Sam Nombe on his positive Covid test, being in goal, and those celebrations in front of the cameras


Hotshot forward Sam Nombe believes that competition between himself and skipper Matt Jay at the top of the scoring charts can only be a good thing for Exeter City promotion hopefuls.

The 23-year-old joined the Grecians this summer from MK Dons and after an affected start to his career by Covid-19 he is showing the form that has left many predicting his time at St James Park could be short. because it is meant to play at a much higher level.

Nombe scored six of six goals and came close to David Wheeler’s scoring record in seven straight games against Mansfield Town last week, hitting the post and seeing a shot saved in stoppage time, and having been brought in by Matt Taylor to be the main man, he repays that faith.

Read more – Exeter City ‘full of confidence’ ahead of trip to Salford City

“It’s good to score goals,” he said. “I didn’t know the record until I hit 6 of 6 points, but I was happier with the three points. You still want to score and I could have, and I worked my socks off and I was more tired than usual, but that won’t stop me from chasing this goal and I want to score another point of the season and hopefully start this weekend.

“We’re not going too far with the draws, so we want the wins, and the main thing is to get the three points. I still believe that I can score and feel like I score. If I do my job the goals will come, but it’s about helping the team, tiring out the defenders and having a nightmare, and a good feeling to have.

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Nombe has scored six goals since arriving this summer, while captain Jay currently leads the table with nine goals – and is Ligue 2’s co-top scorer – and while Nombe says there is a bit jokes between forwards about wanting to be the top scorer in the locker room, on the pitch the focus is only on winning.

Goal celebrations for Exeter City’s Sam Nombe to tie the score in the Sky Bet League 2 game between Exeter City and Newport County at St James Park, Exeter on October 16th Photo: Phil Mingo / PPAUK

“There is competition, but we don’t think about it when we play the game,” he said. “We’re just thinking about scoring for the team and getting the three points. After the game, we can talk about it and I try to catch up, but we push each other to score as many goals as possible.

“He’s a goalscorer and it makes me want to score as much as him and if we fight at the top and score over 20 goals then nobody will complain, but we push each other and are competitive, only doing better and help the team. If we can both score 20 goals, that will only help us get a promotion. “

Since scoring for the first time in a year against Sutton United, Nombe has scored six goals in his previous seven games, but he has almost forged a better relationship with the Pinnacle Photo Agency cameramen than the rest of his teammates. . Judging by the shots from his celebrations – including him posing in Crawley Town to allow the cameraman to switch cameras.

Goal celebrations for Exeter City’s Sam Nombe in the SkyBet League Two match between Crawley Town and Exeter City at People’s Pension Stadium, Crawley, West Sussex, October 19, 2021 – PHOTO: Micah Crook / PPAUK

“After the first one, they said run over to our camera and find out where we are,” he joked. “They’re also part of the club and it doesn’t hurt anyone to go to them. I have this slide going on, so I’m going to have to stick with that, and I want to keep scoring goals so we can keep celebrating.

Having played in Matchday 1’s 0-0 draw with Bradford City, Nombe’s start to the season was affected by a positive Covid-19 test which set him back, missing three games and forced to settle for one. placed on the bench as he regained full fitness, and said the ten days inside was a strange experience.

“It was weird and you never think you have to lock yourself up,” he said, when asked about his experience with Covid. “I didn’t feel too bad. The first couple of days I was beaten by this so it was bed rest and fluids but obviously you can’t practice or play but something you have to do.

“It’s just weird to be at home so long and just stuck inside, but watching the games and supporting them from home and not being able to do much, but you’re frustrated because you can’t be there on the ground.

“I’ve tried doing as much as possible at home with weights and cardio with a jump rope, but you can’t overdo it because you can’t get out.”

Nombe missed the 3-0 loss to Leyton Orient, which is the Greeks’ only loss this season – and the only loss in their last 23 games – but before the start of the season he felt the club were good enough to be promoted, and nothing over the past two months has changed his mind, especially with Exeter in the midst of a club record of 14 games unbeaten.

“We had too many draws but before the Newport game the manager said the next three games were important to get as many points as possible,” he said. “I’m happy that we were resilient and that we didn’t allow the teams to beat us and that we could come back to win games. We came back to win the last two games and it shows the great character of the boys that we are not excluded from the games until the whistle blows.

The forward spent most of last season on loan at Luton Town in the Championship, a spell that didn’t quite work, failing to score, and Nombe admits he didn’t. not worked, but that he learned from.

Goal celebrations for Exeter City’s Sam Nombe to tie the score in the Sky Bet League 2 game between Exeter City and Newport County at St James Park, Exeter on October 16th Photo: Phil Mingo / PPAUK

“It was not the right time for me,” he said. “At MK Dons when I started to break through I was scoring but then I got injured and it was a big setback but I managed to come back and score a goal then we had Covid who canceled the season.

“I was happy to have progressed, but for me it was about understanding football better, seeing things differently and you have to progress as best you can so can’t relax because it will not benefit you. nobody, especially yours You have to invest 110% every day and be better than yesterday.

And Nombe praised the work that Padraig Amond, on loan, does behind the scenes to convey his experience, adding: “He’s a great person to bounce back. He always tells me to be proactive, always talks to me and gives me ideas, keeps me on my toes, makes me want to improve, and learning from him is good because he’s been in football for so long.

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