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💬 Matt Taylor: "I thought we were the better team. We had the better moments."

City boss reacts to the draw with Crewe Alexandra at St James Park

3 March 2020

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Manager Matt Taylor was left disappointed that his side didn’t manage to pick up all three points at home to Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night.

The Grecians took the lead in the first half through Tom Parkes’ close-range effort but on a difficult surface both sides struggled to create clearcut chances from open play and when Michael Nottingham also converted from a set-piece City had to settle for a point.

“I thought we were the better team,” said Matt. “In terms of attacking moments – I won’t say chances – I thought we had the better of that game. I was really pleased to get ahead and we were deservedly ahead.

“However, it was such a poor goal to concede at that time and then the second half turned into quite an even half before we finished strong again. We have had the better moments. I can’t call them chances because it was so difficult to create any chances of quality of that surface for both teams.

“So, you have got to play a certain way and we certainly did that tonight. We were a lot more connected and a lot clearer in what we wanted to do and got success off the back of it. We are disappointed we have not gone onto win the game.”

It proved to be a game of set-piece chances, with City going close on numerous occasions from corners. The opening goal came from a corner, when Nicky Law’s cross was nodded on by Nigel Atangana for Parkes to score. However, Archie Collins had another effort saved from a well-worked corner routine and Atangana had a volley blocked after a cross was cleared to him on the edge of the box.

“We had got to be a threat from set-pieces,” explained Matt. “A pitch like that takes away all your attacking players when the ball is on the floor, apart from maybe Randell (Williams) one-v-one.

“It is very difficult to beat the opposition players and they (Crewe) defended pretty well tonight. We didn’t make the most of the times we got the ball high up the pitch.”

Matt made three changes for the match, bringing in Collins, Lee Martin and Parkes and also switching to a back four. He was pleased with how those changes worked out.

“I thought Azzer (Aaron Martin) and Tom (Parkes) were pretty comfortable tonight,” he said. “That is the one frustration, because how many saves has Lewis Ward really had to make and how many clearances around our box has my back four had to make?

“It is certainly outnumbered by the amount of opportunities we had to affect their goal we just couldn’t quite do it.

“I am pleased with the impact those boys had. Archie came in because he covers and awful lot of ground, Nigel (Atangana) held the middle of the pitch well and Brennan (Dickenson) was responsible at left-back alongside Tom (Parkes) who had a really good game. Lee Martin gave us energy at the top end of the pitch, it just didn’t quite happen for, possibly, Lee and Randell tonight. We got Randell some really good ball, but we didn’t quite have the end product.”

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