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Pat: “We’ve come back a better squad”

29 July 2014

Baldwin praises growing togetherness of the squad following Brazil experience

After returning from Exeter’s 10-day trip to Brazil, Pat Baldwin was tired but not downhearted following City’s 2-0 defeat to Premier League side Swansea City.

The squad arrived back into Exeter last night, being on the motorway only 24 hours before kick-off, but Baldwin was quick to acknowledge that it was just ‘part and parcel with being on tour – we’ve just got to get on with it.’

“It was an amazing experience,” explained Baldwin.  “It was very humbling at times – the sort of thing you’ll never forget for the rest of your life.”

He was also keen to comment on the togetherness in the squad after spending 10 days with his teammates.

And in addition, he emphasised how being part of such a momentous event in the clubs history is something that all the players were privileged to be a part of.

“As a squad we’ve come back as a better squad, a close-knit squad, that I haven’t really experienced since I’ve been here to be honest,” continued Pat.

“All the lads got on well and it’ll hopefully stand us in good stead.

“It was an absolute privilege – some of the younger lads possibly may take it for granted and not realise what it meant, but I think they will look back in years to come and appreciate it.  I certainly did, it was an incredible experience.”

Pat was not only optimistic about the harmony in the squad, but also had positive reflections on the Swansea game despite the result.  He praised the Premier League side but was quick to draw out the positives in his team’s own performance. 

He explained: “Swansea are an unbelievable team, and play some of the best football in the premiership, and at times I felt like we dealt with them quite well, we restricted them to a handful of chances and after the preparation we’ve had it's a good sign.”

Baldwin was positive about the shift towards a 3-5-2 formation during their pre-season preparation.

Since the beginning of pre-season, the Grecians have been using the new formation and returned from Brazil undefeated with their new structure.

Pat commented: “We’ve been doing a lot of work on it throughout preseason, while in Brazil we were working on it as well.

“You can see the work we’re doing in training is coming alive on the pitch, it's the most comfortable formation I’ve played in at the club – everyone knows what they’re doing, we’re showing good signs, we’ll keep improving and the more time we’ll spend on the training pitch we’ll develop the attacking threat.”

City’s first-team have just one more fixture remaining at the Park before the start of the 2014/15 campaign, when Torquay visit on Saturday.

Looking ahead to that game, the centre-half was quick to highlight the importance of the final pre-season outing.

“Results are always important but at this stage, you’re looking at what is your best team, who the best players are at this stage of the season and it's a derby,” he continued.

“You have that in the back of your mind too.  We’ve played against teams that get the ball down and play, but Torquay is going to be a completely different game, so we’ll see how we deal with that.”

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