Midfielder ready to go again
Despite conceding a lead to lose away to AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, Grecians midfield Arron Davies is raring to go again when Exeter host Oxford United at St James Park on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Grecians were undone with 15 minutes to spare as Jack Midson netted for the Dons, but City had carved out some good openings and, the result excepted, had plenty to take encouragement from.
Whilst the Welshman recognised that points on the board was the absolute priority, he also believed that the young side should channel the positives for the visit of the U’s.
City were visitors at the Kassam Stadium earlier in the season and played out a lively 0-0 draw in stormy conditions, in which Exeter again had chances to take all three points. And while the U’s are yet to be defeated on the road in the current campaign, Davies is confident that the Grecians can put paid to that on Tuesday.
“There were a lot of positives to take from the game in spite of the result, which we can take into the game on Tuesday under the floodlights,” said Davies. “It’ll be a good game.
“I felt we should have beaten Oxford at their place – we know a lot about them and they know a lot about us, so it should be another good game. Regardless of where they are in the league, we know that we are capable of beating anyone.
“The energy levels and the way we competed against Wimbledon were brilliant, and we showed some good football in patches. But the way we conceded goals is unacceptable and we are gutted to have lost that game.
“The conditions were harsh and varying, but that was the same for both teams and they managed to pip us in the end so the lads are gutted. But we’ll pick ourselves up ahead of Tuesday and turn around quickly. We’ll take in the energy and commitment – everyone was putting their bodies on the line, closing things down and showing determination and grit.
“We just got done on a little bit of defending and lacked a bit of a killer instinct. We had chances, but we’ll take positives into Tuesday – that’s all you can do.
“Obviously we’re a little bit down in the dumps at the minute, but we’ll get back on the horse and go again on Tuesday.”
On the defeat at Kingsmeadow, there was definitely an element of fortune in the way that host Wimbledon got back into the game. Scot Bennett was the luckless party as a ball twice ricocheted off his heel near the corner flag to allow Charlie Wyke to escape and lay in Luke Moore.
But Davies was keen to make sure that the City players don’t make a hard-luck story for themselves by bemoaning the breaks, and instead control their own destiny with clinical performances in both penalty boxes.
“We can’t keep saying we’re being unlucky – I know the ball came off Scot’s heel twice and their player got lucky to get in, but we can’t keep saying we’re unlucky,” he continued.
“We need to be ruthless in every game. We’re not too far off, but all the talk counts for nothing if you’re losing and not getting points on the point.”
One of the main talking points after the game at Kingsmeadow was the injury sustained by Matt Grimes, following a lunging tackle by Sammy Moore just before half-time.
It has since transpired that the 18-year-old midfielder has not suffered a fracture, and while the injury puts the youngster in doubt for the visit of Oxford, Davies is backing his team-mate to bounce back sooner rather than later.
“I was the one that set the ball off to him and so I was on the spin ready for him to play it down the line, so I didn’t actually see the tackle – but the lads weren’t too happy about it,” Davies said.
“Grimesy is a tough lad though and puts his body on the line for the cause. Hopefully it’s just a bit of bruising.”