IF EXETER City are to muscle their way into the automatic promotion picture then the presence of Jordan Moore-Taylor and Troy Brown will be pivotal.
Injuries to both players have robbed Exeter of their first choice centre-half partnership for a large chunk of the season.
Now they are back fit and available as the season heads towards a gripping climax.
The duo are one of the best in League Two and Exeter cannot afford for either to suffer any more injuries if they are press ahead with their pursuit of a top-three spot.
Both players have got the experience of last season’s brush with promotion and that will stand Exeter in good stead as they step up their bid to book a place in League One.
Moore-Taylor said: “Troy and I have played a lot of games together over the years. We have had a difficult time with injuries this season, I have picked up a couple, he has had one, and it has been really difficult.
“But we know how each other plays and even when we haven’t played for a while, we can get straight back into our stride. I would like to say that the lads who have come in have done brilliantly.
“We have got a strong defensive unit and other players have stepped up and done a job for the team.
“That is how we have picked up results.”
Exeter are back on home soil at the weekend when relegation-threatened Chesterfield are the visitors.
The Grecians’ seven-game unbeaten run at St James’ Park was ended when they suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of promotion rivals Mansfield Town last time out.
Paul Tisdale’s side have been forced to switch to a more route one approach to combat the tricky pitch conditions.
The change in tactics have reaped rewards, with Exeter recording 11 wins from their 16 matches at home this season.
Moore-Taylor added: “It’s a difficult one. We have played a lot more direct and it has paid off in recent games, but it didn’t work against Mansfield.
“It is a strange one because over the years we have played football here and over-played on occasions. We’ve been caught out and once you are 1-0 down, it is hard to break down teams.
“This year we have gone a lot more direct because of the pitch and have got the results we need.
“Going forward we will stick to that and hopefully pick up results
playing this way. The home games are our bread and butter. We want to get wins for the fans.”
With 13 games left, Moore-Taylor has warned there will be plenty of twists and turns in the race for promotion.
“There are going to be lots of ups and downs. We will win a game and think we have conquered it and lose one and feel we have ruined it.
“We know we can beat anyone on our pitch if the ball bounces our way.
“There is everything to play for. We need to keep picking up wins and push for the top three like we have for the whole of the season.
“It will be a toss-up of eight, ten teams come the end of the season. We will go right until the end and we know anything can happen – that is the fun part of football.
“The manager has said come Easter weekend he wants to be right in there in the mix pushing for the top three. Hopefully that is the case.
“With the amount of games coming up we are going to need all of the squad with players fit and ready to go.
“We are going to face all sorts of teams over the next couple of months.
“Mid-table teams who haven’t really got anything to play for and teams at the bottom who are fighting for their lives.”