Exeter star not worried over goals drought ahead of Stags trip

Mansfield Town v Exeter.
Exeter's Reuben Reid scores their last minute penalty to take all three points last season
Mansfield Town v Exeter. Exeter's Reuben Reid scores their last minute penalty to take all three points last season

Exeter City star Reuben Reid says his lack of goals is not something that is playing on his mind too much ahead of Saturday’s game at Mansfield Town.

He also spoke about his public spat with Stags manager Steve Evans after his controversial late penalty winner at the One Call Stadium last season.

After a brilliant start to the season in which he scored seven goals in seven league matches, the striker has subsequently gone eight games without finding the net

Whilst he admits it is a slight concern for him to not be getting on the scoresheet, the 29-year-old says he feels his performances have still been good.

He said: “Of course it’s a concern, I’m a striker and I want to score goals, but it’s not a concern as much that I’m thinking about it.

“I’m more concerned about my performances and they’ve generally been decent.

“The only thing is that goals can change the flow of games and I’ve missed a few chances, which is probably a highlight and the best thing, really, because it’s when you don’t get chances that you need to start worrying.

“So no, I’m not worried; it’s a slight concern because obviously you want to be scoring and you want to help the team win the games but it’s not a big thing overall.

“We’ve generally been a team that, since I’ve come here, have shared the goals around, so it’s not overly concerning, but it is there, yeah.”

The arrival of Jayden Stockley prompted a change in Reid’s role in the team, in which he is now playing off the Grecians’ record signing rather than being the side’s battering ram.

Yet Reid says the duo need to work together for the good of the team.

“Anyone can see the dynamics of the front two have changed,” he said.

“I was sort of the point man before Jayden came in but we’ve just got to work together and get it right for the good of the team, however we set up.

“It’s not always going to be perfect for an individual player but we’ve just got to be willing to put the work in to make it happen.”

City now make the trip to Mansfield Town, a side who Reid won and scored a controversial late penalty against last season to secure a 2-1 victory.

Stags manager Steve Evans branded Reid a cheat for his role in winning the spot kick and Reid subsequently said the Scot was delusional in his comments.

Yet Reid has now played down what was said and revealed that he feels Saturday is just another game.

When asked to reflect on what was called a war of words, he said: “I don’t know if I had a war of words with him – it’s just that I said something after the game and he followed it on, I didn’t really pay too much attention to it.

“They’re obviously a team who’ve recruited a lot of players over the summer and it’s a game that had a lot of heat on it last season in the manner in which we won the game.

“It’s just another game, as any – we’ve got to go there and put in a positive performance to make sure we establish ourselves back in the top three.”

Despite suffering two defeats in a row, Reid feels the performances are still there for the Grecians but that they need to be sharper in key moments and better at breaking teams down.

He said: “Of course, we’re a good side, so we’re playing well, but it’s just in moments we need to be better than the opposition.

“It’s no good giving a team a foothold in the game in the manner we’ve conceded the type of goals but, then again, even if that does happen, we’ve got to look at ourselves as front players.

“We’ve got it in us to believe that we’ll create something, so to only score one goal at home in two games is, I’m looking at it from a striker’s point of view, is not good enough, however well the opposition has done.

“We’ve got it in us to break a team down and get a goal and then the whole dynamic of the games changes, we’d probably go on to win the games three and four, which we’ve shown we can do.”

City go into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Port Vale and Reid admitted the loss was disappointing.

He said: “It was tough conditions in the first half with a really strong wind, which was plain to see, and unfortunately we conceded a goal again, which gave them a foothold to sit in for the majority of the game and we didn’t have the quality to get our goal to get back in the game and an eventual winner.

“So it was disappointing.

“When you concede a goal against a team that seems comfortable to not break out of their shape, to give them a goal start is never a good thing.

“We’ve got to look at ourselves and be honest enough that we didn’t have the quality in the right moments to get back into the game.”