Christmas Top 3

I would like to thank the person who said the players at the club should not be paid for our first half performance at Exeter the other week.
At the time of reading their comments on Exeter’s unofficial website, I was furious that someone could suggest we should not be paid.

But, upon reflection, his or her words were interesting and showed in just a few paragraphs how far this club has come in the last 18 months.

It perfectly illustrated how much supporters’ expectations have increased over that time. They now expect us to go to places like Sale and do well. In the past, they would have just hoped we did well.

That is a good attitude to have and it puts pressure on us players to maintain the high standards we have set for ourselves. We want to do well all of the time and make sure that we never get complacent.

Not only did we fight back to win that game at Sale in astonishing fashion but we go into Christmas in third place in the Aviva Premiership table.

That is some achievement.

We are an honest club and we know that our wins against the likes of Leicester and Wasps earlier on in the season were when they had weakened sides because of the World Cup.

But the position we find ourselves in at Christmas is a credit to the depth of our squad and the way we trained in pre-season.

It was only our heavy defeat at Northampton that has stood out like a sore thumb. All of our other games have been close, whichever way they have gone.

There would be few people two years ago when we were in the Championship, or even at the start of this season to be honest, that would have predicted Exeter in the top three at Christmas.

It’s something that we are really proud of with so little Premiership experience.

We are pleased with where we are - but we are not a club to get above our station. It’s an old cliche but there is a long way to go this season.

Read more from Chris Whitehead.

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