Defender looks ahead to meeting with ShrimpersExeter City’s promotion hopes are still alive with three games to go, but realistically it is likely to need a maximum return from those games to be in play-off contention when the regular season ends on Saturday 2nd May.
The first of those final three games comes this Saturday at St James Park, as the Grecians host Southend United in a 3pm kick-off.
In order to beat the Shrimpers, the Grecians will certainly have to do what no team has done for five games – but the ball in the Southend net. Goalkeeper Daniel Bentley has kept shut-outs in the last five games, and Southend have registered ‘0’ in the goals-against column on 20 occasions this year.
But Exeter City defender Danny Butterfield knows that the City team have the firepower to outscore Saturday’s opponents and to register a critical win against a side that are gunning for an automatic promotion slot.
“It’s good for us that both teams have got something riding on it, and both teams have got something to play for,” said Butterfield.
“I think if teams come a little bit more relaxed, they can often play with a little less tempo and that can affect us. The fact that both teams are going for it certainly suits us because we aim to win every game – we don’t sit there to get beat.
“It’ll be a good test for us again on Saturday. Southend are a good strong outfit and they have been there at the top end all season. But it is certainly a game we believe we can win.
“We are a team that feels we can score against anybody – we proved that at their place. The fact that Southend have kept clean-sheets, we will see that as more of a challenge to score at the Park.
“We’ll certainly give them respect, but we don’t believe they aren’t beatable.”
The Grecians contested a rather physical encounter with Wycombe Wanderers in midweek at Adams Park, and manager Paul Tisdale admitted that he’ll have to make late calls on a number of players for his starting XI after that exertion.
However Butterfield feels that the players that are on the fringes of the squad are all fully prepared to head unto the breach and make their presence felt in the final weeks if required.
“There are one or two bumps and bruises, but the lads that have not been in the team of late – me included – are all chomping at the bit to get in there and contribute,” Danny said.
“Everyone is looking sharp in training, that group in particular which hasn’t been playing. Everyone is ready to play if called upon.
“It might be a slight headache to Tis if one or two regulars have got bumps and bruises, but everyone else is certainly pushing for a starting place anyway.”
Even three straight wins might not be enough for Exeter to claim a seventh-placed spot – results elsewhere in the country will need to fall their way in the final fortnight as well.
So while City’s fate isn’t in their own hands, Danny feels that it is important to finish 2014/15 in a flourish and head into summer on a high.
He continued: “As a group we want to end the season in the way that we have played over the last two or three months. I think it is vitally important to end this season on a high because you always feel that can carry on to the next season anyway.
“But more importantly we still we have a chance of making the play-offs and have got something to play for.
“We have made big strides from last season as a squad and as a group. We were struggling towards the bottom end last season. People may say with the budget and where we sit in the country geographically, that that might be the right place for Exeter City.
“We don’t believe that within the camp. We feel we are good enough to get out of this league and it’s something we strive to do from the beginning right until now. And we’ve given ourselves a chance to do that.
“We are still in there, we are still fighting, and we still feel there is a chance that if we win these next three games, we can get in the play-offs.”