Midfielder reflects on survival, and previews trip to Hartlepool
Reflecting on last weekend’s victory against Scunthorpe United – a result that ensured the Grecians wouldn’t go into the final weekend sweating on their fate – midfielder Liam Sercombe was delighted with the character the squad showed to get over the line.
The St James Park faithful haven’t always seen City at their best this season, but the Grecians signed off their home campaign on a high with a 2-0 win against the league leaders and turned in arguably the most complete performance of the year.
That means that Exeter can travel up to Hartlepool United on Saturday without the burden of needing a result. Instead, manager Paul Tisdale is keen to use the match as an opportunity to blood some of the youngsters and give them the stage to shine.
And despite it being a dead rubber for the two teams, Sercombe’s competitive outlook means that the Grecians will be trying as hard as ever to get the right result at Victoria Park.
“We knew what we had to when we were going into that game [against Scunthorpe],” explains Sercombe. “We had to get the win for ourselves; we didn’t want to be relying on other results, and the way that other results went last weekend wouldn’t have been good for us.
“It’s good that we did it ourselves – from the first whistle we were by far the better team and we were all over them. It looked like every one of our players wanted it – you could see what it meant to the club and the fans. We’re really pleased that we got the result that we needed, and it’s even better that the performance was really good.
“It has been a lot more relaxed around the training ground this week, and a lot more smiling faces at the club. Everyone knew the situation that we were in, which wasn’t nice, but we got through that well – and we couldn’t have done it any better than the way we played against Scunthorpe. Hopefully we can carry that into this Saturday against Hartlepool and play with a smile on our face.
“We’re going to go and enjoy it. Hartlepool are only a point ahead of us, so hopefully we can just enjoy the game and get the three points. We want to win every game – I hate losing games of football, so whatever is at stake, I always want to win.”
Sercs admits that everyone around the club is looking forward to a change to unwind and recharge the batteries – but he is looking forward to building on some of the positive aspects of the 2013/14 and giving it another good go next season.
In particular it is the lessons learned from this season that should put Exeter in good stead to attack the 2014/15 campaign with aplomb.
“With the young squad we’ve got, there have been a lot of positives that have come out of this season,” continued Liam. “A lot of players are in their first full year, and now they have that experience under their belt.
“So I think we’ll be able to do a lot better next season, now that those players like Matt Grimes and Tom Nichols having had that experience and doing so well. Next year will be a good year – I hope we can start well and go from there.
“We all need a bit of time off. It has been a long season with a lot of long trips, so we all need a bit of a break – I’m starting to feel it in my legs a bit now and I’m sure other people are too.
“But I always look forward to coming back, especially when it gets to around June time. And we’ll all be watching the World Cup as well – I find that when I watch football I want to get back playing, so it’s exciting to think about next year.”