Matt Taylor said the performance of Exeter City young players should make the headlines following their penalty shootout victory over League One side Oxford United.
The Grecians won the match thanks to South African keeper Dino Visser stopping three penalties in a row, while Matt Jay, Pierce Sweeney and Ben Seymour scored from 12 yards to send Exeter through on a 3-0 scoreline.
Naturally, it was Dino getting the plaudits from the stands and social media, but the City boss was quick to point out the excellent work rate and performance of his young Exeter side.
“The fact that he has saved three in a row, is incredibly really,” said Matt. “He has gone the right way and committed to it and made three really good saves because they were not poor penalties. So that will get the headlines but the headlines should really about that performance of that young team tonight.
“It was non-stop and it was a difficult opening 20 minutes because Oxford moved that ball really well, like we knew they would. They were a strong team and they had a strong team out tonight.
“So, I was so pleased with the performance levels of that group tonight. We work so hard, we work so hard all night and then when we did get the opportunities, we didn’t quite have it in our legs, or our lungs, or our minds to take those opportunities.
"I thought it was quite a good game. I know it was a 0-0, but it was quite a good game to watch so hopefully the fans got something worthwhile out of it plus they have got to see the next generation. We had a young team to start with and an even younger one to finish with and I am delighted with the way they played.”
At the end City had six academy graduates on the pitch, including Jordan Dyer who was making his senior debut. Matt added that the performance, against Oxford United, shows how some of those youngsters, who are on the fringes of the first team, are progressing.
“We have got to use games like this to play our young kids, we really have and the fact that they have stood up to a really strong League One outfit tonight, is really pleasing,” he said. “It is still different when we play League Two football because it was a different type of game tonight and a different context, but it enhances my trust in these players and they get closer and closer to the first team.
"They will go back out on loan and earn their trade, if you like, at Truro and Tiverton and team like that, but when they come and play for us they have to perform and they have to impress. Jordan Dyer, I thought was excellent at the back tonight, alongside Tom Parkes, Harry Kite was in midfield and then we have got the legs in terms of the more known youngsters in Jack Sparkes, Ben Seymour and Joel Randall. However, they can only play like they did tonight on the back of the partnerships with the more senior players as well.”
🎟 UP NEXT AT SJP 🎟
Tickets are on advance sale for City's home match against Crawley Town on Saturday, February 29 in a 3pm kick-off. Click here to buy now!