The manager would never admit it in public but Exeter City look pretty much safe in Sky Bet League One after two three results in the space of a week.

Gary Caldwell has endured some rough moments over the course of the 2023/24 campaign, including a brutal winless run of 12 games in the league, most of them defeats, through the autumn spell.

A 7-0 thumping at Bolton Wanderers was arguably the lowest ebb but the Grecians kept believing, and now the rewards are coming at St James Park.

The return fixture with Bolton on March 9 demonstrated the change in confidence for City, as homegrown talent Sonny Cox scored twice in a 2-2 draw.

Next came a trip to Shrewsbury Town, and while Exeter were aided by an early red card for the hosts, the three-goal blitz from Will Aimson, Luke Harris and Jack Aitchison was beautifully ruthless in securing a 3-0 triumph.

Saturday brought Burton Albion to St James Park and the Brewers are another side looking to pull away from danger. The pressure was on City and they responded with a crucial goal from Reece Cole four minutes before the break.

The second half, however, was a ten-man battle. Zak Jules was sent off for an incident in the tunnel at half-time but Exeter dealt with the adversity superbly, and backed by passionate support.

Caldwell told the club website: "The supporters appreciated the effort and we needed every single one of them out there.

"It was ten men, backs to wall and we needed them to give us that last ounce of energy. The players were incredible in the second half, not just in determination and team spirit, but in still trying to play with courage.

"We actually still created some brilliant opportunities and it was an absolutely amazing effort by every single person in this stadium.

"We had the courage and bravery with the ball and the effort and legwork of the front players was incredible - and we were able to freshen them up."

City are 15th in the table and 12 points clear of trouble.