Exeter City manager Matt Taylor praised his side’s display after they overcame Carlisle United with a 3-1 victory in hot conditions at St James Park.
Three of the club’s new signings found the net as Nicky Law, Jonathan Forte and Tristan Abrahams put the game beyond the Cumbrians who threatened City a fair number of times throughout.
Following the match, the City boss said: “It was tough. It was exactly what we expected against a good Carlisle team that put us under pressure at times. We scored some good goals, all of the debut boys scored which is a bonus and, in all honesty, we could have killed them off a bit sooner than we did.
“Full credit to Carlisle, they did put us under pressure and asked us questions, but they never really broke through and never really hurt us. It’s a start and we go onto the next game.”
Matt also revealed how pleased he was that three of his new signings are already off the mark in terms of goal scoring as City turned out an excellent collective display.
On his goal scorers, he said: “They are good players, I brought them in for a reason, but they all contributed in different ways, as did all 11.
“It’s very much a team game, a collective performance, I was pleased. We can still get better, we were a sloppy at times and the pitch was difficult on a hot day. It took it out of the lads, some of the energy levels were slightly low at times. We’ll be better for it, we’ll be fitter next week, and we go into next week’s game with a bit of confidence having won the first game.”
Nicky Law, who netted City’s first of the game with a side foot volley, turned out a man of the match display, and Matt says he was delighted for him.
“Nicky Law is a good player, in and out of possession he was probably the best player you saw, said Matt. “He reads the game, has a football brain like not many people do at this level. I can rely on him time and time again and I’m delighted for him.”
Matt also praised the performance of Jayden Stockley, who battled hard up front to help set up his teammates.
Matt said: “He’ll be battered and bruised but I’ve asked him to do that every single week. He has to beat the centre halves as much as they beat him up. It’s a physical game and he’s the pinpoint of our attack. I think Jonathan Forte worked well off him in the first half and Tristan did in the second with his fresh legs.
“I’ve got to be confident to keep two attacking players on the pitch at all times, it’s as simple as that. I could have put an extra midfielder on but then you lose all the attacking intent and we all get frustrated with Jayden up front on his own, which is why I’m delighted with Tristan’s goal.”
The new City manager also says he was happy to get a warm reception from the home supporters as he took charge of his first competitive match and says he and his side will need the fans’ support throughout the season.
He said: “The fans, from day one, have been excellent ever since I started playing for the club, they took me to heart.
“I’m an honest bloke and they saw some honesty in terms of the players today. It won’t be easy this season, you saw today how it ebbed and flowed, and the crowd were up and down, and we need their constant support throughout. It was a hot day for them as much as the players, so everyone is going to enjoy a pint tonight, everyone deserves it.”