City boss Matt Taylor has emphasised how pleased he was with his players’ response to last weekend’s result against Port Vale, in today’s 2-1 victory over Mansfield Town.
The Grecians came from a goal down to beat the Stags at the One Call Stadium thanks to an own goal from Ferrend Rawson and a match winner from Josh Key.
“It was a big response in terms of the performance. I felt there was too many players who played below par last weekend; collectively how we were represented in certain areas of the pitch, I don’t think we can hold anything against that group of players today,” Taylor told the media.
“It was not pretty at times, but that is League Two football. If we get 30 or 40 games like that a season, we need to be effective on those games.
“We won the game, we got better as the game went on. We had to weather the storm as such in that first period, against the wind and against a team who were hungry and they started well on the front foot.
“We had to hold on at times, not in terms of chances created but in terms of a bit of pressure.
“When we started competing a little bit better in the middle of the pitch, we got a foot hold on the game. We started to move the ball into the wider areas, where the space was.
“We probably didn’t create enough clear cut opportunities, but that makes those two goals even more valuable.
“We have got to use that ball as best as we possibly can, but to use it, we have to win it first, and that is why I was so pleased with that spine of the team. Archie and Jake being more central made a big difference today,” he added.
Taylor was pleased with the manner in which the team set up to score the two 'scruffy' goals inside the Mansfield box from corners.
“Two set pieces, two scruffy goals. Something I always ask for, is just putting your body on the line in the oppositions box. Rory (McArdle) did it for the first goal, I don’t know if it was an own goal. Then Josh Key has done it for the second goal.
“The mentality, of make it happen in the oppositions box has to be there, and I am really pleased that we can score those goals.
“We didn’t cut them open time and time again, but we had good positioning on that football pitch, I am really pleased with the spine of the team.
The Grecian’s boss is pleased with the attitude of 20-year-old Josh Key, who won the match for his side with a header into the roof of the net.
“We have got to keep him grounded, he is the nicest lad you will ever meet, he is a great example of what you want a young player to be like,” he said.
“Playing in an unnatural position, and I have said time and time again that he bases his game on physicality.
“He is winning his headers and nobody is beating him in a one-on-one race, and he can affect the game in attack as well.
“Full credit to him. For giving himself the chance to play, which was dictated by Jake Caprice’s injury,” he added.