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U18'S: McLoughlin Looks Ahead To Exeter Test

24 February 2017

Swindon Town U18’s Manager Alan McLoughlin is expecting a real tough test from Exeter City tomorrow.


The young Reds take on the Grecians in their second Merit League outing at Stanley Park (11am Kick-Off) on Saturday and Macca knows his team will have to be at their best in order to get something out of the contest.


“We know it is going to be a really difficult game because Exeter are a very good side,” he told swindontownfc.co.uk.


“We played them very early on in the season and they handsomely won the game and they deserved to win the game.


“We then turned them over at our place in late November and that was a very pleasing result, but we know tomorrow is going to be tough.


“They pass the ball well, they’ve got technically gifted players and they won the league so we know that it is going to be a really tough game.


“It will be a tougher game than the Luton game in terms of the quality they have overall and they’ve played us a few times now so they know what we can and can’t do.


“We’ll have a change of system to accommodate what we’re working on within the Academy at the moment.


“We also have a full squad to choose from and everyone is fit, which is great. There has been a couple of niggles but they have cleared up now and everyone is available.


“However, a couple will have to miss out unfortunately and that is not easy to do but it will probably be a couple of the First-Years just because I need to give the Second-Years every opportunity to play between now and the end of the season.”


Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Luton Town in their Merit League opener last weekend and McLoughlin outlined what he thought were the positives and the negatives from that encounter.


“The positives were the boys’ first-half performance because they passed the ball well, they were creative, they dominated the ball and they dominated possession,” he added.


“But the negatives were that we didn’t get enough shots away in key areas and the biggest negative was the below-par performance in the second-half compared to how we played in the first.


“We’ve got a game-plan for half-time tomorrow and we’ll run with it no matter what the score is and no matter what we’re doing, even if we’re dominating the game and we’re ahead we’ll still change because I’ve been very nice to them and praised them but that hasn’t worked in the last few games.


“You can’t kick them up the backside if they’ve played really well but there has to be a shift in mentality to start the second-half and we’ll experiment with that and take it on and move it forward.


“If we play to our maximum tomorrow then I’m confident we’ll win the game.” 


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