Exeter City manager Matt Taylor wants his players to forget about their last-gasp winner against Notts County and fly into this weekend’s match with Mansfield Town.
The Grecians recorded back-to-back wins when they beat Notts County at Meadow Lane and the victory came in dramatic circumstances as they were reduced to 10 men early in the game, when Ryan Bowman was shown a second yellow card, but won the match in the third minute of stoppage time thanks to a header from Nicky Law.
“It gives us a bit more belief and a bit more confidence in terms of how we played and performed at Notts County, but we have got to quickly move on from that,” he said. “Football doesn’t wait for anyone and we know how important this weekend is.
“The lads have trained well this week. Perhaps they have had a slightly bigger spring in their step with the weather and off the back of that last-minute winner but Mansfield Town are a seriously good team. They are above us in the league and they are there for a reason. So we have got to fly into this weekend and give it everything we’ve got.”
Mansfield Town sit fourth in the table and have the best defensive record in the division having conceded just 33 goals in 39 games so far this campaign. Therefore, Matt is expecting a tough test.
“They are a good, good team,” he said. “Their manager has recruited well. I think they have conceded the fewest goals in the league so it shows you that they are defensively sound, but they have got some outstanding attacking players as well.
“The go into the game off the back of a couple of bad results from their point of view, so hopefully we are going to catch them at the right time but the form guide almost goes out of the window in these sorts of games.
"They’ll come to play. They are a positive team, with a positive manager, and they have got positive players so they will look to hurt us, they will look to attack us but we have got to do the same and, hopefully, it will be a good game of football.”
Asked how important the game could be in terms of City fighting for one of those three automatic promotion places, Matt added: “It is one of eight games.
“We spoke about moving on from the Notts County game and whatever happens this weekend we will have to move on swiftly again and look forward to Cheltenham after that, but it is a big game because when you play teams in and around you, you want to take points off them and they want to take points off you.
“It is still too soon, despite me saying there is only eight games left, to talk about the end of the season. However, you can always put down a marker, especially when you are at home against a promotion rival and a team pushing towards the top end of the table. They have been above us for the last few months, but it is all to play for and, hopefully, the fans can play their part as well.”
City will be without striker Ryan Bowman for the match, as he is suspended, but they will welcome Dara O’Shea back into the squad as he missed the win over Notts County as he had been called up to the Republic of Ireland under-21 team.