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Matt Taylor hoping for bumper crowd as tickets prices are cut for Premier League Cup game

Under-21s coach preparing for crucial match against Sunderland

9 February 2018

Exeter City coach Matt Taylor is hoping for a big turnout on Sunday as his under-21 side take on their Sunderland counterparts in the Premier League Cup at St James Park.

The Grecians can qualify for the knockout stages of the competition if they beat Sunderland in the penultimate game of the group stages. 

Matt knows that will be a massive motivational boost for his team, but he is also aware that a strong backing from the crowd will help in spurring his players on to a memorable victory. 

“We want as many people there as possible,” said Matt. “It will be difficult to go St James Park on Saturday and Sunday for some fans and that is why the club have cut the admission prices for the game.

“However, if they are into their football, then it will be a big weekend and there is no reason why they can’t do Saturday and Sunday and then Tuesday away at Port Vale.”

City sit above a point both Brighton and Sunderland in the standings, therefore they know one victory from their final two matches will be enough.

“It will be a massive bonus if we can get that win on Sunday, especially with a game left when we go to Brighton which is going to be a really tough test,” said Matt.

“The game on Sunday is the most important thing. We win that and everything else takes care of itself.

“We are looking forward to it. We had a good run out on Tuesday against Bristol Rovers in the reserves – although we played a bit more of an experienced team. And it is just getting these lads as much game-time as possible so that they are ready for games like this.”

Matt has a few issues with regards to selection as he won’t know until Sunday morning what team he will be able to pick from.

“Obviously we don’t know the team for Sunday as a lot will be dependent on this Saturday and players getting through that game,” he said. “Also we have got some younger players out on loan so I am trying to look after them as best we can so we can get them out of their games Saturday so they can be available for us on Sunday.

“So it is a little bit up in the air at the moment. We have just got to approach the game in the right manner and hopefully come away with a win.”

Speaking about Sunderland, who beat them 2-1 earlier in the group stages, Matt added: “We have got an idea what to expect as we played them up at their place. They are a good team. They have got some seriously good players. We have got to put them under as much pressure as we can on our home pitch on Sunday and play similar to the first team whenever possible. We are expecting a tough test but there is no reason why we can’t get a positive result.”

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