NEWPORT County AFC striker Shaun Jeffers has vowed to use his first goal for the club as a springboard to claim a regular starting place.
The 22-year-old, signed from Peterborough United in January as part of the deal that took Conor Washington to London Road, failed to find the net in 14 appearances last season.
But only four of those were starts and Jeffers got off the mark at the first attempt this season with a consolation goal as a substitute in the Capital One Cup defeat at Reading on Tuesday.
Jeffers faces a fight to claim a starting place with competition from Aaron O’Connor, Rene Howe, Chris Zebroski, Christian Jolley, Joe Parker and Danny Crow.
But the former Coventry City youngster is determined to be a regular source of goals for the Exiles.
“I’m delighted to get my first goal for the club,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming but I’ve been working hard, I’ve got a good pre-season under my belt and I feel stronger and more confident.
“You could say it’s a weight off my shoulders but I didn’t even think of it like that; I knew the goals would come.
“I’ve been working hard for the team and I wasn’t getting worried or anxious about it.
“There’s definitely more to come from me and the team. This is just the start and I want to push on from here.
“There is a lot of competition for places up front so you have to take your chances when they come along and hopefully I can prove that I’m good enough to claim a regular place in the team.
“I won’t be banging on the manager’s door,” he added. “I’ll just keep working hard and hope that my ability shines through.”
Jeffers believes that the improved performance against Reading can help County move on from last Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Wycombe as they aim to pick up their first League Two points of the new campaign at Morecambe tomorrow.
“It’s a great inspiration to play at grounds like the Madejski and our fans definitely made themselves heard; they spurred us on,” he said.
“They were louder than the Reading fans for most of the match and it was a good game.
“We played a lot better against stronger opposition so it puts us in a good position going into the weekend.
“Hopefully we can pick up our performances now because we didn’t start very well against Wycombe last week.
“Obviously we weren’t expected to beat Reading so there was no pressure on us but we showed what we can do.
“Morecambe is a tough place to go but we know what we need to do.
“We’ve moved on from the defeat against Wycombe now and hopefully we can take the positives from Reading into this game.”