Friday, November 9, 2012
Exmouth Town boss Richard Pears says his side are on a mission when they face Axminster Town at Southern Road on Saturday (November 10).
He says: “We have already played them twice and so know as much about them as they know about us, and I have to say that certain things that were said during the second meeting (one Town won 4-1 in a Throgmorton Cup tie) disappointed me and as such I shall be demanding of the players that we go for the jugular from the off. They (Axminster Town) have been on a good run of their own and they are certainly not a team to be disrespected. That said we are also on a fabulous run and I want it to continue. My message to the players pre 3pm is going to be very straight forward and it will concern each one of the starting eleven making sure that once the first whistle is blown they win their personal battles in what ever area of the pitch they operate. The ‘pretty’ football can come later. The first priority is for us to stamp our authority on the game. This is a contest I certainly want us to dominate from first whistle to last.”
On team news the Town chief says: “I may make a change or two. What I want is to keep everybody on their toes, players at Exmouth Town need to in a position where they have to go out on the pitch and perform in order to start the next game.”
Meanwhile, Town have received a blow in that the influential Kerry Butler is facing a longer spell on the side lines than was at first thought. Butler was injured in the Throgmorton cup tie with Axminster Town and is awaiting a full diagnosis.
Pears says: “He (Butler) has had it seen to again and now it seems he needs to see a specialist and it is highly probable that the injury will require surgery before we can get him back into some sort of recovery programme. It’s a big blow as he is a smashing lad on, and off the pitch. However, one players ill fortune opens a door and a real opportunity for another, and I am certainly hoping that whoever does fill Kerry’s formidable boots takes the chance with both feet!”
In terms of the bigger picture and how the South West Peninsula League Eastern Division is shaping up with most teams either having played a full ten games or approaching that number, Pears says: “For me it’s Newton Abbot Spurs, Teignmouth Town and Stoke Gabriel, who I consider the biggest threats to our own ambitions. I am very confident in the ability of our side and feel, thanks to the support we have been given by the committee and the increasing number of supporters coming to follow us that we really do have a chance to make this a season for Exmouth Town to remember. Of course it is only November and we have only played eight of our 30 league matches, but the signs are good and the quality is there for all to see. What is key for my lot is to never allow any form of complacency to creep in and to respect the fact that in all, games, no matter what the position in the table of the opposition, we simply have to do the jobs we have each been tasked with to make sure that we then get the best possible collective result for our efforts.”
In the Devon Premier Cup draw that was made earlier this week, Town drew fellow Eastern Division high fliers Newton Abbot Spurs, one of the ‘big three’ according to Pears. The Town boss says: “It’s as tough a draw as you could get. However, I am glad we are at home and I’d have to back my lads against anybody at Southern Road right now. One thing’s for sure, I am confident that Newton Abbot would not have wanted to be drawn at our place. Before we meet in the cup we have very important league games to negotiate, starting with the visit of Axminster Town, it’s very much one game at a time for yours truly, and that’s the way it is going to stay.”