Exclusive interview with the captain
In the opening month of the season we’ve been spoilt when it comes to memorable goals – Jamie Cureton has shown off the scissor kick, the turn of pace and clipped finish and the thumping finish from 30 yards while Alan Gow has wowed us with the rabona and we can’t forget John O’Flynn firing home to finish a top-class team move against Burton.
And ahead of Tuesday night’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Wycombe few would have thought we’d be adding centre back Danny Coles to that list this morning, Danny included!
So when we caught up with the City skipper after the final whistle the first question had to be – have you ever scored a backheel before?
Stifling a giggle he told us: “I score them all the time in training! No I certainly haven’t scored one before.
“It was the way the ball fell, I sort of took a touch and I just had one thought on my mind – I knew I was going to backheel it!
“There were two of them stood behind me, Curo and Matty Oakley I think. They were peppering me afterwards saying: “good job it went in!”
“I was absolutely delighted it did, it is a cheeky goal but more importantly it was an important goal and we needed those three points on the back of a draw on Saturday. I’m absolutely chuffed to bits.”
The captain may have popped up with the winning goal but he made a key contribution at the other end after just six minutes when he nodded Joel Grant’s goal-bound header off the line, which would have put City 2-0 down, and he admitted that intervention was equally vital.
“That is just as important to me as scoring a goal,” he told us. “Defending is my main job of course and making sure we don’t concede goals. I actually tried to head it over so I was lucky that Artur was there to claim it. It was right underneath the bar.”
After back to back home games the Grecians are on the road this weekend as they make the long trip to Roots Hall to take on Southend, looking to maintain their 100% away record that has seen them score nine goals, concede just four and pick up nine points out of a possible nine.
And Coles told us how the squad is on a real high after the events of Tuesday night.
“We’ll be going there full of confidence and hopefully getting three points again,” he said. I think it was an outstanding performance from the boys on Tuesday and we wanted to play well on the back of Saturday when we weren’t ourselves.
“There was a lot more purpose to our play and we were up and at them. We were moving the ball quickly and all moved as a team.
“All round it was a good performance and I think a draw would have been a harsh result."
Having enjoyed the benefits of a settled side during the opening month of the season Paul Tisdale suddenly had injuries pilling up last week with Liam Sercombe, Guillem Bauza, Alan Gow and John O’Flynn missing on Tuesday but Coles was quick to pinpoint how well the replacements played.
“The players that came in, Jimmy and Tommy, did fantastically well,” he said “They made a massive difference. With Flynney missing, which was a massive miss for us because he has been outstanding, Jimmy came in and did really well. He was getting in those little holes and our first goal came from him letting the ball run across his body.
“As a squad we are looking good, young players are coming in when the senior players are out. And they are stepping up to the plate and progressing.”