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💬 Jake Taylor: "We have had a really good season so far and however it pans out I think it is important to not make any excuses."

City's captain looks ahead to potential play-off semi-final tie as squad return to training

1 June 2020

Exeter City captain Jake Taylor says he and the players’ focus has switched to a potential play-off semi-final match having returned to training for the first time since mid-March.

The Grecians sit fourth in Sky Bet League Two table, a place outside the automatic promotion place. However, following the coronavirus outbreak, and the suspension of football for 10 weeks, it looks unlikely that the campaign will be finished in its entirety. However, the good news for City is that the play-offs look like they are going to take place – subject to a vote next Monday at an EFL meeting – and Jake says the players are now focusing on that.

“We have had a really good season so far and however it pans out I think it is important to not make any excuses,” said Jake. “We have put ourselves in a good position so far and hopefully we can go into the play-offs and confident in that route we are going to take. Everyone is looking forward to getting some games going and hopefully the play-offs is the route that is going to be chosen and then it is another fantastic opportunity for us to get promoted this year.”

The players returned to training with strict guidelines in place with regards to arrival, group numbers and testing. However, Jake said the coaching staff and physios had made the players all fully aware of what to expect so it was not a shock to them.

“The coaches had told us what to expect,” he said. “It was obviously very strange, but we were following the guidelines on what we were supposed to be doing. We are not going into the buildings at the moment, just trying to stay out in the fresh air as much as possible. You bring your own stuff in, in terms of your boots and all that, and you come in in your kit and go back in your kit. So, it is a bit different, but it is just exciting to be back in at the minute and back involved.

“The information that we had been given by the physios and the coaches meant we knew what to expect. It all ran really smoothly, and we got tested as well. So, it was nice. It was important that everybody felt comfortable coming back into training and the staff had done really well with that, so it was nice to come in and get cracking.”

Speaking about the training itself, he added: “It was a little bit too hot for me for the first day back, but it was a lovely day and really nice to be back in the football environment.

“We have had programmes to do over the time off. It is hard doing it by yourself compared to being pushed by your teammates or having a coach there so I think the first few days will definitely be about trying to get as much fitness in, which is very difficult when the weather is like this, but all the boys have come back in really good shape. It shows the boys have been looking after themselves, which is going really important in the coming weeks.”

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