Bristol Rovers have recently been hit by the news that main striker Jonson Clarke-Harris is set to miss up to five weeks through injury and isn’t set for return until the 16th November.
It is reported that JCH pulled a calf muscle during training last week and the injury was kept under wraps thanks to Bristol Rovers not being in action this weekend due to Bury’s recent expulsion from the EFL.
However, when one injury strikes and as unfortunate it is for the squad as a whole, there’s always a chance for somebody else to step up in their absence.
26-year-old Bristol Rovers forward Tom Nichols will now have his eyes set on gaining a starting berth at The Memorial Stadium, having not had the best couple of years in the city so far since moving back to the south-west following a couple of seasons with Peterborough United after breaking through with Exeter City.
Nichols has only scored four goals in 89 appearances for Rovers as the 5’10” forward has yet to settle properly in Bristol despite having been playing in the famous blue and white quarters for two years and a bit. However, despite having been a previous scapegoat for the supporters in recent times, Nichols now has his chance to shine for Bristol Rovers.
Despite being a different type of forward to the bullish, goal-hungry JCH, Nichols is more creative, more of a free spirit as he glides around the football pitch being more of a number 10 than an actual striker.
Nichols is definitely capable of scoring goals, he has that spark in him that just needs igniting, and so far this season Nichols has struggled to get into Graham Coughlan’s starting 11 thanks to the form of JCH and loanee Tyler Smith.
But now, Nichols will be feeling that this opportunity may be the last chance saloon for the forward as he has to make a claim for the shirt. With Nichols now supposedly in his prime and not getting any younger, as he turns 27 next August, this could be the last proper chance that the forward can dazzle with his quick feet and eye for a pass on the Memorial Stadium turf before being relegated to the bench again upon JCH’s return.