LONDON, England (CMC) – Bermuda captain Nahki Wells celebrated in subdued fashion after returning to haunt his former loan club Queens Park Rangers (QPR) with a superb injury-time winner as visitors Bristol City grabbed a 2-1 victory in the English Championship.
Wells, 31, used only as a substitute in league matches by manager Nigel Pearson so far this season, is hoping he might now get more minutes on the pitch.
He came off the bench on 62 minutes in place of Chris Martin, who had given City a 1-0 lead in the 45th minute. QPR equalised in the 54th minute through a Sam McCallum strike, but despite creating the bulk of the goal-scoring chances they could not find the winner.
Then with time running out City broke upfield on the left through Andreas Weimann, who fed Wells with a perfect cross-field pass and the Bermudian raced into the box before driving a low shot inside the far post for his first league goal of the season, although he scored four in a recent Under-23s match.
“I think the gaffer (Pearson) said something that was important to me, to be positive and stay up and that was the encouragement to try to get a winner,” Wells said after Saturday’s match, which was attended by 1900 travelling City fans, who showed their excitement over the last-gasp goal.
“Because he said that, I held myself up the pitch a bit more and was able to get on the end of a great ball from Andy. I’m delighted, what a great time to score a goal.”
Wells joined City in January 2020 for a reported £5 million (US$6.8 million) fee from his parent club Burnley. He had already scored 15 goals that season for QPR, but the west London outfit decided against putting in an offer to sign him in a permanent deal.
On Saturday, Wells reminded them, and City, what he can do in front of goal.
“We know what QPR are like, they are a good team who wanted to get a winner,” Wells added. “Equally, they are vulnerable, we knew we could get them on the counter. We know they concede goals.
“That was my mentality all along, to be as positive as possible, and that if a chance comes I take it. Thankfully it dropped to me and I dispatched it.”
He added: “It’s been probably one of the toughest periods of my career, but equally the lads in front of me deserve to be playing right now.
“I would like to be playing more, but I have to be doing that more often and maybe that would give the manager belief in what I can do and I can get more minutes on the pitch.”
Pearson praised Wells, saying: “I know Nahki is a really good finisher, sometimes it’s having him in the game for longer periods. He’s felt frustrated not to get starts, but he’s been very supportive of his teammates.”