Midfielder not reading anything into County's position in the table
Exeter City’s Ollie Watkins is expecting a tough test from Newport County AFC on Saturday despite their position in the League Two table.
City welcome Newport to St James Park sitting two points inside the play-off places and looking to secure a top-seven spot. The visitors, by contrast, are second from bottom, five points from safety. The Exiles have however won three of their last six games as they put in a late bid to save their Football League status.
“Everyone in this league is playing for something,” said Ollie. “So whether it’s against, for example, Portsmouth or Newport, everyone’s fighting for something. Each game is going to be difficult and we need to be ready and be able to perform on the day.
“They (Newport) will be probably very physical and they’ll get in and around us and press us. So we’ve got to be on our game because it’s not going to be an easy game just because they’re towards the bottom of the league. We’re going to have to be on our toes and be ready for what they’re going to bring us on Saturday.”
Exeter have shown great resilience over the last couple of weeks. Firstly, rescuing a point at Yeovil with three late goals, followed by a 2-1 win over Mansfield last weekend with the winning goal coming in the 97th minute.
Ollie said it ‘shows a lot’ about their determination to get a play-off place. He said: “We keep fighting on and we were 3-0 down against Yeovil and we still came back, got three goals to get a point which felt like three points at the end because they should have seen the game out. We’ve done well to come back and get that point.
“Against Mansfield I thought we were unlucky not to go ahead. I’ve had two big chances and I should definitely have scored the right-footed one and I backed myself to score the left-footed one as well. If I score them, we go into half-time and it’s a completely different game. It’s great that we kept fighting and got the winner on Saturday.”
The Grecians are now unbeaten in four games and looking to put another solid run of form in towards the end of the campaign.
“The run that we were on was a great run and there was a great feeling around the club,” Ollie said. “We’ve drawn a lot of games but that’s just as important as long as we’re not losing and staying up there and picking up at least a point, that could be big. Like the Yeovil game, that could be big come the end of the season.”
Last time these two met at Rodney Parade, Exeter came out 4-1 winners in a game where Ollie bagged himself the match ball with his first professional hat-trick and he’d like to get another.
“That would be nice,” he said. “But I’m just focused on the game really and the three points. If that happens I will be over the moon with that but if we get three points that’s just as good.”