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💬 Matt Taylor: "Opportunities like this are huge. The players understand that."

City manager reflects on the importance of the Emirates FA Cup to the club

29 November 2019

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Manager Matt Taylor says his players are aware of the importance of the Emirates FA Cup for Exeter City and will be doing all they can to make it to the third round of the competition.

The Grecians face Hartlepool United at home in the second round at 2pm on Sunday and Matt says for Exeter, a club that relies on cash windfalls that good runs in the cup can bring, the competition is vitally important.

“I am probably not too far away, if I say it is a competition that saved the club, to a certain extent, in terms of the FA Cup tie with Manchester United (in 2005),” said Matt. “So, it means everything to this football club.

“We are what we are in terms of the size of the football club and where our money comes from. So opportunities like the FA Cup are huge. They are absolutely huge and the players understand that and that is why they’ll be going out Sunday with a view to win that game, but certainly to be in the hat for the next round.”

Hartlepool United will be tough opposition though. Matt went and saw them beat Yeovil Town 4-1 away in the last round of the competition and was impressed by that performance and their recent scoring record.

“They were impressive that night and were worthy winners,” he said. “I have watched them a few times since as well in terms of the footage, most recently on Tuesday night when they demolished Chesterfield 5-1.

“They are a team in form since the new manager took over, I think this is his fifth game in charge. We have got half an idea of what to expect in terms of personnel. I think he is still finding his feet in terms of formation and positions on that pitch, so it is a difficult one to prepare for. We do know there is a threat in that team, but we have got to back ourselves in terms of what we can do.

“They have scored 13 in their last four games, so it shows they can score goals but we have got to back ourselves to a certain extent.

“Our defensive record in recent games has been very good – one goal against in our last four games and that was a 94th-minute mistake. So, we are pleased with how we are doing defensively, we want more goals and more moments of attacking opportunity as well. Hopefully, that comes on Sunday.

"Hopefully, it is a good game as well. You always want to play well in the FA Cup, you always want to progress and we have got to make sure are in the hat come the draw.”

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