Nathan Thomas scored both goals in the 2-2 draw with Forest Green on Saturday, taking his tally for the season to four, and we caught up with him shortly after full-time to get his thoughts on what had been a tight encounter.
Speaking first about his brace, he said: “It’s about time isn’t it! I cut inside for the first one and I just caught it nicely.
"The second one was probably a harder finish because it came at me quickly on the half volley, but it was a great cross from Hallam [Hope]. I was so close to the goal that I knew as long as I got it on target it would go in.
“My right foot is weaker and you see what happens when I try to use it most of the time, but I just wanted to cut inside and have a go in the first half, and thankfully it went in. I pride myself on scoring and creating goals, and I don’t think I’ve scored enough this season.
"My assist tally is pretty good at the minute even though I think I should have a lot more, but my goals tally isn’t where I want it to be. It would be nice to go on a bit of a run and make it a more regular occurrence."
“I’m a confidence player so these goals will only help," he continued. "You can do all the hard work and the tracking back, which is something I’ve been trying to work really hard on this season to make sure I play every week, but I’m in this team to produce those moments more often and hopefully I can start that.
“I was pleased with how I played overall and I think your levels go up a little bit when any new gaffer comes in just because you know you’ve got somebody new to impress. We all want to impress him because we all want to be in the team, so it was nice to do that in his first game. It’s all about being consistent and doing it more often now though."
“The last few weeks have been unsettling because I’ve got a lot of respect and I’ve spent a lot of time with Steven [Pressley]," he admitted. "He brought me back to the club this year and it was difficult when we went through a difficult period. There are some players who will feel that we didn't hit the heights we could and that we possibly let him down.
"The way football is, managers come and managers go and as a squad we’ve just got to give 100% to whoever is in charge. The new gaffer has come in and it’s a different set of eyes and a different way of playing, so we’ll have to see how it goes. By the signs we’ve shown today, we were a lot better than we have been of late, so it might just be the change we needed.
"What we all know is that Carlisle is a massive club and it shouldn't be where it is now. Only we can change that, and that's what we're all determined to do."
With the formation set up to give him a maximum amount of freddome, he commented: “The formation we played was similar to what we’ve been doing in some ways, but different in other ways.
"It’s difficult to judge it because Forest Green’s wing backs played so high which meant that myself and Lofty [Ryan Loft] were level with our defenders for some parts of the game. It gave us a good platform to counter attack from, and that’s where our goals came from. We turned the ball over and we were at them in a blink of an eye, and that’s one of our biggest strengths.
“We had a few chances as well. Fela [Olufela Olomola] had a chance in the first half that you’d normally expect him to score, and on another day we’d be talking about a win. There’s no point in doing half the job, we’ve got to make sure we finish it in the home game now. We’ve got to go through after doing the hard work in the away game."
“We knew today was always going to be a difficult game so it was important to still be in the draw," he said. "Forest Green are flying at the minute, they’re probably the best team in our league and they keep the ball really well. We knew we’d have to pick our moments and when they came we’d have to take advantage of them, and we were brilliant at that in this game.
“It was a similar game last year when we came here. We were unlucky in that and we felt like we should have won it, and we’re feeling the same today. We’re still in the hat, and we’re looking forward to getting them back to Brunton Park.
"They won’t have it all their own way like they did at times today. Hopefully we get a big draw and we can progress. That would be the perfect outcome, to get a Premier League team and then to beat Forest Green so that we can play them, but it's a situation where you can't take anything for granted. The replay has to be done properly first or the third round opponents become irrelevant.
“We’ve also got to make sure we take performances like this into the league. That’s our bread and butter and that’s where we need to start picking up a lot more points to get us up the table. Like I say, a club like this shouldn’t be sat where it is at the minute, so hopefully we can start winning more matches."
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