Molesley ready to get his head down and graft as season reaches a climax
Mark Molesley has certainly made an impression since joining Exeter City, but despite a decent start to life in Devon, the midfield terrier thinks there is more to come.
The 31-year-old was one of two signings – the other being defender Myles Anderson – made by manager Paul Tisdale during the January transfer window, but, while Anderson has found first-team opportunities hard to come by, Molesley has become a first-team regular and something of a hit with the home faithful for his combative style.
Molesley has made seven appearances for the Grecians, and it could have been more had he not had to serve a three-match suspension for his sending-off at Port Vale. That aside, it has been a pretty good start to life with Exeter.
"It has been very frustrating and very stop-start since I have been here, but I have enjoyed it," Molesley said. "It is a great club with great people to work for.
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"The first couple of games, I was just trying to get my match fitness and then unfortunately, I picked up a virus and I played despite being a bit unwell and under the weather.
"Then the suspension came along where, in the process, I damaged my neck, so I couldn't even properly train. I was confined to gym work, so I was pleased to train on the Monday and then played on Tuesday [against Gillingham]."
Molesley added: "It was good to get back out there and amongst it and I hope to get a few games under my belt and really push on.
"My calves cramped up a bit towards the end of the game, but, as I said, I didn't do any proper football training during my suspension, I was confined to the gym and straight-line stuff and on the bike, so it was a bit frustrating," he added.
"It caught up on me at the end of the game, but hopefully, with 75 minutes under my belt, I will be ready for an improvement on Saturday."
In his first six appearances for Exeter, Molesley was used on the right-side of midfield, despite impressing Tisdale in a reserve-team game for Bournemouth against Exeter and for Plymouth Argyle in the Devon derby against the Grecians in a more central role.
On Tuesday, he was given the opportunity to play a more central role and he was part of an Exeter side that dominated the table-topping Gills, but had to settle for a point from a goalless draw.
"I am happy to do a job wherever the manager needs me, I like to think I give 100 per cent wherever I play," he said. "But, I must admit, I did enjoy being a bit more central because you are involved in the game more and in the thick of the action. I did enjoy it, but I will do a job wherever I am needed."
However, with Matt Oakley and Tommy Doherty both facing lengthy spells on the sidelines, and with Liam Sercombe not expected to feature again this campaign, Tisdale may turn to Molesley to fill that sizeable void.
"It is a big, big blow losing Matt Oakley and Tommy Doherty because they are two big, influential players for us," Molesley added. "But whoever comes in for them has to fill their boots and step up to the plate and try to combat the loss of them. They were both playing really well at the time, but these things happen in football. We have to adapt and deal with it, but, hopefully, we'll get some good news on the injury front and we can get them back."
With Jake Gosling coming to the fore and Arron Davies a regular under Tisdale, it may just mean Molesley is that man, starting with tomorrow's npower League Two clash with play-offs chasing Bradford City.
"They are chasing us at the moment, so, if we can put an even bigger gap between them and us, it puts us in a much stronger position and gives us some daylight in the play-offs as well," he said.
"But we are looking to push for that automatic promotion place first and foremost. At the same time, it does give us that cushion in the play-offs.
"It has been well documented what a good side they are and what they have achieved this season and what they are capable of, so we have to be ready for that. But we are confident that, if we impose our game on them, we are more than good enough to take the three points.
"There is a lot to look forward to now. We are getting to the really exciting stage of the season and we are up there with a fighting chance, so it is time to get our heads down, work hard and see where it takes us."