City boss Matt Taylor is full of praise for his side and says there is ‘more to come’ from them after a 2-0 win over Cambridge United at St James Park.
“It’s a good win,” he said after Matt Jay and Joel Randall’s goals secured a first home league win of the season for the Grecians.
“We had to withstand some opportunities from Cambridge – there were a couple of good saves from Lewis Ward early on.
“We took our chances as opposed to them, but it was a much more even game in the second half. I felt we could have killed the game off.
“2-0 looks comfortable but I can assure I wasn’t comfortable on the side lines!”
Cambridge began the afternoon top of the table without a goal conceded but City brushed them aside without many dangers coming their way, and Taylor was pleased to how his side dealt with their opponents.
“They had some aggressive and high intensity play about them in terms of attacking sense.
“We felt there was space on the pitch when we regained possession and it was all about how we were able to use that.
“I can’t fault the effort of the group today.”
Before the match Lewis Ward spoke to the club media expressing his desire for a first clean sheet in 15 league games and the boss was delighted with the performance of his man in between the sticks, who helped his side achieve just that.
“Early on he was on his game and came out and made himself big, and at the end as well when he’s coming out to punch.
That’s why he’s playing at the moment because of the presence and size.
“We need him to help out the younger lads in front of him when we’re being bombarded with crosses.
“Today was a big moment for Lewis, but the rest of the team also worked hard today. It was a collective clean sheet.”
Another player who performed well was youngster Josh Key, who put in another stellar showing. Coming up against Wes Hoolahan, the 20-year-old made light work of the former Premier League star twice his age and has once again received high praise from his manager.
“They are different ends of the spectrum in terms of one starting their career and having the potential to play at a higher level, and one who has played at a higher level.
“No disrespect to Wes, but he was never going to run him on the inside and Josh had to adapt his play.
“He is keeping his place in the side for a reason, and there were times he was marauding forward at the end and I had to put the reigns on him.
“We have to keep him grounded though and make sure he keeps enjoying his football!”
This result will give City a boost going into Tuesday evenings game against Swindon Town in the EFL trophy.
“It’s always a different team, always different personnel, but you look at the bench and we seem to be stronger each week in terms of the bench.
"Hopefully, whatever team we get onto the pitch on Tuesday, it will be strong enough to go and compete, and if we win that game we should qualify in that competition.
"We want to keep moving forward now. It’s two good results against two good teams.”