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Rob: “It’s an exciting time”

28 February 2013

Robbo looking forward to season finale

Exeter City assistant manager Rob Edwards is looking forward to an exciting final two months of the 2012/13 season with all to play for in the fight for promotion into League 1 – starting with Northampton’s visit to the Park on Saturday.

The run of fixtures throughout March in particular pairs City against several of their other rivals around the upper reaches of the division, but Rob is feels that the vibe around the club at the moment puts them in good stead going into crunch-time this season.  Despite a loss last weekend away to Burton Albion, the Grecians wasted no time in bouncing back by downing Port Vale on their own patch in midweek.

“People say ‘the next game is crucial’, but we’re playing all the teams that are up there in March,” said Edwards.  “It’s an exciting time.  As a player, you look forward to the bigger games – you go into the game with more people in the ground and they’re going for something too – it’s great to play in.  The lads are just excited about playing at the moment.

“I know they were disappointed with the result last Saturday against Burton, and they took that into Tuesday night’s game and started with a real determination.  I think that’s the way to play at the moment – take one game into the next.  And what we can take from Tuesday is that we’re solid, players are playing well, and they’ve got a real understanding of how the manager wants them to play.”

The Cat & Fiddle training ground was relatively deserted at Thursday afternoon’s press call, with the players that featured in the Vale Park victory being afforded some additional time to recover.  With two games on the schedule for most of next month, Edwards was looking forward to channelling their high levels of confidence in the upcoming fixtures.

“The players weren’t in this morning – it was a long trip up [to Burslem] and we got back late,” Rob continued.  “We’ve had two away games so they’re resting up – obviously there’s a few bumps and bruises but the other lads around the squad and those that were on the bench have trained.

“There’s a great spirit around the place after we went [to Port Vale] and got a win, and it’s a tough place to go.  But we do back ourselves – we’ve been to Gillingham and won, we’ve been to Port Vale and won.  We are very confident that we can go and get results away from home.

“Saturday is a different thing – we’re playing a good club at home, and one thing we’re looking forward to doing in picking up our home form and doing well.”

Saturday’s visitors Northampton have earned a reputation for being quite direct – and their approach has clearly borne fruit, with the Cobblers sitting perched underneath the automatic places.  But Rob hopes that City can quell the threats and execute a gameplan that will see the Grecians run out victorious at the Park.

“Every game throws up different challenges.  The Burton game was a different challenge to the Port Vale game, but we always have a plan.  To be three-nil down away at Burton obviously wasn’t the plan!  But the plan worked as well as I’ve seen it on Tuesday night.  Paul set up the team and explained on Monday how he wanted the game to go, and it went very similar to that.

“So we’ll have a plan on Saturday, but the game doesn’t always stick to that.  It’s usually based around previous games and how we think Northampton are going to play.  I think we’ve got a pretty good idea on that.”

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