Though he set up Town’s opener for Sean Scannell in the 2-1 home win over Brentford on Saturday, Wells has gone five games without a goal, Bees goalkeeper David Button making an important close-range block to deny the forward in the second half.
“I was delighted to get an assist but disappointed not to score,” said Town’s joint-record £1.2m buy from Bradford City after a win which leaves them 15th in the Championship.
“The keeper made a great save but it’s not exactly falling for me at the minute and so I have to keep working and keep my head up. I know the goals will always come, I just have to stay positive.”
Scannell, in the peak of his own form, agreed. “Nahki could miss 10 in one game and score a hat-trick in the next, that’s Nahki for you. He will get us goals, I have no doubt.”
The ‘dream team’ pairing alluded to is that with James Vaughan, who returned to the fray at Wells’s expense on Saturday after finally overcoming a series of niggling injuries which have kept him out of action since mid-September.
Since then, Huddersfield have handed Wigan’s Grant Holt, who had been left in the cold by Uwe Rosler, a new lease of life but the powerful target man is due to return to Athletic when his loan expires at the end of the year because new manager Malky Mackay wants to take a look at him.
Wells, who has seven goals to his name this season and 12 in 38 appearances in 11 months at the John Smith’s Stadium, said: “It’s been great to play with Grant Holt. From day one, I have just tried to take in as much as I can from him because he is an experienced professional who has had a similar adventure as me – he’s climbed the football leagues and reached the top.
“That’s exactly what I want to do and achieve with this football club.
“Each day, I listen to him and take as much knowledge as I can off him. He helps me through games and can do a lot of work that I am physically not capable of doing. That’s how our pros and cons match each other.
“It’s been difficult because I have not been able to forge a consistent partnership with him but I would like to think that when we have both got the nod we have done well in most games.
“I am one of those players who always wants to learn, always wants to get better and from day one Grant came in and understood straight away that it wasn’t about himself, it was about helping the team.
“He gets back, he puts his body on the line and will do anything for the team. Sometimes you don’t get that from players who come on loan but that’s just the way he is.
“He’s helped everyone with his experience. He’s done what I would love to do in my career and he is someone that I am going to continue to listen to and enjoy playing with until that comes to an end.
“He’s great in the dressing room – personality, banter, experience, everything. Half-time or during the game you will always be able to hear him. He won’t always hold his mouth but in a good way and it’s important to have players like him that help us younger players.”
The 24-year-old, who loves to have the foil of a physical presence to complement his darting runs off the shoulder of defenders as Bradford City fans witnessed while he was paired with James Hanson, is, however, looking ahead.
His partnership with Vaughan – 24 goals in 60 appearances for Town – has yet to gel mainly due to the lack of time they have played together but Wells says: “It’s nice to have James back. He’s an honest lad and he works so hard but it just hasn’t gone for him.
“I had the intention of coming in to play with him so it’s not been the easiest year for me in terms of who I am playing with. We know Grant is going back at the end of the year, so it seems perfect timing for James to be coming back, getting going again and firing like he was last season.
“Even in training he has been sharp, he’s looked great. It was great to see him come on and even though I was disappointed to come off, I was totally understanding as to why.
“I didn’t have anything left in me and to have someone like him coming off the bench, it gives him the chance to cause havoc.
“The manager has done well in terms of bedding him back into the squad and there are three strikers now who can play and that can’t do us any harm in the remaining four games that we will have together.
“There are going to be plenty of games for us to be able to pick up points from. We have a tough game at Norwich on Saturday but we are totally capable of going there and getting something.
“We have the squad to do it, we can change positions and formations and anyone can fit in.”