Four years on from his Football League bow for Carlisle United against Bristol Rovers, Nahki Wells has come a long way.

But the Bermudian striker is the first to admit the journey is far from over.

The £1.3m Huddersfield Town record signing from Bradford City a year ago believes he has made steady progress in his first 12 months as a Championship footballer.

But the 24-year-old is keen to raise the bar – and happy to put in the hard yards.

While Wells failed to catch the eye in Cumbria – he made just three substitute appearances for the Brunton Park club – West Yorkshire has been a much happier part of the country.

Valley Parade proved the perfect place to progress.

Wells notched 53 goals in 112 games after joining the Bantams following his departure from Carlisle in June 2011

He was a star of the memorable 2012-13 campaign, when City twice went to Wembley, for the Capital One Cup and League II play-off finals (having lost to Swansea City in the first, they beat Northampton Town in the second).

And following half a season in League I, and 15 goals, he made the step up to the second tier by signing for Town on a four-and-a-half year contract.

After netting seven times for his new club last term, he reached 11 for the current campaign with his strike in last weekend’s 3-1 home win over Watford.

Wells, who goes to Middlesbrough on Saturday aiming to score for the third league game running, said: “I’m delighted to finish my first year at Town quite strong.

“It’s nice to have a full year of Championship football under my belt.

“I don’t consider myself a newcomer at the club any more and I feel I have progressed as a player.

“The plan is to get better and better as time goes on, and I think I will grow further as a footballer.”

Wells, listed at 5ft 7in and 11st, knows he won’t be growing physically.

But he refutes the suggestion he can only operate to his maximum with a ‘big man’, like his former Bradford frontline partner James Hanson, alongside him.

“People portray I have to play with a big man, but I don’t think so,” he added.

“I also think I am stronger than people give me credit for.

“Hold-up play is something I am always working on, and I thought I was okay in that aspect against Watford last week.

“Of course I am always going to come up against players who are taller and heavier than I am.

“That means I need yo use timing an intelligence – think one step ahead of them, and that will help me in certain situations.

 

“Since I have been here I have played as a lone striker, in a two up front and in a three.

“I am getting experience all the time, and now I am working on my partnership with James Vaughan.

“It’s about matching my weaknesses to his strengths and vice-versa.

“We want to grow to understand each other as players.

“It was great that both of us got a goal last week, and that game gave us something to build on.

“It’s all about doing that work on the training ground, because you spend far more time there than out on the pitch.

“I still have a lot to learn and a lot to work on, and while I am happy with what’s happened in my first year here, I want to make quicker progress in my second year.”

In the short term, Wells is focused on Middlesbrough, and helping Town improve their away record.

“It’s a tough task, because Boro are up near the top of the table (fourth) for a reason,” he said.

“They score goals, and they don’t concede too many,

But we need to go there confident, because we have shown we can beat the leading sides.

“We definitely have goals in this team, and we need to keep a clean sheet.

“We should have had one against Watford, so let’s get one against Boro.”