Matt Taylor believes fine finish will give Kieran Phillips big confidence boost



Posted Sunday, February 13, 2022 by PA

Matt Taylor believes fine finish will give Kieran Phillips big confidence boost

Exeter boss Matt Taylor lauded Kieran Phillips’ “poacher’s finish” against Bradford and believes his first goal for the club will do the on-loan Huddersfield striker the power of good.

Phillips, 21, scored in only his third appearance for the promotion-chasing Grecians, having hit the target just four times in 26 league outings for Walsall, where he spent the first half of this season.

And Taylor felt Phillips demonstrated a seasoned marksman’s instinct for the 44th-minute strike that secured a fifth win in six games for his team.

The Exeter manager said: “What a really good finish it was.

“He was on the floor looking the other way when it hit the back of the net, so it was a real poacher’s finish, because he knew where the goal was without looking and he had to act quickly because he didn’t have much time to get a shot away.

“Centre-forwards thrive on goals and it will give him a big confidence boost.”

Taylor was just as impressed with his team’s efforts at the other end of the pitch, with Exeter having now only conceded once in their last six unbeaten contests.

“I’m delighted with the result and pleased with the manner of the performance,” Taylor said. “We could have made it a bit easier for ourselves by scoring a second goal but, maybe, the scoreline just being 1-0 meant we stayed focussed.

“They put us under pressure at times and we had to head a couple away from under our own crossbar, but I thought we had the edge in terms of moving the ball around.

“Bradford pinned us in at times and the play went back and forth a bit, so it wasn’t a very nice day to play in midfield, but clean sheets are huge and we’ve got a good rhythm about our defensive play at the moment.”

Bradford’s defeat was their third in five matches and left them 11th in the League Two standings.

A section of the home support called for the sacking of manager Derek Adams during the final throes of the game, with the former Morecambe and Plymouth chief admitting: “It’s not nice and I don’t think managers deserve the abuse because we work so hard, but it can make the situation very difficult.”

Delivering his verdict on the team’s performance, Adams added: “I thought we started the game well and created quite a lot of pressure and some good openings but, then, Exeter came into the game and scored and, in the second half, I don’t think we played well enough.

“We started to look rushed in our play and it all became a bit anxious, as Exeter managed the game better than us.

“We’ve got a lot of players out injured at the moment, but we can’t do anything about that and the players on the pitch should have done better than they did.”

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