The following comes to us from Reading's Academy keeper Lewis Ward, who's combining his football career with a sports journalism course. He's been catching up with his fellow Reading Academy team-mate Jack Stacey, who's spent most of the season on loan with Exeter City.
Jack Stacey believes securing a win over Carlisle this weekend will give Exeter that winning feeling and will give them momentum for the play-off semi-finals.
Reading loanee Stacey is looking to extend Exeter’s unbeaten run to three games by being “100% focused” on beating Carlisle United on Saturday before heading into the League Two play-offs. Stacey was previously on loan to Carlisle last season.
Carlisle have only picked up six points in their last five games and Stacey believes that another win for Exeter would be good for his team’s momentum heading into the play-offs. “That winning feeling and the confidence it brings to the squad and then take that into the two play-off semi-final games”. When the two sides met previously in November it was Carlisle that come out on top with an 89th minute winner to win 3:2. This left Exeter at the bottom of League 2 in November.
Exeter start in 5th place ahead of Saturday’s 17:30 kick off but don’t yet know who they'll face in the play-offs, as seven teams still have a chance, no matter how slim, of qualifying for one of the two remaining places. “It’s a very tight league, any team can beat any other team on their day” said Stacey, “as a player there are no easy games”.
Stacey made his debut for Reading, in their 1–0 victory over Ipswich Town in August 2014 and added “coming from a good grounding at Reading really helped me to settle in at Exeter”. Stacey explained how manager Paul Tisdale advised and helped him to fit into his side. “The manager explained early on what he expected from each player in each position”.
Stacey has played numerous positions this season, with a prolonged stint in the side at right back, as former Royals defender Pierce Sweeney has been out injured.
Exeter finished 15th in last season’s campaign and finishing in the top seven is an improvement however, Stacey insists “play-offs was the minimum aim for us, but ultimately we want to get promoted, that’s the main goal everybody had for this season”.
Thanks again to Lewis, and you can follow him on Twitter @lewismward