Skipper previews visit to DagenhamAhead of a Friday-night trip to Dagenham & Redbridge, Exeter City captain Scot Bennett said that spirits were high in the dressing room after three wins on the bounce in Sky Bet League 2 – and that they are aiming to keep it going with another win at Victoria Road.
Exeter followed up away wins at Cambridge and Tranmere with a home triumph against league-leaders Bury last weekend, pushing Exeter away from the foot of the table and setting sights on continuing to climb.
A win against the Daggers on Friday would push Exeter back into the top half of the table – temporarily at least – and allow City to enjoy the rest of the weekend off while the rest of the division toil for points.
He attributed the turnaround in form to sticking to the same values through thick and thin, as well as bolstering the squad in recent weeks.
Scot said: “We’re definitely looking forward to the game on Friday – the boys are on a high after the results we’ve had. The atmosphere is buzzing at the minute.
“Hopefully we can take the performances the wins from the last couple of weeks into Friday, and we can put in another good display for the travelling away fans.
“We’ve been saying since the start of the season that we still have the potential to do well in this league, but we didn’t show it in the first couple of weeks.
“But in the last couple of weeks we’ve really come out and played the football we know we can play and have got the results we wanted to get, and hopefully we can keep that going and climb up the league table.
“It’s about sticking to your principles and making sure you’re doing the right things. Tis is a good manager that is going to make sure you stick to that – he’s not going to change his ways and want us to kick the ball long and aim for a target man. We’re going to get the ball down and play.
“I think the squad has also helped – we’ve brought in a few players so now we’ve got the potential to make changes and make different impacts in games when subs come on.
“We’ve been looking up the table because of the results we had at the start of the season. But in the last couple of weeks we have put a few teams below us, which is nice.
“It is nice to see teams trying to catch us for a change rather than us trying to catch them. If we can keep pushing up the table this Friday and watch the other results come in on Saturday, then we can climb that table.
“That’s where we want to be – up at the top end of that table, not down the bottom fighting again.”
At 39 years old, former Grecian Jamie Cureton remains a goal threat and since making the Daggers the 14th club of his career during the summer, he has already netted four goals for the London. His most recent goal came against Cheltenham – who he represented last season – a fortnight ago.
Bennett is well aware of the threat that ex-teammate Cureton still poses in his 21st season as a pro footballer.
“Jamie is so clever with his movements – he’s still pace like he had when he was a young lad, even if not quite as much,” explained Scot.
“He’s going to cause any teams problems – a bit part of Friday night’s game will be keeping him quiet. If we can dull down their attacking abilities we should be able to go on and win the game.”
Scot also revealed that he is relishing the role of club captain after being appointed to the position in the summer and fulfilling an ambition in his career in doing so.
In his absence with injury recently, Craig Woodman and Matt Oakley took on armband duty and Scot feels that his role is supplemented well by having other strong voices around him in the pitch and in the dressing room.
“I’m really enjoying [being captain] – I filled in two or three times last year but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” he continued.
“I think every boy that wants to be a footballer also dreams about being a captain of their club at some point in their career.
“So to do it at such a young age is brilliant. I look forward to doing it for the rest of this year and see where it goes.
“A good team always has a few leaders in it, and the fact that we have Woody and Oaks – and Pat before he got injured – is always going to help the squad.
“We’ve also brought players in like David Noble who is an ex-Exeter City captain. The fact that we have these players in the squad can only help us.
“We also have two or three on the pitch – it doesn’t just need to be the one. You can improve the squad just by talking to each other.”