City man preview visit to Brunton ParkExeter City travel to Brunton Park on Saturday with the ambition of completing their first double of the season when they face Carlisle United.
The Cumbrians were on the receiving end of City’s 2-0 win at the Park in December, and Grecians defender Danny Butterfield hopes that the side can replicate the performance and result from that afternoon.
However despite the current plight of the home side, who could potentially enter the relegation zone on Saturday evening, Butterfield insists that nothing is being taken for granted.
And he is hopeful that the supporters that are making the 700-mile round-trip from Devon will be rewarded for their long journey by bearing witness to the right result.
“They are very similar to us in that they have got a mix of experience and lads that have come through the academy there,” said Butterfield.
“Once Carlisle get up and running, they’ve got a good fanbase and they really have a go at it.
“We’re not taking them lightly – we know we played really well at St James Park against them earlier in the season and we’ve got to try and replicate that.
“They’re fighting for their lives and they need points to remain safe in the League, and we need points to put ourselves back in the play-off pack.
“It’s going to be a tough game as well as the trip, but we’ve prepared well this week and we’re looking forward to it.
“Let’s hope we can finish the supporters’ day off with a good performance and a good win. It’s something that we appreciate with the fans travelling so far – because we’re situated down in Devon, geographically every trip is a bit of a slog for them.
“To see them bouncing on the terraces when we come out of the tunnel is a big thing for us and a big lift for the team. We’re looking forward to seeing them and hopefully we put in a good performance and good win.”
It means a long trek for the players as well – the journey begins at Friday lunchtime in preparation for the 3pm kick-off on Saturday, and will end in the small hours of Sunday morning.
However Danny feels that the time on the road has no negative impact on the squad.
“We’ll need about seven or eight films for the journey!” he continues. “It’s a trip, but it’s a bit of team bonding as well when you’re away for such a period of time or on the bus in a confined space with your teammates.
“It’s a good thing – we enjoy being together and we get on great. Even though it’s a long trip, we all enjoy being together.
“There is enough recovery time for us to have enough in our legs to go up to Carlisle and put in a good performance, which we’re aiming to do.
“The trip starts on Friday, and hopefully it ends on the early hours of Sunday morning with three points.”
Last weekend’s trip to York ended with a goalless draw – and Danny believes that a clean-sheet is a good foundation.
It was only the Grecians’ fourth shut-out of the season, and he is hopeful that they will register a few more in the final dozen games of the campaign as part of victories.
“It’s an achievement in the short-term, but it’s something that we’ve got to build on,” he explained. “It’s something that we’ve got to look to be doing on a regular basis to give us a chance to win games.
“Sometimes to be able to combine the two [attack and defence] is harder than you imagine. It is something that we’re working on in training every day to make sure that we are a threat going forward as well as being solid at the back.”
The former Southampton and Crystal Palace man – who also spent a brief spell with Carlisle – was also captain of the side at last weekend’s trip to Bootham Crescent, and he revealed that he revelled in the role.
It was the first time that he had led City out of the tunnel and felt that whether he had the captaincy or not, he would continue to provide the same kind of leadership.
“It was an honour to be captain of the club for the day and to lead my teammates out,” he said. “It’s a proud moment for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope that it’s something that I can taste in the future again.
“I enjoyed it, and it would have been nice to get three points as opposed to the draw.
“It’s part of my make-up and I’m sure Tis sees that – and having that role around the club is something that I enjoy as well.
“Sometimes it comes naturally and you don’t realise you’re doing it. I’ll still continue to be me, no matter whether I’m wearing the armband or not.”