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💬 "We gave them a bit of structure and just asked them to play."

Matt Taylor admits there was no half-time rollicking despite City's second half comeback against Cheltenham Town

22 September 2018

Exeter City manager Matt Taylor said he didn’t have to give the team a half-time rollicking against Cheltenham Town as the players knew they were ‘not at it’ first half themselves.

The Grecians trialed The Robins 1-0 at the break after Ryan Broom swept the ball home from eight yards out following a defensive mix-up.

City had created chances first half with Nicky Law having a goal ruled out for offside and Lee Martin curled an effort over the crossbar. However, it was Cheltenham, who pressed well, who shaded the first half proceeding with greater territory and possession. 

However, after the break, it was a totally different story. City came out of the blocks flying with Jake Taylor have a low cross blocked before Pierce Sweeney rifled home a 20-yard half volley. 

Further chances then came for Jake Taylor, Lee Martin and Jonathan Forte before City nudged themselves in front when Hiram Boateng crossed for Jayden Stockley to fire home. And then the victory was completed when Jonathan Forte charged down a Cheltenham clearance to race through on goal and curl an effort past Scott Flinders. 

“I will be honest with you, people will say ‘you must have got into them at half-time’, but they (the players) knew it,” said Matt Taylor. 

“Sometimes you have got to be the coolest and calmest man in this stadium, despite all your emotions that are going on. 

“So we (the coaching staff) just gave them a bit of structure and a bit of focus and just asked them to play. 

“There were a few more sprints second half and a bit more intent to get to the ball and to press and to play higher up the pitch and to play on the front foot and we got our rewards for it. 

“Cheltenham caused us some problems today, they really did. They are in a league position which is probably a bit false at the moment. They have had a new manager come in and he has obviously worked well with them for the first couple of weeks and they will pick up points this season. 

“They have got some good players, there is no doubt about that. However, the character to produce that second half display – going in at 1-0 on a wet day when you are wet through and you are feeling that your energy levels are not where they should be – was a proper performance.”

It was not perfect though from Matt Taylor’s point of view as he was disappointed when things weren’t going City’s way in the first half that they didn’t defend their goal as well as they should have. 

“That is the only disappointing thing for me today,” he said.  “When it is not going your way, you have got to keep it at 0-0.

“At half-time I wanted them to come in at 0-0 and I have just said to them in future, stay in the game. Do everything you can to stay in the game and the goal that we gave against us was a soft goal to be honest with you. We need to improve in certain areas, but I can’t fault the players. That is three games on the run that they have given me absolutely everything. They do that day in, day out and week in, week out and I am pleased with the three points.”

Up next at St James Park:

City face Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, October 27 in a 3pm kick-off. Click here to purchase tickets online!


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