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💬 Matt Taylor: "As much as we are in that good position, I am going to keep asking for more."

City boss pleased to be in semi-final of Leasing.com Trophy but wants more from his players

21 January 2020

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Exeter City manager Matt Taylor says he still wants more from his players, despite a convincing 3-0 win over Stevenage in the quarter-finals of the Leasing.com Trophy.

The Grecians won the match courtesy of two goals from Matt Jay and a strike from Nicky Ajose. Matt was pleased with the performance overall but says, at 3-0 up, they lost their way slightly.

“We were very good in patches,” said Matt, reflecting on the performance.

“I thought some of our attacking play tonight was good, it excited me. We scored three good goals and looked like we could create opportunities. We went ahead and then we were quite comfortable and then it turned into quite a difficult game.

“I have been asking to be in that position, but it didn’t feel as comfortable as maybe it should have done. Stevenage were always going to throw bodies forward towards the end and maybe we just slightly took our foot off the gas.”

Stevenage, who named an unchanged side for the match, started brightly pressing City high up the pitch but the Grecians moved the ball around smartly and took a deserved lead when Nicky Ajose followed up on Jake Taylor’s shot to score. Then Joel Randall, who was bright early on set up Matt Jay five minutes late to give them a commanding lead after half an hour.

“They (Stevenage) are not a bad team and we had to play through, or over or around their press,” said Matt. “However, once we got some of our better players on the ball in attacking areas, we looked like we could hurt them. I was really pleased with how positively Joel Randall and Jayden Richardson started the game in terms of being aggressive and taking on the full-backs.

“Then all of a sudden that create space elsewhere. Nicky Ajose showed along with Matt Jay and they showed the signs which we need in terms of competition for places, because we want that sort of player in our team.”

“That was the same Stevenage team that played and beat Cambridge convincingly 4-0 at the weekend,” added Matt. “So we knew how difficult it was going to be going into the game. I am really pleased with the goals. I think that is the first time in a long while we have been comfortable in a game, in a League Two type fixture, I just wanted us to see the second half out better than what we did and probably use the ball better than we did in that second period.

“However, even then we showed glimpses of what we did in terms of the quality. I can’t fault this group of players. They have got us into the semi-final of a Trophy, which we want to be successful in, and they have put us into a good position in the league. However, I have just said to them, as much as we are in that good position, I am going to keep asking for more because if we increase those moments of quality that we showed at times tonight then we will be a very good team.”

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