Nicholls aiming high with Cobblers after leaving Walsall ‘struggle’ behind

GLAD TO GET A FRESH START - new Cobblers signing Alex Nicholls
GLAD TO GET A FRESH START - new Cobblers signing Alex Nicholls

ALEX NICHOLLS is confident he can thrive at the Cobblers after leaving the ‘struggle’ at former club Walsall.

The striker, who is currently part of the club’s pre-season training camp in Croatia, left the Saddlers last month to sign for Town on a free transfer.

Nicholls had a verbal offer from the west midlands club but turned it down to become Aidy Boothroyd’s second recruit of five to the Sixfields cause.

The move ended a long spell with Walsall that stretched back to the player’s childhood but which, with times hard at the Banks Stadium, had become increasingly about survival in league one.

Nicholls is confident he will be focusing his efforts on the other end of the table after swapping red for claret and white.

“It had been a struggle there for the past couple of seasons, I think anyone at the club will tell you that,” he said.

“I want to play in a team that’s going to be competing and doing well and I feel I’ve got that opportunity here.

“It’s difficult because the emphasis is more on the defensive side of things when you’re not really expected to be challenging for anything.

“It’s all about being safe in the league and attacking play comes second to that really.”

As a player local to Walsall, moving south represented a big decision, but he was happy to sign for a club where he feels ‘something good’ is going on.

“I’ve been at Walsall for my entire career so it will be different and it will be a challenge but it’s one I’m really looking forward to,” he said.

“It could have been easier to stay there. I only live two minutes away from the training ground but I think for my career it is better to move.

“The conversation I had with the manager (Boothroyd) filled me with confidence and I think there’s a good thing starting here.

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on anyone but it feels like there’s something really good going on at the club.

“You can see that from the players the manager has signed, he’s brought in a lot of players who have played at a higher level and that’s what we will need to get promoted.

“It’s a lower level but I think it will help progress my career better than if I was to stay at Walsall.”