Exeter City manager Matt Taylor said his players will be tough and sharp when they arrive at Morecambe on Saturday.
The Grecians, who drew 0-0 at Oldham Athletic on Tuesday night, will have covered nearly 800 miles by the time they arrive at the Globe Arena on Saturday afternoon. However, Matt says that will be no excuse for a slow start.
“It is part and parcel of going up north,” he said. “You are sat on coaches for long periods and you will have had a week of long-distance travelling.
“You can sometimes become a little bit slow in your game and weak in your mindset so anywhere you go opposition wise you have got to be tough, sharp and start the game well.
“You have got to hurt the opposition at every opportunity you can. I think it will be a good game of football.
“They (Morecambe) had a really good result against Macclesfield, who are a really good outfit this season. So we have got an idea of the threats that Morecambe pose and Jim Bentley has done a fantastic job again, he does it year in year out.
“That is credit to him and his staff that they keep producing a competitive team. So we know how difficult it will be but we go in relatively confident on the back of some good performances and I feel that our performances are getting better.”
Matt added that, having got late back on Wednesday morning, the players were given an extra hour’s rest on Thursday. However, he said the mindset from the players was spot on when they arrived in training, following the disappointment of not picking all three points on Tuesday night.
“I think everyone is feeling slightly disappointed in missing out on the three points (at Oldham) but performance-wise there was a lot to be pleased about and a lot to work on going into this weekend.
“If you draw a game 0-0 then you want the opposition goalkeeper to get the man-of-the-match award and the next best player to be their centre half.
“I thought Oldham’s keeper was outstanding on the evening and then David Wheater was the lynchpin that we couldn’t quite get past in the rest of the game. Sometimes nil-nil draws are drab affairs, but it certainly didn’t feel like that on Tuesday night and when you create that amount of chances and the keeper has a good day and you have a disallowed goal.”
City also have a good defensive record this season, having conceded just once in the league. As a defender how pleased is Matt with that record?
“It is just one goal conceded and maybe there is a bit of luck in there,” he said. “Deano (Moxey) has took one in the face at Oldham and it was an incredible block.
“I’m not sure how much he knew about it but his performance was excellent and he was in the right place at the right time.
“I still think there is more to come from the whole group and defensively as well. Lewis (Ward) is making saves and on big moments we are defending that goal really well. We saw that, certainly against Swindon, and on Tuesday night as well. We won’t always be level in games. We will be behind at times and that will be the true test of any team.
"It will test our character, our resilience and our know-how of how to get back into games and hurt the opposition, but a defensive foundation is always important. My mindset is pretty made up in terms of what I expect from this group of players come this weekend.”
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