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Wheeler: Going toe-to-toe with the big boys

24 July 2015

City winger speaks following Sheffield United friendly

DAVID WHEELER was positive about the Grecians’ prospects for the season after turning in a man-of-the-match performance in the friendly with Sheffield United at St James Park.

The Grecians matched the Blades for much of the first eighty minutes before Che Adams found a winner for Nigel Adkins’ visitors, and Wheeler made problems for the visiting defenders nearly every time he got the ball.

“I thought that Sheffield United played some really good football," Wheeler said, "and the pitch was perfect for that style of play. As the ball ran so smoothly, it gave them a good chance to keep it, but I thought we defended well, and we were especially unfortunate for the first goal, because I got a little flick on the corner and then it hit [Sheffield United’s Neil Collins] on the head and went in. We did do well though, I thought – with another chance like the one I had, I feel we could have gone 2-1 up."

Wheeler was a key component in the Grecians’ equalising goal, nipping in ahead of the Blades’ Neil Collins before being felled in the box by the man who had earlier handed United the lead.

“Macca [Jamie McAllister] played a long ball down the left side to Tom [Nichols], who did really well in winning that first ball,” Wheeler recapped. “I just gambled that he would get a flick on it, and went in behind it, heading it to myself down the line and then just getting my heels clipped in the box. Tom then did a really good job with the penalty, slotting it in and sending the keeper the wrong way.

“I had an eventful game – I beat their full-back in the air at one point, and if he hadn’t landed on my boot when coming down, I probably would have been able to go on and get a shot away. Had it have been a league game I might have gone for it anyway, but to be honest I didn’t want to risk getting injured by shooting without a boot in a friendly!

“I think we’re playing some very good football, and we’re showing that we can go toe-to-toe with some fairly established teams. At times we haven’t looked out of place at all on the same pitch as these teams. I think we’ll have a lot more of the ball in the game against Yeovil in a couple of weeks than we have had in the last few friendlies at St James Park, and that’ll give us more of a chance to show just how effective we can be.”

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