Alex Hartridge has labelled Exeter City's Premier League Cup match against Leicester City on Thursday as a 'winner takes all tie'.
The Grecians go into the match third in group D having won one, drawn two and lost two of their matches. However, following an impressive win over Norwich City on Monday, they still have a chance to qualify if they can beat second-placed Leicester on Thursday as the Foxes are level on points with the Grecians.
Defeat would not spell the end for the Foxes though as City would need them to lose or draw their final match against Nottingham Forest, who have won four from four so far, but Alex says there is little point the Grecians worrying about the outcome of that match and they just have to focus on next Thursday’s match being the winner-takes-all game.
“I think we need to look at it like that,” he said. “We need to just expect them not to get the result at Forest because there is no value for us in thinking otherwise. Hopefully, it will be a good game and we can go into it with confidence.”
That confidence is helped by the 3-0 win over Norwich, with saw Alex, Joel Randall and Josh Key score. Alex says the team, who also play a lot of games on loan at non-league sides, have grown in belief and experience throughout the campaign.
“I think, bar the Nottingham Forest games, we have been pleased with our performances that we have been putting out in this competition but we haven’t been quite able to get over the line and get the win. So, it was really good to put the hard work in and get the result.
“I think we started really well against Bristol to qualify for the competition, but then we lost at Forest away and picked up points here and there, but now (with the result against Norwich) we have been able to keep ourselves in the competition going into next Thursday.”
Tickets for the match at St James Park are priced as follows:
Alex says it is important that the home crowd come out and back them in numbers as it will give them an edge over their opponents.
“It is really noticeable when you play against the teams away where it is at the training grounds and it is a smaller atmosphere,” he said.
“That is what they are used to playing their under-23s games. So hopefully we can show, with the players we have got out on loan playing out in front of crowds, that we are used to that pressure that it brings and also the added lift we get from our own supporters.”