Local lad looking forward to the derby
The Devon Derby against near-neighbours Plymouth Argyle is the most anticipated game on the Sky Bet League 2 calendar for Exeter City fans.
And that is no exception for midfielder Liam Sercombe – who has been with his local team since his Academy days – and he is keenly anticipating the affair in the same way as his fellow fans.
He has played in Devon Derby at various age levels throughout his time learning his trade at the Cat & Fiddle, and the midfielder was the goalscorer for City when the two teams drew 1-1 at the Park last season.
“It’s massive for me,” said the 23-year-old. “It means a lot to everyone around Exeter – I can guarantee that people that aren’t even interested in football will be checking for the score of this game.
“Everyone knows what a big game it is and everyone knows that it means a lot to us. So hopefully we can get the win.”
For the Grecians, a derby-day victory would cap a thoroughly positive start to the season. Three points against the Pilgrims would see Exeter up to an automatic promotion spot in the Sky Bet League 2 table, until the 3pm kick-offs are over at least.
No less than ten of the 17 points that City have accrued this season have come from trailing positions – and Sercombe feels that it shows the character that the team are showing this season.
“We’ve had a good start to the season, when a lot of people didn’t know how well we would do,” continued Sercs. “For us to get a win on Saturday would put us second – for a few hours, or maybe more.
“We’re going to be up and around there at the end of the year. We just need to keep going and keep winning games.
“It shows how far we’ve come because if we’d gone a goal down a couple of years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to come back. We have gone behind a lot this season, so to come back from those and get the three points just shows how far we have come.
“But we don’t want to keep going one-nil down. We want to take the lead early and see that out – that’s our next step.”
As someone that has played – and scored – in this fixture, Sercombe understands the passionate side of the tie as well as anyone in Devon.
But he is aware that the Grecians need to keep their heads and play football in their most effective way if they are going to secure the three points and the bragging rights for the fans. And he is hoping that the St James Park crowd will play their part in making the environment right for a City win.
He continued: “A lot of the fans like the nasty side of the game in the local derbies, and especially against Plymouth. For the players, we’ve got to do it properly. We’ve got to get the ball down and play and keep our discipline.
“The crowd is going to be right behind us and we’ve got to stay on our feet. If there is a challenge to be won, we’ll go in and win that challenge – but we’ve got to be sensible. You don’t want to go getting sent off, because the main thing for us is to win the game.
“People always say that the crowd makes the 12th man, but it really does. If we can pack the Park and get a lot of fans here cheering us on throughout the game, it does mean a lot to us – we can hear them.
“Hopefully they’ll all come, cheer us on, and we’ll get them the three points – it’s going to be a massive game in a big atmosphere. We’re going to play our game and hopefully the fans will enjoy it.”
Tickets are still available to buy ahead of the fixture for City fans. It's an ALL TICKET game so supporters will need to have their tickets available ahead of the fixture. Click here for ticketing details.