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Lloyd James: 'We have seven cup finals left'

30 March 2017

Midfielder looking forward to match against Steve Evans' Mansfield Town

Midfielder Lloyd James says Exeter City have seven cup finals left this season as they aim to finish in the play-off places by May 6.

City travel to Steve Evans’ Mansfield Town next in League Two after an astonishing 3-3 draw with local rivals Yeovil Town last weekend. 

In that match the Grecians found themselves 3-0 down at St James Park in the 88th minute of the game before goals from David Wheeler, Troy Brown and Reuben Reid saw them clinch a crucial point.

Lloyd says that shows what a good team spirit they have in the camp. 

“I think it shows the great character within the squad that we’ve got,” he said. “It shows a lot of things really. It shows we’ve never got that ‘lay down and die’ attitude. We all stuck at the task and I thought we deserved the point, at least a point, from the game.”

Mansfield will pose a threat on Saturday though and sit just a point behind City in ninth they could overtake the Grecians in the table with a win. The Stags have looked solid under Steve Evans’ guidance and are a very difficult team to score against at Field Mill having conceded only 17 there this season. 

However, Exeter have been excellent on the road this campaign and have scored the second most goals away from home in the division. Therefore, something has to give. 

“We’re expecting a very tough game,” said Lloyd. “We know what Steve Evans’ sides are about, I’ve played against them for a few years now. They’ll be right in your face, it will be a tough battle but it will be a good game.

“I think every game now – we’ve got seven left – will be cup finals. So we need to take as many points regardless of who it’s against. We’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves and get the maximum points possible.”

Exeter head into the game on the back of two draws compared to Mansfield’s two consecutive wins. 
When asked if this will impact the way City approach the game Lloyd responded: “Not really. Like I said before we concentrate on ourselves. You say we drew our last two so that’s two unbeaten with three if you include Cheltenham win, so it's positives and negatives. We’ve had two hard draws, Luton away which was a positive point as well. So not really, we need to concentrate on ourselves and go into it with a lot of confidence like we should do.”

A lot of City’s goals have come from Ollie Watkins and David Wheeler this season but more recently Reuben Reid has started finding the back of the net. He scored twice against Cheltenham Town and got the equaliser in the incredible draw with Yeovil last weekend. 

However, Lloyd says Reuben is key to their chances on Saturday whether he finds the back of the net or not.

“He’s key whether he’s scoring or whether he’s not.” said Lloyd. “He’s got a big part to play. Some people may not see the work that he does when he’s not scoring but the work he brings to the team and his experience is great for us. He’s so important, as are the other players who play up top.”

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