Exeter City under-21s coach Matt Taylor is expecting a tough game against visitors Hull City on Monday’s Premier League Cup tie at St James Park.
The Grecians came out 2-0 winners in October’s away fixture, and currently sit top of the Group H table with six points, level with Sunderland under-23s on goal difference.
Asked whether he expects a strong response from Hull following the first meeting of the sides, Matt said: “I’m expecting a tough game, we went up there and had a good result earlier on in the season. We had a real intensity about our play that night and maybe caught them off guard a little bit.
“We won’t have that luxury this time and they’ll be ready for us and they’ll have a better expectation of our style of play so I’m expecting a very tough game.
“If you get beaten 2-0 at home at any level of football that will hurt. Their coaching staff will be firing into them and we expect a big response from them.
“They will give us a serious game on Monday night and we will have to stand up to them and play our own way. Hopefully, we can pick up a positive result.”
Matt mentioned how difficult it can be to prepare for Premier League Cup games given how the sides can drastically change from game to game.
He said: “We try and do our analysis on the opposition but with the three overage players, it gives the teams an opportunity to play some other professional players like we do sometimes.
“However, that’s dictated by whatever happens on a Saturday and it’s the same with Hull. They’ll have a game this weekend and obviously, we have a massive game away at Notts County.
“We’ll pick a team after that game going into Monday night.”
The under-23s last game came in early December, beating Brighton 4-1 at St James Park, and Matt is hoping for a similar performance on Monday.
He said: “If we play as well as we performed that night you give yourself a massive chance. That performance was based on hard work and quality in the opposition box. We took our chances really well and ended up scoring four against a good Brighton team.
“We’d love to win like that every week but football is never like that. I just want us to play with a bit of zest and energy like we have over the previous few games; if we do that we have a great chance.”
Matt urged as many people as possible to get down to St James Park on Monday for the game.
He said: “Any support helps the lads massively. It is an opportunity for the fans to come and see the next generation of players coming through, plus some professionals who need some minutes ready for a Saturday.
“We welcome all support massively and it is very important to us.”