'We were overrun from minute one' - Exeter boss Taylor reflects on 'heartbreaking' play-off final defeat

Grecians chief admits his side didn't do themselves 'justice' at Wembley

By James Heneghan
Friday, 3rd July 2020, 4:04 pm
Matt Taylor.
Matt Taylor.

Now the dust has had time to settle, Exeter City manager Matt Taylor has offered some further reflections on his side's heavy 4-0 defeat to the Cobblers in the League Two play-off final.

The Grecians finished fifth in League Two and beat Colchester United 3-2 on aggregate to reach Wembley, however they were blown away by Keith Curle's rampant Cobblers.

Ryan Watson and Callum Morton scored in the first-half before Dean Moxey's red card on the hour-mark effectively killed the contest, with Sam Hoskins and Andy Williams scoring late to rub salt into Exeter wounds.

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“We got overrun from minute one I’m afraid,” said Taylor, speaking a few days after the final. “The physical dominance of Northampton was obvious and there for everyone to see.

"Unfortunately, we couldn’t handle that side of it and then the game deteriorated off the back of that.

"We had no impact and no influence in that game whatsoever. It certainly wasn’t for the want of trying. I had meetings with the players on Thursday and I could see how much they were hurting, but in football, if you get close to the top or close to success, it is a long way to fall and it hurts even more when you fall a longer distance.

"We are hurting at the moment. There is no denying that, but you have to look forward to what is next.

“I don’t think anybody did themselves justice on the day, myself included, but that is the way football goes sometimes. There was enough good players out there on the pitch to perform better than we did.

"We just didn’t have any influence on that game whatsoever and any threat that we did have in small moments wasn’t taken."

Taylor has also pleaded with supporters not to be too critical of his team's performance at Wembley and instead focus on a generally positive season.

"Through the stadium staff, the academy staff and my first team staff, we all work for a reason and that is down to the fans," he added. "They are our football club. They own our football club and they have a big say in everything that goes on and nobody is hurting more than the fans, but the players are hurting as well.

"So I will ask the fans to be kind to them and to try and understand what they are going through because they have invested in this every day of their lives for the past two years and for it to dismantle the way it did, on the biggest stage possible, was heartbreaking for that group.

"So, the fans will be rightly disappointed and we can only apologise for the way they feel, but we will do everything we can to keep representing them in the correct manner.”