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💬 Matt Taylor: "They withstood the pressure and figured out what the game needed."

City boss pleased with his players problem-solving during 2-1 victory over Southend

18 July 2019

Exeter City manager Matt Taylor was pleased with the in-game problem solving of his players during their 2-1 victory over Southend United on Wednesday morning.

The behind-closed-doors friendly at Woodbury Park saw the Grecians take a first-half lead through Alex Fisher, before Stephen Humphreys levelled for the host 14 minutes after the break.

However, despite going into the interval on top, Matt thought it was the League One side who controlled the proceeding early on and he was pleased with how his side worked out those issues on the pitch.

"It was a serious test for us," he said. "I thought they were the better side for large parts of the first half. But we went in 1-0 up. It was testament to the boys in terms of how they withstood the pressure and probably figured out what the game needed to a certain extent, certainly after the 20-25-minute mark.

"We were a much better team when people started stepping into areas and not being comfortable in terms of our shape.

“It was a quick tempo game, a proper game of football against some seriously good players out there and were pleased to come through it.

“It’s not too much about results, whether you win or lose at this time in the season, it’s all about the minutes in the bag for the players but those minutes consist of is vitally important and I felt that those group of players were really tested today.”

City did win the match in the second half though, as Jake Taylor fired an unstoppable effort into the back of the net from 30 yards out. However, it was that ability to see issues on the pitch and solve them that was the most pleasing aspect for Matt.

“We give as much direction as we possibly can from the side-lines but people have to take responsibility on that football pitch,” he said.

“There’s still some new faces in amongst that team in the likes of Robbie Cundy and Tom Parkes and people have got to step into areas they don’t want to go to as a player, physically, mentally and tactically as well.

“Certainly tactically in the first 20 minutes they dictated all the play, they had all the possession and we just couldn’t get close enough to the ball. Once we tweaked a few things and people became more confident and comfortable in their actual playing positions we were a much better team.”

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