City man looks ahead to cup competitionExeter City attacker David Wheeler is eagerly anticipating the chance to face a higher-ranked opponent in Swindon Town in the first round of the Capital One Cup.
The draw, which took place on Tuesday morning, was seeded in such a way that guaranteed that Exeter would face either a League 1 or Championship team. The fixtures will take place at a date and time to be confirmed on the week commencing Monday 10th August.
The Robins were a single match away from being a second-tier club, but only for Preston to defeat them in the play-off final at Wembley.
So Wheeler is keen for the City squad to pit their wits against opposition from a division above when they meet at the County Ground in August, and using the game as a barometer for the progress they have made over summer.
“It’s definitely nice to be playing against a team that is higher than you, to see where you are in comparison to them and to test yourself,” explained David.
“And it will be great for us to play on such a nice pitch early on. I’m really looking forward to that.
“This is the kind of game we’ll all be looking forward to. The cup games over the last couple of years haven’t gone so well for us, so it’ll be good if we can turn that around against a stronger opposition.
“That would give us a good boost at the start of the season. Any game is winnable and it’ll be a good test for us early on.”
The real excitement will begin on Wednesday, however, when another 46 dates are set for City. The full Sky Bet League 2 fixture list will be revealed at 9am.
And Wheeler feels that the sense of anticipation is helped by the tight-knit group that has been assembled at St James Park.
“Getting the fixture list lets you really picture how the season is going to go,” he continued. “And of course you always look out for the big derby games like the ones against Plymouth Argyle and Bristol Rovers.
“It is going to be really interesting to see what the fixture list throws up for us.
“Towards the end of last season, when it was looking unlikely that we would be able to reach the play-offs, we were already beginning to get prepared for this season to make sure that we can really push and kick on this year.
“Everyone is in the right mind-set. The fact that most of the players that were here last season have stayed is a testament to what the players are thinking about for the coming season.
“It’s nice to start pre-season with the squad that you’re looking to start the season with. We have a good batch of players that know each other really well, and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and we get on as a group.
“That helps for the planning and preparation – it makes it so much easier when it comes to working on tactics and team shape when everyone is already there.”
Remember to use the #FixtureReleaseDay hashtag on Twitter when discussing City’s fixture list – and check out lots of updates when they arrive in our live blog below.