Exeter City manager Matt Taylor will be looking for a similar performance to Monday when they face Oldham Athletic on Saturday.
The Grecians earned a well-deserved point on Easter Monday at Stevenage thanks to a performance that was full of running and endeavor. No, with two games to go, they sit just inside the League Two play-off places knowing a win against Oldham Athletic could go a long way to secure a top-seven finish at the end of the campaign.
There, of course, will be tension with so much at stake but Matt Taylor wants his players to get rid of those nerves by playing a certain type of game.
“We have got to take any nerves and any anxiety out of the situation,” he said. “So as much as I want to tell the players to go out and enjoy it, it is never that simple.
“However, it might just take their minds off the nerves and anxiety by playing a certain type of football, which is a high-intensity football, pressing at every opportunity and running.
“If you are out of breath you are not thinking about too many other things. I thought that was the staple of our performance on Monday. There was a real attitude to work yourself to the limit and you could probably see Lee Martin was on his knees at the end and Randell Williams had cramp. There were some tired bodies, but that is what it takes to win games of football.”
City won the reverse fixture at Boundary Park earlier this season, thanks to a second-half comeback and a hat-trick from Jayden Stockley. Matt said that was a good advert for League Two football and knows that with the attacking threat the Latics have at their disposal they will pose similar threats to City on Saturday.
“As I alluded to with the game up at their place, they were on are on a good run of form going into that game as well and it was a fantastic advert for League Two football, with goals going in both ends and lots of chances both ends,” said Matt. “We have got to match their physicality and their good play and keep their good, dynamic attacking players pretty quiet.
“We have got good players ourselves who can hurt opposition so it is set up for a good game of football. I expect it to be a tight affair. I expect it to be nervy at times. I would implore the fans and my players to just relax and try and enjoy the occasion, but there is so much riding on it that it is easier to say, as oppose to actually doing it. We want a performance and we want a result, but it is never as straightforward as that. It will be a really, really tough test but one we are looking forward to.”
Troy Brown will be injured for Saturday’s match, while Randell Williams and Pierce Sweeney will face late fitness tests.