Nelson pride is dented by Exeter goal

Another three points, another three goals, but for Michael Nelson there was a tinge of disappointment after Saturday's win over Exeter. The pride the strikers enjoy when scoring is matched by defenders when they help keep a clean sheet at the other end - and when veteran Marcus Stewart popped in to clean up after goalkeeper Fraser Forster spilled a long-range shot by Liam Sercombe, that pride was dented.

Another three points, another three goals, but for Michael Nelson there was a tinge of disappointment after Saturday's win over Exeter.

The pride the strikers enjoy when scoring is matched by defenders when they help keep a clean sheet at the other end - and when veteran Marcus Stewart popped in to clean up after goalkeeper Fraser Forster spilled a long-range shot by Liam Sercombe, that pride was dented.

"We've scored three, won 3-1 and you would think everyone would be happy and buzzing," he said.

"OK, they are - but it has just taken a little bit of gloss off of it.

"But that's the mentality we have got at the minute. We want to try and do everything as perfectly as we can, especially with the run of clean sheets we've been on.

"But the most important thing is the three points and I think the front three were fantastic and they had real problems trying to deal with them."

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Nelson is back in the side alongside Gary Doherty after Jens Berthel Askou was injured, but now faces competition for his place from new signing Zak Whitbread.

"I think that's my fourth game in a row and we have kept three clean sheets prior to today," he said.

"It's a little bit disappointing that we couldn't do it again today, but a win is a win and that's what we go out for.

"Me and Doc are both experienced players and I think we have settled in quite well together now and hopefully we can carry on."

The presence of Whitbread - who joined on Friday along with striker Oli Johnson - as a left-sided centre-half appears to put Nelson and Askou under the most pressure.

"It's two more signings coming in and that's a little more competition up front and competition at the back," acknowledged Nelson.

"We have the injury to Jens and obviously when Gary was suspended Russell Martin had to do a job in there, so now we have a lot of centre-halves trying to get those two positions and it can only be healthy for the club.

"It stops anyone getting complacent and hopefully it will drive everyone on and the two signings will freshen things up and give us that little boost to the end of the season.

"Sometimes you see people get complacent if there is no one there waiting to come in and you know that regardless of the result you are going to be playing the next game because there is no one else to come in, so it's nice to have the strength in depth.

"If you make mistakes you know you are going to be out and have to fight for your place, so it's healthy all round I think."

Nelson's own claims would have been even stronger had two first-half headers - one saved by keeper Paul Jones, the other inches too high - been successful.

"The first one I thought I caught quite well, but the keeper has moved his feet well and he's made it look easy," said Nelson.

"The second one I am just stretching that little bit so I couldn't get over the top of it, but they were two great balls in from Simon Lappin.

"I think the quality into the box was good all day.

"We score a lot of goals from open play, but it's nice to have that little bit of threat from set-plays as well, it's another bonus to your game, it gives us that little extra option."