Reid relishing clean slate

New Boro striker looking forward to good times ahead

A CLEAN slate is not something you would assume being high on the list of priorities for a top Conference goalscorer like Craig Reid.

But you’d be wrong, because despite being worshiped by Newport County supporters for scoring 66 goals in two-and-a-half years in South Wales, Reid wanted to embark on a new challenge. A challenge that involved earning his stripes at a new club rather than be the first name on the teamsheet at Newport every week. A challenge to test himself in the Football League again after failing to establish himself at either Coventry City or Ipswich Town in his younger days as an up-and-coming pro.

Here is a striker who doesn’t do comfortable and one who has never given up hope of making a name for himself in the professional ranks. After becoming Boro’s all-time record signing last week, the 25-year-old is desperate to take himself, and his new club forward to the next level.

“It is nice to have a clean slate because this is a new challenge and that’s what I’ve been waiting on for two years while I’ve been at Newport which is to get back into the Football League,” Reid told The Comet.

“I hope to get myself in the team as a regular and get back to scoring goals which is what the gaffer bought me in for and hopefully now I can push on with the team to try and get in those promotion places.

“This is a completely different level now and at Newport everyone knew what I could do. Whereas this is a clean slate and I’ve got to wait my turn which is fair enough and when I get the chance I just want to take it.

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“As the gaffer has said to me before it’s a case of easing me back into this level because I haven’t played in the Football League for a few years but I don’t think it will take too long to get back into it especially training with the lads every day.”

Reid’s arrival at the Lamex Stadium comes at a time when there are five strikers vying for places in the first team squad, but the Coventry-born striker says competition can only be a good thing for the club and suggests there is a good mix of strikers for manager Graham Westley to choose from.

He added: “I think competition is healthy for any forward and the other lads are probably thinking the same about me coming in as it will be good for them and mean that nobody can get complacent.

“I think they will probably enjoy playing up front with me because I not only try and score goals but I look to create chances like you saw on Tuesday night.”

It’s fair to say the two matches Reid has been involved with so far were fairly below-par in comparison to a prior run of good results in both the league and FA Cup. A late collapse at home to Accrington on Saturday was followed up by a 3-0 away defeat to Bury on Tuesday night but Reid insists he has not noticed a dip in morale or confidence within the dressing room and remains optimistic that good times lie ahead between now and the end of the season.

He said: “The confidence is fine. The manager keeps us all upbeat and it’s only two results and there’s still a long way to go. Bury is a tough place to come and as we saw they are a good team but now we’ve just got to take on board with what’s happened in the last two games and look forward to Saturday.”

Reid came on as a 63rd minute substitute against the Shakers and was unlucky not to score his first goal for the club after having two shots blocked off the line within moments of coming onto the pitch.

But despite not getting off the mark in his first two appearances, Westley says it won’t be long until he is firing on all cylinders.

“Reidy could easily have had a hat-trick,” said Westley.

“He looked bright, his footwork was good and he could easily have scored in one of three situations.

“He’s a terrific player and he’ll score goals.”

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