Right-back previews trip to Gigg Lane
Despite a home defeat at the hands of Accrington Stanley last weekend, Grecians right-back Danny Butterfield feels that the Exeter City boys are well prepared as a unit for the run-in to the 2013/14 campaign.
Six games remain of the current season – including Saturday’s trip to Bury – and the former Crystal Palace and Southampton man feels that the squad are all pulling in the same direction as they aim to finish as high in the Sky Bet League 2 table as possible.
“The way we’ve played over the last four or five games and the togetherness we have shown is going to stand us in good stead for the run-in,” explained Butterfield. “So long as we stick together for the run-in and everyone contributes, it’ll be a good end to the season.
“When you can see the finish line, you want to end the season on a high. You don’t want to finish on a downer – you want to do the best you can and take that forward to the following season.
“The lads are still chomping at the bit to pick up results, and hopefully sooner rather than later so that we can continue the form we’ve had going of late.
“When I joined, the boys were in great form early in the year and you do aspire to get promoted out of this league – and we still do have that aspiration. We know that this season we have let ourselves down in our performances at times, and certainly in terms of results.
“But we’ve got six games now to finish on a positive and we’re all aiming to do that and to finish as high as we can up the table.”
The Grecians’ confidence in their prospects of finishing higher in the table is rooted in a belief in their own football, and for Danny it’s a case of staying faithful to their own principles.
“It’s important to continue what we’re doing and not change the way we play,” he continued. “More than anything we have to stay calm – often you can feel the anxiety in the ground but as players we have to maintain standards in the way we want to play the game rather than being dictated by others.
“So long as we stick together and continue to enjoy it, we’ll be fine – we believe in the way we play, and if we do it to the best of our ability then we’ll get more results than not. That’s our philosophy, that’s how we want to do it and that’s how we’ve beaten some good teams in this league.
The Shakers, hosts at Gigg Lane on Saturday, have enjoyed a fruitful week – their midweek victory against Bristol Rovers catapulted them up to 12th position and into the top half of the table for the first time since August.
A win for Exeter at Bury would take their tally to 50 points, level with Bury, and it is evidence of the value of securing wins at this time of the season. The fact that there are no palpable gaps opening up in the lower reaches only hammers home the point.
“Anyone that wins back to back games in this league will shoot up five or six places,” he continued. “We need to put the game against Accrington behind us as soon as possible and get the three points up at Bury, which we’re more than capable of doing.
“At this time of the season the points are so valuable. It’s certainly a game that we’re going to try and win – the confidence is still in the camp even though we were on the end of the wrong result last Saturday.
“The two games that we played previous to last week were good performances and the results really went for us. The fact that we couldn’t follow that up [against Accrington] was disappointing, and obviously the goal we conceded was even more disappointing.
“Over the last three or four games we’ve only conceded a few goals, but the ones we have let in have been disappointing. It’s not as if teams have been scoring worldies against us.
“We believe that we can finish on a lot more than 50 points, but if we can get to that on Saturday with five games to play, it’ll show that we can finish a lot higher in the standings than we are at present.”