Winger enjoying team unity at the Park
Summer recruit David Wheeler is contented with life amongst a diligent Exeter City squad following a bright start to the season.
After ten games, the Grecians occupy an automatic promotion place and are already rapidly approaching a number of home wins in Sky Bet League 2 to surpass the total set in last season’s campaign.
For the former Staines wide-man, it has been a quick learning curve to be thrown into pro football, but he has made a strong start to life in Devon with a number of eye-catching performances, as well as being named the Supporters’ Trust Player of the Month in August.
And in particular it is the mood in the camp, where everyone is pulling in the same direction, which has made for an enjoyable start for the City man. Alongside Artur Krysiak and Craig Woodman, Wheeler is one of just three City men to have featured in all of the Grecians’ games so far this year, albeit not always for 90 minutes, and he is pleased to be a part of a team with such a strong collective focus.
“I don’t know if it’s particular to this team, but there are a lot less egos and people are willing to help each other out a lot,” said Wheeler. “There’s no envy or anything like that, and people always push to do the best for each other.
“It’s really competitive for places, but it’s really friendly too. It’s honest, hard-working competition – everyone gets on well and everyone is striving for the same goal.
There’s no complaining or whining about where you should or shouldn’t be playing – if you’re taken off or brought on, you do a job and put your trust in the manager.”
Positive performances have merited positive results, and the added incentive for City now is to maintain the kind of form that has put the Grecians into such a commanding position after the first ten games – and David feels that that is achievable with the attitude that the team bring to the Cat & Fiddle each day.
“The key thing at the moment is that we’re all willing to work hard for each other, defend for each other, and cover for each other all the time,” he continued.
“Our club has got a really good work ethic, whether that’s on matchday or any given day at training. There’s a really strong work ethic and that’s driven by Tis and the coaches.
“We have our own standards and we want to maintain where we are at the current moment. We’re setting up so that we want to stay in the same position, if not better, for the next ten games.
“To talk about ‘expectations’ probably isn’t quite right, but we’re keeping our standards high and we’re pushing on from where we are.”
Last weekend’s win against Plymouth Argyle was certainly a big part of the feel-good factor around the club, but the winger is already onto the next.
Indeed, with Hartlepool next on the calendar at the Park on Saturday, there is another chance for the Grecians to keep the tally ticking over. But Wheeler knows that they need to perform if they’re going to beat a Pools side that are on a hot streak away from home, with two wins on the road within the last week.
He explained: “The mood is great at the moment – everyone is calm and content. And as Tis has been saying, it’s important that we keep our feet on the ground not take the win too high.
“If last weekend had been any other team in the bottom half of the table, we would have expected ourselves to have won anyway – so we need to treat it like that. Of course it was the derby, but it is still the kind of game that we would have expected ourselves to win anyway.
“It’s an old cliché, but we still have to play well to win any game in this league. There are very few teams that are bad enough that we can just turn up and expect to win.
“But on our day, if we play the way we know we can play, we’ll beat any team in the league.”
Thinking of coming to see Exeter City v Hartlepool at St James Park? Tickets are available in advance of the game to buy online by clicking here, or you can buy over the counter from Reception. Tickets can also be bought on the day of the game from the booths around the ground or at the turnstiles into the Big Bank. Click here for ticket prices.