Bristol Rovers striker Tom Nichols has struggled to hit the net since arriving at The Memorial Stadium in 2017, gaining criticism from all quarters of the stadium in North Bristol.
Nichols’ latest mishap in front of the goal came from 12 yards against Doncaster Rovers as his penalty was saved low down to the left of home keeper Seny Dieng, and the forward continues to be down on his luck lately as his struggles in front of goal continue.
With Jonson Clarke-Harris out injured lately for Graham Coughlan’s side and expected to be out until the middle of November, Nichols has been forced into the limelight lately as the man who has been asked to provide the goals for Rovers.
However, Nichols’ record has been poor while pulling on the white and blue quarters of Rovers and being asked to step up to play a big role during a vital part of the season can take its toll on the forward.
Nichols has been cutting a frustrated figure during the season so far as he has mainly been a bench warmer and when he’s got his chance to step forward into the Rovers void off the bench, a couple of goals is all that has managed to come his way so far.
Should Coughlan take Nichols out the limelight by resting him?
One way that Coughlan will get his misfiring 26 year-old banging in the goals again is to try and take him out of the firing line and out of the way of the criticism of the supporters.
With Tyler Smith being Bristol Rovers’ main source of goals in JCH’s absence, after partnering the striker during the opening months of the season so far, Coughlan could always try loanee Victor Adeboyejo up front with fellow loanee Smith, with Adeboyejo built in the same mould as Clarke-Harris.
Nichols definitely appears to be a man who is under constant pressure whenever he ends up taking to the pitch home or away, and he appears to not have the same air of confidence that he had when the season got underway and Nichols was introduced as an impact sub for Rovers.
By being a sub, Nichols looked like he was enjoying his football however ever since being reinstalled to the starting lineup for Rovers, the former Exeter City youth academy graduate is cracking under the pressure and before long, he may look like a shadow of the player that he once was when breaking onto the scene.