"IT WILL BE OUR TOUGHEST TEST": EXETER BOSS SPEAKS OUT ON CHELTENHAM TOWN AND THE RETURN OF FANS
Exeter City travel to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Saturday to take on Cheltenham Town, where for the first time in nine months, fans will be in attendance.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the last time either of these two teams played in front of people was at the very beginning of March.
“I watched a couple of the games (with fans) and it’s great to see the noise and hear people. I still think it will be strange but it’s a step in the right direction,” said Taylor on the return of fans.
Both teams are flying high at the top of League Two and are coming off the back of impressive wins away from home in mid-week.
Cheltenham sit two points above the Grecians in second, while Exeter moved up to third following their win against Grimsby.
Matt Taylor, who spent a season with the Robins during his playing career, was full of praise for the club and the impressive start they’ve made to the campaign.
“They’re a really good team for this level, they recruited well again in this last window on top of a really strong core team that they had last season and if they keep getting it right in terms of recruitment they won’t be in this league for long.
“I think it will be our toughest test this weekend and they might say the same about us but I think it’ll be a good game of football,” said Taylor.
Last season the teams squared off around this time, with both deploying similar shapes thus resulting in a goalless draw that had limited chances.
However, Exeter have since changed to a back four with three forwards and Taylor firmly believes a good game is beckoning at the weekend.
“I hope it’s not a cagey affair and the way we’re setting up at the moment probably allows for an attacking game but we’re also conceding goals.
“People talk about 0-0 draws turning into drab affairs but that was probably a reflection of where those two teams were at the time and sometimes good players cancel each other out, but whatever happens this weekend I’m sure both teams will be approaching it trying to win the game,” said Taylor.
The Grecians were boosted by the return of Jonny Maxted on Tuesday night, but City still face a few injury problems, defensively in particular.
Taylor said: “Jonny made his return on Tuesday night and credit it to him he’s worked hard in his rehabilitation, he’s just got to keep building his appearances and his game rhythm.
“But Lewis Page and Jake Caprice are probably both between ten days and two weeks (away).”
One of the best defences taking on one of the best attacks, second up against third, with fans back in stadiums, this game has all the makings of being an absolute classic and hopefully, it will deliver with the two teams gunning for promotion to League One.