Exeter City winger Joel Randall says he owes his Sky Bet League Two debut to the Leasing.com Trophy and the performances he has put in this season.
Joel, 20, scored his first two goals for the Grecians in this competition earlier this season, when City beat West Ham United under-21s in November, and followed that up with good performances in the knockout stages against Oxford United and Ipswich Town.
That meant when it came to the young players on the fringes of the first team having their loan deals at non-league clubs extended in January, Joel was kept back from that group with a view to pushing for a spot in the matchday squad and since made two substitute appearances in the league.
“Matty (Taylor) has given me the opportunity to play in this cup so when I have been on the pitch, I have just wanted to do my best,” said Joel. “I think I have impressed in some of the games so it has been a massive part in me being able to play in League Two.
“I have enjoyed it. I didn’t get a lot of time against Cambridge but I thought I went on a nice dribble, so that was alright, and I really enjoyed the test against Grimsby as well and we got a win in both games as well, which was even better.”
Attention turns back to the Leasing.com Trophy tomorrow night though when City face Stevenage at the quarter-final stage, with a 7pm kick-off at St James Park. City have beaten two League One opponents in the previous round and Joel says the key to victory will be approaching the game as they did those two ties.
“We have done really well to beat Oxford and Ipswich,” he said. “We had young sides out for both of those games and we will have a young, good side out tomorrow as well and we have just go to into it with the same mentality. We have got momentum in the cup and from the league as well so we will go into it with high spirits, hoping that we can go through.
“It will be a tough test, but if we are right and we are at it and we take the game to them, then there is no reason why we can’t go through again.
“We want as many fans there as possible to cheer us on and try and get us through. We are in the quarter-finals now and it is a good run, so hopefully we can bring some more success for the fans.”
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