Exeter City under-23s coach Dan Green says there are plenty of positives to take from this season’s Premier League Cup campaign, despite Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City all but ending the club’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stages.
City currently sit third in the table, having completed all their group games and won one and drawn three of their matches. Second-placed Leicester City have one game remaining, against league leaders Nottingham Forest, and know only a heavy defeat by six goals or more will see Exeter jump above them in the table and qualify.
However, having acquitted themselves well against all the sides in the group, which also include Norwich City, Dan Green admits there are plenty of plusses the team can take from the competition.
“There are plenty of positives to take and we wanted to be up against good opposition,” he said. “That is the type of test these players need if they are going to be ready for the first team. They (Leicester) were a good opposition and each game has brought different test which, we hope will stand the players in good stead.”
City’s side against Leicester was very young, with all of them – expect veteran substitute goalkeeper Chris Weale – in their teens. Dan says that is a positive going forward for the club.
“I think it speaks volumes for the work the academy and the first team do with these players and most importantly the players themselves,” he said. “They are an outstanding bunch when it comes to their efforts day in, day out and when you see these games it shows the rewards for their hard work.
“However, full credit to the academy and full credit to the opportunity that Matt and the first team give to these boys because it is great exposure and it really stands them in good stead.”
Speaking about the match itself, Dan added: “I thought we started brightly and had a really good chance. Off the back of that we probably end up on the back foot a little bit in the first half so we changed a couple of bits at half-time, but the boys executed what we asked of them really well in the second half.
“They came out flying with a goal and had a couple of other half chances, but we probably didn’t test their goalkeeper as much as we would have liked.”