Exeter City manager Matt Taylor is looking forward to this weekend’s visit to Macclesfield, in what will be the first of three away trips within the space of seven days.
The Grecians travel to the Moss Rose Stadium three points off top of the EFL Sky Bet League 2 table, and admits that it might be a tricky game amid the weather conditions.
“Away trips are always difficult,” said Matt. “Location wise we know we’ve always got a long way to travel. We’ve got two good wins behind us, hopefully our fans can travel, they’ve got to be careful because of the weather and hopefully that doesn’t affect the traffic that much.
“It will be a difficult game; they’ve had a lot of tight results and there’s a few players that we’ve got to be aware of. But we’ve got to go there and back ourselves.”
Adding to the weather conditions, Matt admitted that it also affects preparation as well as the actual game.
“Wind, rain, we are still in the middle of this storm,” the City boss said. “It’s affected our training this week, luckily we’ve got the astro-turf surface but that is false to what we played on Tuesday and what we might play on Saturday. That all plays its part, hopefully we’ve learned a lot from the last few weeks are better placed in terms of mentally and physically.”
Speaking of Macclesfield, Matt commented on their struggles this season and their fight against the drop.
He said: “They’ve had a lot of off-field problems, but if they didn’t have their fight deduction they would be comfortably mid-table. The position they’re at the moment isn’t a true reflection of themselves. There is a lot to admire about Macclesfield the way they keep going in face of adversity. We want them to do well, but hopefully just not this weekend!”
“You want to go on runs, but we’ve got to keep on gaining points. The week before we didn’t pick up enough points but now we’ve won twice. We’re taking every game as it comes. Saturday’s game will be different to Tuesday’s, but we’ve got to approach it with the right mindset and keep working hard for each other then we’ll have a chance.”
In terms of last season’s visit, Matt noted how different this season’s City team are.
He said: “They have different personnel and manager, same opposition and learning experience. We weren’t quite strong enough to see that game through, but mistakes were in us at that point last season.
“We’ve removed those mistakes, unfortunately when we went to Macclesfield last season we were at the wrong end of the result. Away from home you have to be tough and to go above and beyond in terms of work rate. This group has given me that this season and our form has been consistent enough. We have to react to what the opposition and weather brings.”
Matt also praised City striker Ryan Bowman for his goal on Tuesday night, as well as his good form against this weekend’s opponents.
“That was his first goal for us last season, then he went on a run on the back of that,” said the city boss. “He took his goal well on Tuesday, an important moment, he’s the leading goal scorer and leads the line for us. I made it pretty clear to Ryan what I expect from him, he is a man mountain and one to be feared in this league. When he’s on his game, he’s one of the best at this level. So hopefully he keeps contributing, keeps scoring the goals and keeps helping the team.”
In terms of injuries, the City boss gave the following update on keeper Jonny Maxted, the goalkeeper situation, and the rest of the squad.
He said: “It’s a tear. The medical staff are the experts, but if you’ve got a tear then its worrying. He’ll be out for the foreseeable future. But he’s already two weeks in, so it doesn’t feel too far away. We want him back fit, but we’ve got more than enough with Lewis who has come in and done well. It’s been a strange season for goalkeepers, they’ve both performed well but both had serious injuries at different times in the season and both been really unlucky.
“As a goalkeeper you want to be playing regularly, so it’s a shame neither have seen this whole season through but has also meant for stronger competition and has highlighted the fact that we needed to recruit two top quality goalkeepers.”
“Tom Parkes hasn’t been in today, precaution as much as anything, he didn’t feel great yesterday as well. Nicky Law has done a bit today away from the group. We hope he’ll travel but it would be unrealistic to think he’ll play a big part on Saturday. Jake Taylor seems to be getting through this ankle injury and we’re just trying to protect him as much as possible. The rest of the group aren’t too bad.”
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