Grecians boss lauds commitmentExeter manage Paul Tisdale was beaming with his team’s performance and attitude as they battled to a 1-0 victory at Bradford City.
37-year-old Jamie Cureton continued to defy the limits of age and opened the scoring with a bicycle-kick a minute before half-time. The hosts put the Grecians under ever-increasing pressure in the second period, but Tisdale was delighted that his men were able to see out a victory.
Tis said: “I think 1-0 is exactly what we needed. In a way it’s better than a comfortable win because it just shows and proves to the players themselves that they can grit out 50 minutes of very threatening football like we had against us in the second half. I’m really, really pleased.”
The game’s solitary goal came after a spell of sustained possession by Exeter. Craig Woodman sent in a deep cross to the back post for Matt Oakley to nod down, and Cureton tucked away his 13th of the season.
Tisdale continued: “There’s lots to be said about [the goal]. We got up the pitch with some good football and we made the two or three extra passes in the last third. We didn’t try to make the killer passes too early.
“Matt Oakley showed all his class with that little nod-down – and Jamie does what Jamie does. He knows exactly where to put the ball. But it was a fantastic cross, and another assist for Matt Oakley, which he’s had many of this season already.”
After dominating large parts of the first half – including Alan Gow consistently finding space behind the strikers – Exeter executed a successful defensive display in the second period to record a clean-sheet against the Bantams and see out the victory.
“The second half was never going to be the same as the first,” said Tis. “They matched us up, they played long and straight, and we were stuck in our half. But sometimes that’s what happens – you can’t have it all your own way.
“I went defensive, but I’m not ashamed of that. We stuck it out, and our physio is going to have a tough few days because we’ve got some players that are bruised and battered. We did everything we needed to do today and I’m really proud of them.”