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💬 Matt Taylor: "The strength and depth in the squad is really pleasing."

The City boss discusses the trip to Newport County on Saturday

19 September 2019

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Exeter City manager Matt Taylor said he is pleased with the competition for places going into Saturday’s match against Newport County.

The Grecians travel to Newport on the back of two successive home games, where the substitutes have come on and made a big impact. Therefore, currently, Matt is delighted with the strength in depth in the squad.   

“We rested three to a certain extent on Tuesday, but it was also an opportunity for other players to stake their claim for a first-team shirt,” he said. “They all performed really well, so there are selection headaches going into this weekend, but the strength and depth in the squad is really pleasing at the moment.”

However, Matt knows that his side will be put to the test against a Newport team who have only lost once this season.

"You always need to be at your best, regardless of who you are playing. When you are going to Newport, you know it’s going to be a serious test in terms of your durability and physicality, but also your ability to use the ball wisely. We’ve got an idea of what to expect this weekend; we’ve got to go there on the back of a good performance on Tuesday, a good run of games for us and a bit of confidence behind us and see what comes off the back of it.

The boss also spoke about the importance of the strength & conditioning staff and how the team are reaping the rewards with late goals. “The lads are fit and are playing well. The lads are doing the right things though as well, if that’s late goals then it’s late goals. As long as the goals come then you are content.

"But they certainly are a fit group, and that is testament to the work in pre-season as much as anything, and their mentality to do the work we’ve asked them to do, so hopefully that will continue. We know how difficult the league is, and obviously the third game in a week is a huge test physically, so hopefully the boys will be ok energy-wise going into it.”

In terms of injury news, Matt added: “Nigel Antangana will travel with us, but will not make the team or the bench, but he will be available for selection in the next week or so. Lee Holmes is a couple of weeks away. Nicky Ajose has had an injection so hopefully that will settle down in the next few days, then it is a two to three-week training plan for him, so we’re pleased he hasn’t had to have surgery. Gary Warren is out there training with the S&C staff, so he isn’t with the group yet but very close.”

The boss also took the time to appreciate the fans support and expects there to be another good turnout for an away trip.

“We’re a well-supported club and the fans have been in really good voice this season, and rightly so. Newport is one of our closer away trips, so hopefully the traffic will be kind and the fans turn up in their numbers. It always feels like a close game for our fans against Newport, we travel well supported wherever we go and hopefully Saturday is no exception.”

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