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Interviews

Exeter reaction from Keith Hill

15 January 2022

First team manager Keith Hill provided his reaction to iFollow Iron after his side were edged out 2-0 at promotion-chasing Exeter City, by goals from Jevani Brown and Offandre Zanzala.

He said: "There's a disappointment to it but I'm philosophical as well. It's very difficult for everybody associated with the football club. We're in a bad place in the league and we've been beaten. I can congratulate the players for the effort that they put in and the commitment, drive and desire but we're missing quality and there's no question about that. We have to try and improve the quality of the players that we've got on the training pitch and then they've got to put it into practice in the main event, that's the games.

"I want to thank the (78) travelling supporters. I thought they were magnificent. It's very difficult being a supporter of any football club, but especially one that's not winning football matches. They've been excellent, very warm and welcoming to myself and they've been very supportive of the players. Our challenge is to create a team, club and environment that they can be really proud of. We're trying to do that and it's in difficult moments like this that we need their help even more. We've got to try and create a belief, and belief hopefully turns into success."

Talking about the second Grecians goal, he added: "It was potentially offside, though I have a complaint in the first half with respect a penalty that wasn't given following a clear clip on Sam (Burns, making his first league start after signing on loan from Blackburn Rovers). I thought Sam did really well, he ran his race and was committed. He has good pace but just needs to clean his game up.

"We have to protect our players. There is still some effect from the Covid cases some had with respect their fitness, availability and endurances. You can see visually it's affected one or two of them, but hopefully we'll grow stronger.

"I can't fault the players for the energy and effort they put in. We were playing against an excellent footballing side today in Exeter and it's a shame that we just couldn't match up to them."

Hill added: "It's a difficult month and tough coming away on a long journey and being beaten 2-0, but you've got to see light at the end of the tunnel. You've got to plan for that light, and plan for the future. We do 100 per cent need recruitment, but it has to be of a quality that will give us an opportunity to survive in League Two."

Talking about debutant Luke Matheson, who signed on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers ahead of the game, he said: "It materialised on Thursday night/Friday morning. We have one or two injuries in the squad so I just thought it was a necessity. I've got to thank Wolves, Luke and Scott Sellars (their technical director) in particular for allowing us to do this deal. For him to come in having not met any of the players until last night, he did well. It was a test for him against Jake Caprice, who's an excellent player, and also the way that Exeter play, but I'm pleased we've got him in."

See much more from Keith Hill and Manny Onariase on iFollow Iron.


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