• Nathan Smith

"A CUP RUNS ALWAYS IMPORTANT": EXETER CITY MANAGER ON FACING AFC FYLDE IN THE FA CUP


Matt Taylor’s Exeter City side face a tricky tie in the FA Cup as they welcome AFC Fylde to St James Park this weekend.


A run in the FA Cup is always a good thing, but Matt Taylor knows that a run in this season’s FA Cup can only happen if they focus on the teams in front of them.


“A cup runs always important, but you can never look to a third-round until you get through the first and second round, so we’ve got to take care of business this weekend.


“Then it all depends on a bit of luck in terms of who you draw, like I say it’s a competition we want to progress in, get as far as we possibly can in,” said Taylor.


Fylde have had a strong start to life in the National League North, sitting top of the league but they travel to St James Park, a ground that Exeter and Taylor certainly relish playing at, despite the lack of fans.


“I think it’s two games in a long period of time we’ve lost at home which shows you how strong our home form has been, and it always has been, with the fans or without the fans our home form has always been really strong.


“We enjoy playing at the park, we’d enjoy it even more if there was a full house with our fans passionately backing us, but it is what it is at the moment,” Taylor added.


With Fylde playing in the National League North, a lot of away fixtures are relatively local, but embarking on a long journey is something very familiar to Taylor and his team.


“We enjoy playing there, it shows how it’s not easy for a lot of clubs to travel the full length of the country and the bits and pieces involved with that, when we go away from home we do that every other week.”


The Exeter City goalkeeping situation has been well documented, with first-team goalkeepers Lewis Ward and Jonny Maxted out with long term injuries, the Grecians have had to turn to the loan market.


In there, they found Jokull Andresson from Reading, who arrived on a week-long loan, which was subsequently extended after two impressive performances against Leyton Orient and Carlisle.


With his loan expiring on this coming Monday, Taylor has said that the club are planning to extend the Icelandic’s loan.


“Jonny (Maxted) and Lewis (Ward) are still weeks away, both making progress but still too long away in terms of that, so we hope to extend his loan again after this weekend, which will mean he’s available for the Bradford game.”


Taylor has also been impressed with Andresson’s character, praising him for how well he has fit in with his squad.


“I said in the past about his character, his personality, he’s just fitted in really well. You can always tell the state of a player by how other players take to him, and he’s fitted in well with this squad and you can see he’s just one of the boys already, which after ten days is really incredible.”


Exeter will be looking to avoid any upsets as Fylde arrive at St James Park as both sides look to qualify for the second round

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