Exeter City manager Matt Taylor has praised his side’s consistency going into Saturday’s match with Walsall.
The Grecians have lost just one game in the last 10 matches and have recorded three straight Sky Bet League Two wins on the bounce to lift themselves to second in the table.
“We have been pretty strong,” said Matt. “It was fine margins at Salford. We rode our luck a little bit in terms of Jonny (Maxted) making his saves and had to dig in, but we are in relatively good form. Obviously in the middle of last week we had the disappointment in terms of the Hartlepool result (in the FA Cup), but in terms of our league status it has improved on the back of three wins on the bounce.”
Part of the key to City’s good form has been their defensive resolve. The Grecians have kept 14 clean sheets this campaign and managed to stand firm in recent matches against Salford City, Northampton Town and Crawley Town going into the final stages of the games with just a goal advantage.
“The clean sheets have been important,” said Matt. “Especially on the back of that we don’t score too many goals. It is something we are working on and we are creating a lot of chances, but we don’t seem to convert those chances quite often enough.
“So those margins I am talking about are always narrow. When we win games, it is usually by the odd goal. They are tight and nervy affairs and often we are holding on to a certain extent.
“However, generally, I feel we have been pretty sound. We had a blip against Cambridge and then there was the Scunthorpe and the Grimsby games respectively. So that is 10 goals in three games off the back of the amount of goals we have conceded this season.
"If you take those three games out of the equation, then we have been pretty strong. We will remain that way, but it is not just the defenders and the goalkeeper that take the plaudits, that his how the whole team works. They try to nullify the opponents as best they can and then it is down to the rest of us to provide and assist and to that ball in the back of the net.”
City go into the Saturday’s match in second and know that whatever happens on Saturday that is the position the team will occupy going into Christmas. Last season the Grecians went into Christmas in fifth place and 10 points behind league leaders Lincoln City. Asked if he was pleased with the progress we have made form this season to last, Matt said: “To a certain extent, but I think there is teams below us with games in hand.
“So, there is a lot of different things to look at and there is a lot of different aspects for the reasons the league is the way it is, but we are pleased we stayed in touch with Swindon to a certain extent. I think I said last week it was six on the bounce, now it is seven on the bounce they’ve won.
"So, they have been in fantastic form and for us to be only three points behind them suggest we have been pretty consistent. We always want more in terms of this group of players but you have got to stay close to the pack and there is so many points up for grabs over Christmas that it is going to change one way or the other and then you look forward to a run in over February and March time.”
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