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💬 Matt Taylor: "We weren't quite where we wanted to be and I have not been able to say that this season."

Manager frustrated by flat first half performance

28 September 2019

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Exeter City manager Matt Taylor felt some of his players were flat as they lost 3-1 at home to Grimsby Town.

The Grecians went in 1-0 down at half-time, after Ethan Robson had curled in a shot from the edge of the box.

It was the first half performance that disappointed Matt Taylor the most, but he added that on the back of a 10-game unbeaten run, he had to give the players the respect they deserve and not to be too harsh on them.

"It wasn’t for the want of trying,” he said. “We just quite where we wanted to be today and I have not been able to say that so far this season.

"I have got to bite my tongue to a certain extent and give the players the respect they deserve and hopefully the fans will do the same. You don’t want to lose games at home, of course you don’t, but (second half) we were still playing forward, we were still attacking and you are going to leave yourselves exposed at time, on the counter, when you do that.”

"First half I thought it was a really poor performance,” added Matt. “I thought we were flat and sluggish and we had no real purpose our speed in our game.

"It was a really frustrating first 45 minutes and we probably deserved to go in one goal down. The goal was unfortunate because Archie Collins was off the pitch at the time and that exposed our set up from the set-piece.”

Matt Taylor made one change at half-time bringing on Jayden Richardson and the players responded to his half-time team talk by creating a number of good chances, with one effort being cleared off the line and another big penalty shout being turned down.

"Second half we started really well and we have got to take some of those chances in that 10 minute period when we are on top and we were playing like ourselves,” he said.

“Then, it was a poor goal, the second goal and all of a sudden you are chasing the game more so than you were in the previous 10 minutes and then they hit us on the counter-attack.

"However, we were not good enough today and my biggest frustration is the way we started the game. I have just said to them they look like they were flat and a little bit tired and, maybe, it was a game too far for some of them, in terms of the personnel on that pitch, and we injected a bit of energy in at half-time and you saw the difference. It was clear for everyone to see, but then to go two and three nil down it was too big of challenge.

"We actually had enough chances to get back into the game. We had a clear penalty and I don’t understand why he (the referee) has pointed for a corner and then another chance was cleared off the line, against the crossbar. So that is a frustrating day, but I am not going too hard on them (the players), because they have been excellent for 10 games. It might just be a lesson for myself because some of them looked a little bit flat today.”

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