Exeter City challenged to make sure they improve next season

Exeter City manager Gary Caldwell has said the challenge for the Grecians next season will be to once again improve and better their position in the League One table. City missed out on a top half finish on the final day of the campaign when they were beaten 2-1 by Oxford United as the Yellows booked a play-off spot.

But having finished their first season back in League One in 14 th with 56 points, season two for City saw them finish 13 th with 61 points. It was a topsy-turvy season for the Grecians who were top after eight games, would have made the play-offs based on 2024 form – but went 13 games without a win before Christmas.

With big-spending Hollywood backed Wrexham, as well as Stockport County and Mansfield Town coming up for League Two, and at least one former Premier League outfit, plus perennial promotion contenders Rotherham United coming down from the Championship, the 2024/25 League One season looks like it could be a tougher one. Caldwell’s men have one of the lowest budgets in the league, but the manager is up for the challenge of once again moving up the table.

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“As disappointing as today is, throughout the whole season we have been brilliant and it is something we must build on next season,” he said after the final day loss. “The challenge to the players is we need to be better and get even more success next season, and we will start planning and be ready to do it all again on June 20.

“Oxford have a bigger budget than us and they should be in the play-offs. We can compete with these teams but there are big clubs coming in the league and the challenge only gets bigger. We have to be ready to fight and challenge and punch above our weight and do even better, and we are clear on what we need to do for next season to improve.

“Overall, I am really pleased with the season. We had some really difficult moments this season but came through it with spirit, resilience and a quality that showed progress from last season, but today showed that we have to improve.

“The challenge for whoever wants to be here is to come back on June 20 ready to work and be even better because we have played a team that got into the play-offs and even though we were poor in the first half, there is not much in the game. We have to be ready next season to improve again. We have highs and lows and special bonds and connections will be there for a long time.”

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