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View from the Press Box: Exeter City

7 February 2020

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Sky Bet League Two fixture away at Exeter City, we caught up with Daniel Clarke, local reporter of Devon Live to talk all things Grecians…

  • How would you assess Exeter’s season so far?

“I think if you had been offered sitting 4th in the table at this stage of the season, you would have taken it. The play-offs this season should have been a minimum target and it looks as if City are going to finish at the very worst in the top seven, but there is a good chance of doing better than that.

“League Two this season, unlike the last few seasons, doesn’t have any outstanding teams in it, and so far, there hasn’t been any team who has come to SJP and dominated City and looked like a much better side.

“City’s issue has been that they haven’t scored enough goals and there have been quite a few games where they have been on top and not taken the chances which they have come to rue, while although defensively strong, we seem to have conceded goals in bunches.

“The squad though looks strong and a promotion push is still very much on the cards, so it is hard to fault them too much.”

  • The Club have lost their last two games and didn’t lose before that in the league since the start of November, what has been the difference?

“Partly down to the opposition – Swindon are top of the league and Port Vale have a great home record – but City didn’t play that well in either match. We should have beaten Port Vale given the first half dominance, and struggled with the conditions against a good Swindon team.

“Fitness and injuries have played a small part with the club having played a lot of games in January, plus City lost their goalkeeper in the warm-up and then their captain in the first 15 minutes on Saturday.

“Having been on the end of a few narrow wins, they seem to have just dropped off a few per cent in the performance levels and that’s cost us the last two games.”

  • Any team news going into the game?

“Jonny Maxted and Jake Taylor are probably set to miss the game with the injuries they picked up at Swindon. Possibly Brennan Dickenson comes into the side as well for a more attacking option at left-wing back. Other than that, wouldn’t expect too many changes from last Saturday’s starting eleven.”

  • What kind of game can the Boro fans expect on Saturday?

“Will be interesting to see how Stevenage approach the game – obviously they played in the EFL Trophy at SJP a couple of weeks ago with a first choice side and were comprehensibly beaten by a much-changed Exeter side, and therefore they may try to be a bit more defensive.

“City will play as they usually do, playing with plenty of pace and trying to channel their attacking play mainly through Randell Williams and Nicky Law, and using Ryan Bowman upfront to hold the ball up.”

  • Were there any singings during the January Transfer Window?

“Just the one signing – Brennan Dickenson came in on a deal to the end of the season from MK Dons. He will play (or was signed to play) in the left-wing back role, where City have been left short following Jack Sparkes being ruled out for the rest of the season and Craig Woodman still out injured as well.”

  • Prediction and goalscorers?

“I think the scoreline will be something similar to the EFL Trophy tie a few weeks ago – City to win 2-0 – goals from Ryan Bowman and Nicky Law.”

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