Taylor: Exeter need to move on from Stockley
Exeter manager Matt Taylor admits his team will have to change the way they play as the post-Jayden Stockley era started with a goalless draw with Morecambe.
League Two’s 16-goal top scorer left Exeter to join Preston earlier in January and City’s first game since his departure saw them draw a blank against a well drilled Morecambe side.
‘In the first half, I thought we played pretty well,’ Taylor said. ‘You are just hoping that one of those chances or half-chances goes in, but the keeper has made some good saves and we have hit the crossbar.
‘I was pretty pleased with us at half-time. We needed to commit bodies because we were behind the ball a little bit more, but that was partly down to personnel on the pitch as well.
‘In the second half, we didn’t quite threaten the goal enough. We got into some fantastic positions, but we didn’t have that end product or that little bit of quality in terms of delivery or the ability to beat a player one-on-one.
‘I was pleased with a clean sheet. I have said this time and time again this season and that has to be the platform and the foundation that our performances are built on. Teams are going to come here and play like that, especially here at the (St James) Park because we are a good team at home and we have to be better.
‘People will go home thinking about some of those crosses going in the box and thinking: ‘where’s Jayden (Stockley)?’ Well, he’s not here, we have to move on and people have spoken about us playing in a different way and that can take months to establish.’
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley was proud of his side’s resilience and said: ‘It was a fantastic result after a long journey. Exeter are a tough side to come up against as they are in decent form.
‘They had an extended break last week which can sometimes work in your favour. But overall it was a fair result.
‘Changing formation, we worked on it on Wednesday and Thursday, touched on certain things and I thought right throughout defensively we were solid and compact.
‘We have a list of things that we expect of the players, including desire and determination and it was evident in bundles. Overall we were excellent.
‘Football is about putting the ball in the net at one end and keeping it out at the other.
‘Today we worked really hard and limited a good Exeter side, who did have spells of possession in wide areas and a lot of balls across our box, to only a few chances.
‘I can only recall Mark (Halstead) making one good save when he tipped the ball onto the crossbar and going the other way we have tested their keeper on quite a few occasions. But it was a fair result.’