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Jon Hill boosted by return of key performers for Cockles in derby clash

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 20, 2014

By Chris Bailey

Jon Hill boosted by return of key performers for Cockles in derby clash

Exmouth head coach Jon Hill

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Exmouth head coach Jon Hill revealed his side will receive a timely boost ahead of the clash against Westcountry rivals Taunton Titans on Saturday, with up to five players set to return to action.

The Cockles currently sit bottom of National League Two South – having lost their last eight games – and are without a win since November.

However, Hill has made it clear that Exmouth will not go down without a fight as key men, such as Alex Brown and Chris Bentley, are welcomed back into the fold.

“We will be looking to take some scalps from here until the rest of the season,” he said.

“We have not been a million miles off but we are missing the experience the average age of our squad in our last game was only 22.

“The lack of experience is a big factor but there is not a vast amount that we have to change, we just have to make sure we are still in the game at the 60 minute mark.

“We hope to have at least four or five players back that we have been about without for a bit and we will be a much stronger squad than we were two weeks ago.

“The return of Chris Bentley will be a major help to our squad and Alex Brown will obviously be a big attacking threat.”

The last time the two teams met Exmouth were handed a painful 61-23 defeat – something Hill is keen to rectify this weekend.

And he insists his team will not make the same mistakes twice after urging his players to curb Taunton’s attacking intent early on.

He added: “When we played them away we did not play well and we were soundly beaten.

“We have learned a lot of lessons from that game, it was only the second game of the season and we were caught cold.

“They are a side who like to get themselves on the front foot so for us our work at the breakdown will have to be tip top.

“Our defensive line has improved massively since then and hopefully this Saturday we will go straight for them early on.

“Their forward pack is certainly up there and their driving mauls are hard to deal with, they play with quite a lot of intent and they have shown their threat this season.

“We know them well and all the coaching staff are familiar with each other.

“There will be quite a few different battles this weekend and we have nothing to lose so we will be looking to attack the game right from the off.”

Read more from Exeter Express and Echo

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