Midfielder Nicky Adams opened his Carlisle United account with a stunning strike on Saturday afternoon which earned his side a point in a hard fought game against Accrington Stanley.
Accompanying his first goal for the club was a quirky celebration, and we asked him about both when we caught up with him shortly after full time.
“It’s one of those where I’ve come close to scoring one like it over the last few weeks but it just hasn’t gone in,” he said. “It’s been getting closer each time but I think I’ve been missing the easier ones.
“It went wide by inches at Barnet last week when I thought I’d scored, but I don’t really get down about things like that. I know I could score at any time and this one was from a good bit of play with Charlie [Wyke]. I managed to find the bottom corner and it was nice to get off the mark and get us back in the game.
“I think there was so much space for me to move in to because the defender had been booked just a few minutes before. He couldn’t really come near me and Charlie was there for the one-two. I saw the gap and I could tell it was a good little opportunity. I knew if I could get it round the defender it might blind-side the keeper, so it was a good finish in the end.
“The goals we’re scoring are good goals. We’re not scoring too many scrappy ones and that’s because we’re playing some decent stuff. There’ll be one soon where it goes in off someone’s backside and I think teams will crumble if we keep at them. We have goal threats all over the pitch and if one or two go in early I think it’ll be a long afternoon for the other team.”
“The celebration is Danny Grainger’s fault,” he explained. “We’ve got the ‘Pong Song’ which gets played before we go out, and Danny showed us the video that goes with it on Saturday morning.
“He told everyone that the bloke who does the stupid dance in the video looks a bit like me – he doesn’t, by the way, don’t listen to him – so it was decided that whoever scored the goal had to do the dance. It fell down to me on the day so I had to do the Pong Dance.
“It all shows where we are as a group. We’ve got some good characters and balance in the squad and that’s similar to what I had last year [Northampton Town]. Everyone gets on well together and there’s no arguing or fighting.
“We know we’ll have to get into each other at times, that’s part and parcel of the game, but we all get on and we’re good team mates. We do a lot of stuff together but we know it’s work time when we go out to train or get on the pitch.”
The goal maintained the nine-game unbeaten start to the season but the popular wide man agreed that this was another game where the end result could have been better had chances been taken.
“Accrington are a decent side but we’re disappointed that we only got the draw,” he told us. “I think they’ll do well this year and they were unlucky not to get to the play-off final last season. We felt we had enough chances to have won the game so we have to make sure we keep going and we keep doing the right things.
“If we keep playing like this someone is going to be on the wrong end of a big defeat. Their keeper made some good saves, and we hit the bar again, and I think we’re playing really well. The fans are getting behind us and they appreciate what we’re doing. The gaffer is really positive about how we’re applying ourselves, even if we do something wrong, because he wants us to get on the ball and play. All he wants from us is for us to give him 100%.
“Accrington scored against the run of play but we knew we’d still create chances. Reggie Lambe was really unlucky because that was a good save by the keeper. I think he actually hit it too well. If he’d kicked it into the floor or something like that it would have gone in. We’ll take the positives and keep doing the right things because we’re not too far off.”
“It’s a joy to play in a team like this,” he continued. “I get the freedom to do what I like and we all work hard within units. There are so many talented footballers right through the squad and those who aren’t playing are right behind those who are, even though they’re obviously disappointed not to be involved.
“They know the transfer window is closed and that this is our squad for the next few months. There’s real strength in depth and the competition for places is healthy. I feel good about how I’m playing. I’m enjoying myself and even if teams try to double up on me I’ll just get on with it.
“If they tackle me once they’ll have to keep trying to tackle me again because I’ll keep running at them. I’m enjoying my football and I think I’ve got a good relationship with the fans already. They’re getting behind me so I’ll work hard and try to do the right things for them.”
Speaking about the unbeaten start to the season, he said: “We talk about it all the time because it’s a habit. Even in training nobody wants to be on the losing side, whether that’s for small-sided games or even head tennis.
“That’s a good trait to have because the longer you go unbeaten the more it comes naturally to you. We want to make this a fortress and we want to make it so that other teams don’t want to come here.
“We want this to be a successful I don’t see why we can’t get there. There’s a long way to go so we’ll keep grounded and we’ll go about our business quietly. There are some good teams in this league but we do have a good squad. I believe in myself, I don’t fear anyone and as a group there’s a real ‘no fear’ attitude.
“Nothing is won in the first few months but we’re there and in the mix. We’re unbeaten and, as I say, that’s a great mentality to have. It’s another home game next week and we’ll go into that full of confidence. Leyton Orient are a good side, with a big budget, but we know our fans will be here to support us and to help push us on.”