sport

Tisdale: Nichols deserves chance

Tom Nichols has earned his opportunity to be Exeter's main striker, according to boss Paul Tisdale.

The 20-year-old's career at St James Park looked to be in jeopardy at the start of the season after just three appearances in 2012/13 but having forced his way into the side in November he has been one of City's most impressive performers.

"He has earned it," Tisdale said. "Through circumstances of other player's poor play or being out of form and results especially.

"When results don't go your way you look for changes and Tom reached a juncture in his development in the autumn and he decided he needed to knuckle down a bit more and the talent we saw at 18 is now starting to come to dividends."

Nichols has scored six times and showed his unselfish nature by teeing-up Eliot Richards for a tap-in to clinch the Devon derby with Plymouth last Tuesday and Tisdale used that performance to show just how quickly Nichols is developing.

"I hope he keeps improving because he is an Exeter player who has come through the ranks and we dearly want him to do well," he said. "He played in a big pressurised derby game with lots of certainty and confidence.

"Tom had an extremely strong finish to the game. His turn and delayed pass for the winner was really good. He had a really enjoyable game."