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City v Notts County

Pierce Sweeney: 'Let's not make it two defeats'

25 September 2017

In-form Exeter City defender Pierce Sweeney hopes to bounce back at home to high-flying Notts County.

First will take on second at St James Park tomorrow night, as Notts County make the 200 mile trip down to Exeter for a hotly-anticipated top-of-the-table clash.

The Grecians have been League Two’s early pace setters, racing out of the blocks with seven wins in their first eight games. However, they suffered their first setback last weekend away at Coventry, succumbing to a 2-0 defeat. In reflecting on that result, Pierce insists that the loss has motivated the squad going forward. 

“Saturday wasn’t our best performance,” he said. “We all know that, so the best thing we can do is put that behind us and turn up against Notts County. All the boys are looking to bounce back from a bad result.

“Saturday is a motivator for us. They’ve won, and we obviously didn’t put in a good performance, so the lads are itching to get going again.

“One of the first things said in the dressing room on Saturday was ‘Let’s not make it two’. Everybody is allowed to lose a game, but it’s how you react afterwards that’s important.”

In spite of this, Pierce was under no illusions about the challenge facing the Grecians on Tuesday. The Magpies have been in scintillating form of late, putting four past Lincoln City at the weekend to nudge ahead of the Grecians on goal difference.

“It’s a big game,” he said. “We’ve both started really well, especially considering that the two of us were near the bottom at the start of last season. They’re unbeaten in six or seven, so it won’t be easy. But any game in this league isn’t easy as we know, so we’ll be ready for it.”

Kicking off at 7.45pm, the game will take place under the lights, with Pierce hoping that St James Park’s unique night-time atmosphere will help the Grecians to continue their imperious form at home.

“It’s our home ground and we want it to be a fortress,” he said. “So far, we’ve played four and won four, keeping four clean sheets. That was our problem last year and it is our strength this year.

“I don’t know why the atmosphere is so special (for evening games), it might be the dark nights or something! But we’re all looking forward to the game and hopefully it’ll be a packed house.”

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