Manager Matt Taylor says he is looking forward to what should be a fine match-up between Exeter City and Crawley Town this Saturday.
The Grecians travel to Crawley on Saturday in Sky Bet League Two, with attention turning back to the league after Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over Cambridge United in the Emirates FA Cup.
City welcome back Jake Taylor from suspension, and a few others from injury, and Matt commented on how it strengthens the side going into the weekend.
“We’ll be stronger again.' said Matt. “Obviously Jake Taylor coming back in terms of available for selection, Tom Parkes was on the bench on Tuesday night, and Nigel Antangana wasn’t selected on Tuesday on the back of what he did on Saturday.
"We should be getting stronger, we’ve touched on these injuries last week and how many players are out perhaps too often, it’s about moving forward now.
“I said to the group before the game on Tuesday night that if we win the game there is a lot to look forward to, and there’s still a lot to look forward to this season, starting with Crawley at the weekend."
“I want to finish the week well," added Matt. "I want to make it a very positive week, and then we have a slightly disjointed week next week, because of the Sunday game against Hartlepool, but it might be a well-earned rest in terms of the shift the players are putting in at the moment.”
Matt also mentioned how quickly the Grecians’ mind-set is back onto the league despite the game being sandwiched between two FA Cup ties.
He said: “We never disrespect any opposition in terms of looking a game ahead. It’s always the next game, it’s an old cliché in football but you are only as good as your next game and next performance.
“Crawley is the next game and we have to play like ourselves and put in a performance which says that we’re there to win the game, there to compete, and there to withstand any challenges. It is one I am looking forward to.”
One aspect of Crawley is that they pose a huge attacking threat, and Matt was keen to emphasise that although City need to respect Crawley, it is also a chance to show their own ability.
“Traditionally they are always a strong side at home," said Matt. “They’ve got some huge attacking threats, a really pacey team and a dynamic team, and one we’ve got to be on our toes to play against. We’ve watched a bit of footage and they were unlucky in the Cambridge away game.
“They’ll be right at us, they’ve got some really good attacking players on that pitch and we’ve got to withstand that and show our attacking abilities. The group is ready, they should take heart and confidence, with the way we’ve played our last two games against a slightly different dynamic of opposition. We go to Crawley with a bit of confidence from Tuesday night, and in a better shape squad-wise.”
In response to Crawley’s attacking threat, the Grecians boast a fine defensive record, with Matt saying that City have to also be as competitive going forward.
“It will be a good match up,” he added. “You can never tell what is going to happen, but Crawley have got a goals ratio which is strong, and they should have probably scored more goals as they’ve created a lot of chances and got a lot of good attacking players. But as much as we defend we’ve got to attack and when we attack we’ve also got to defend, so we’re looking for a complete performance this weekend, and if we get that then we give ourselves a chance.”
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