LEAGUE ONE KICK-OFF: Nichols believes he can emulate Britt, CMS & Aaron Mclean

Tom Nichols (left) celebrates his Posh goal at Chesterfield. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Tom Nichols (left) celebrates his Posh goal at Chesterfield. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Tom Nichols is confident he can become the next 20-goals-a-season Peterborough United striker.

Nichols suffered a frustrating time at the ABAX Stadium following his January transfer from Exeter City.

Tom Nichols (right) in action for Posh against Bradford City. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Tom Nichols (right) in action for Posh against Bradford City. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

He scored a winning goal on his debut at Chesterfield, but didn’t score again as he suffered from previous manager Graham Westley’s random selection policy as well as a knee injury which ended his season early.

But the 22 year-­old is fighting fit again and desperate to prove himself at League One level.

The 20-goals-­in-­a­-season prediction is a bold one though. Only Posh greats Britt Assombalonga, Craig Mackail-­Smith and Aaron Mclean have achieved it in a Football League campaign in the last decade.

“I believe 100 per cent I can score 20 goals,” Nichols stated. “I can score goals in any team.

Britt Assombalonga was the last Posh player to score 20 Football League goals in a season.

Britt Assombalonga was the last Posh player to score 20 Football League goals in a season.

“I know I haven’t started banging them in here yet, but with enough game time I can do it.

“Obviously I have to play well enough to get in the team and then stay there.

“Last season was frustrating as I came here on the back of scoring plenty of goals for Exeter. I scored on my debut here, played in the next game and didn’t score, and then I was left out.

“It was disappointing, but I can blame myself for that as I obviously didn’t play well enough to impress the manager. And then of course I picked up an injury so it was a bad finish to the season.

Jimmy Quinn scored 20 goals for Posh in the 1997-98 Football League season.

Jimmy Quinn scored 20 goals for Posh in the 1997-98 Football League season.

“But I look at our squad now and I see an abundance of talent, and that makes me confident the team and myself can have a great season.

“We have some great technicians at the club and we will create lots of chances and therefore score loads of goals.

“Paul Taylor will be an amazing signing. I couldn’t believe what I was watching on the first day he trained with us this summer.

“He is a great runner with the ball and goes past defenders so easily he can’t fail to open teams up which will help players like me.

“I’ve enjoyed the summer so far. I was still finding my fitness for the first couple of weeks, but I feel fully fit now and raring to go.

“I’ve been working hard on improving aspects of my game and there is still plenty of improvement to come, but I will get there.

“The new manager has been brilliant. Training has been really good and he has left us in no doubt how he expects us to play.

“He wants an all­-action style with plenty of possession. He will also be ruthless enough to leave players out who don’t peform how he wants.

“I have a great feeling about this season. When you have unbelievable young talents like Leo Da Silva Lopes in your squad, you should be confident.

“I don’t think we should just aim for promotion. We should aim to become champions.

“Why not aim for first, rather than second or third?”

Top scorers for Posh in the Football League in the last 10 seasons.

2015-­16: 11 Lee Angol & Jon Taylor

2014­-15: 13 Conor Washington

2013-­14: 23 Britt Assombalonga

2012-­13: 13 Dwight Gayle

2011-­12: 12 Paul Taylor

2010-­11: 27 Craig Mackail-­Smith

2009­-10: 10 Craig Mackail­-Smith

2008­-09: 23 Craig Mackail­-Smith

2007-­08: 29 Aaron Mclean.

2006­-07: 8 Craig Mackail-­Smith.

Posh players to have scored 20 Football League goals in a season.

1960-­61: Terry Bly 52

1961-­62: Terry Bly 29

1962­-63: George Hudson 22

1963­-64: Derek Dougan 20

1968­-69: Jim Hall 20

1969­-70: Jim Hall 24

1971-­72: Peter Price 28

1972-­73: Jim Hall 21

1980-­81: Robbie Cooke 22

1981­-82: Robbie Cooke 24

1997-­98: Jimmy Quinn 20

2007­-08: Aaron Mclean 29

2008-­09: Craig MacKail­Smith 23

2010-­11: Craig Mackail­Smith 27

2013­-14: Britt Assombalonga 23