Chris Wilder's programme notes for this evening's game
After 12 games we find ourselves just one point away from top spot in Sky Bet League 2. That is a healthy enough position but the key thing to notice is the ’12 games’ part of that. The season is only just over a quarter of the way through and there is still such a long way to go. We will certainly take nothing for granted and will continue to work as hard as ever to maintain our place up there in the leading pack, but there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way.
On Saturday we missed the chance to go top but we kept ourselves in the race with a draw up at Accrington. Speaking to their people after the game they felt it was as well as they have played all season but I felt we dominated large spells of the game. Statistically we had 15 efforts at goal and their keeper made some spectacular saves, but we weren’t quite clinical enough as so had to settle for a point. It wasn’t perhaps our best performance on the road this season but we did enough to win the game.
That made it four points from two games after a good win over Northampton in our last home game. Their manager Adie Boothroyd had said we were ‘dangerous opponents’ that day because we had lost the game before. I was delighted that the players reacted in the right manner after that Southend result and played on the front foot from the first whistle.
We started well, got our noses in front just before the break and 2-0 at half-time was probably a fair scoreline for some very positive performances. Beano took his goal well, Danny Rose’s goal was a good reward for a typically busy performance from him and I felt everyone played their part, including the fans, who I thought really lifted the side when needed.
It was good to have Jake Wright and Andy Whing back for that game. They are two big players for us and both of them have comfortably slotted straight back into the side. We hope to have Alfie Potter back this week, although whether that is tonight or for the trip to Wimbledon we are not sure, and we will assess one or two knocks we took up at Accrington. The fixture list this season has been slightly different with no midweek league fixtures so far. That means a full week to recover and prepare between games, but this week we will have to adjust and look at things a little differently. Johnny Mullins landed awkwardly going for a header on Saturday and we will see how that settles down, while Deane Smalley just felt something in the warm up at Accrington and we need to take a look at that before we make a decision if he will be involved.
Whoever plays we know we will have to be at our best against a very good Exeter side who, like us, are right there in the mix. It should make for another very exciting night of football.#