Grimes: “We can’t dwell on things”

Midfielder only has eyes on forthcoming games

Ahead of Saturday’s home game against Rochdale, Grecians midfielder Matt Grimes feels the squad have moved on quickly from the controversy that marred the end of the midweek fixture against Morecambe.

City were denied a late and potentially match-winning penalty after the referee overturned his initial decision, but the youngster feels that the Grecians have plenty of positives that can be channelled from another good performance.

Exeter created a host of chances, dominated possession, and left the Shrimps with slim-pickings, though the scores were tied at 1-1 at the final whistle.

So with the Dale arriving on Saturday for the 3pm kick-off, the youngster is hopeful of keeping the unbeaten run going by getting three points.

“We’ve got a fair few games coming up, so we can’t dwell on things that have already happened,” said Grimes.  “We can take the positives from it. We can’t control refereeing decisions, but we can look to improve in areas that we can control.

“I think we played well against Morecambe – we gave it a really good go and were the better team throughout.  

“The game didn’t end as we would have wanted, but we can pull positives from the game and how strong we were going forward.  We never really looked like conceding until they scored their goal, but these things happen.  

“We’re on a bit of an unbeaten run now – the mood in the camp has certainly changed from when we were losing a few.  Hopefully now we can become a little more watertight and keep a few more clean sheets, and also keep putting teams under pressure when we go forward.

“If we can keep doing that, then I’m confident that we’ll have a good end to the season.

“We have had some really strong performances where the result hasn’t quite gone our way – we felt we could have won the last three or four games because we played so well.  But spirits are really high.”

Grimes has started in the centre of the field alongside Matt Oakley – who is twice his age – in the last two fixtures.  Oakley was also the man that guided the teenager through his impressive debut against AFC Wimbledon back in August.

The 18-year-old has become something of a protégé for former Southampton and Leicester man Oakley, and Grimes feels that he and the team can only benefit from Oakley’s return to fitness after an ankle problem.

“It’s great to have Matt Oakley back in midfield – he’s so experienced and knows precisely what he’s doing,” said Grimes.  “He is always in my ear telling me where I should be and what I should be doing.  I know that anytime in the game I can give him the ball or he can give me the ball.

“He helps me in parts of my game where I’m not as strong as he is – I’m learning so much off him, and hopefully he’ll stay fit now so I can keep learning off him for the rest of the season.

“Matt knows what to do in every single situation – he knows when it’s the time to get the ball down and play, and when just to hook the ball on and get it out.  He never puts the defence or the team under pressure through making the wrong decision.

“Whenever I spend with him on the training ground and on the pitch, I always learn something new – so hopefully that will help turn me into a better player.”