Tis previews the visit of RotherhamAfter bring back six points from two tough away games at Bradford and Gillingham, Exeter manager Paul Tisdale is looking forward to the visit of Rotherham tomorrow.
A thumping 5-0 loss away at Dagenham for Rotherham was followed up by a 4-2 win against Cheltenham last weekend – but that was shortly followed by a home loss to basement club Wycombe, summing up the Millers’ unpredictability this season.
The Millers have a game in hand over most clubs in League Two, but their inconsistent form has seen them slip into mid-table despite being many people’s tip for promotion. Having spent more than most of their rivals on their push for League One, the expectations are high for the South Yorkshire club.
On Rotherham, Tis said: “There’s more than just allegedly spending money that plays a part in any team doing well. You need time and the opportunity for the manager to build a team and some sort of theme to the play. Steve [Evans] hasn’t been there long, so I imagine in the course of time he’ll gradually start to make his mark.
“They’ve had an unsettling period of injury and players missing which doesn’t help anybody – we found out to our cost with Alan Gow being out for a while. They’ve had their fair share of mishaps and inconveniences in their team.”
And after seeing his side play well in recent weeks but fail to get due rewards for it, Tisdale is happy to be turning performance into something more tangible by earning points and climbing back up the league table.
“The players believed they would get some results, and we went into the Gillingham game confident off the back of the Bradford resilience and a 1-0 away win. But it counts for nothing if we play poorly in the following games.
“10 points from 12 is a good return from our last four games. But I’d like to make that into 13 from 15.
“There’s no point aiming for mediocrity. I’d like to aim for winning the league – that doesn’t mean we’re going to win the league, nor does it mean we’ll come close. But if we set our targets at the very top, then we’ll work back.
“We have to set our targets somewhere and I think a good position at the halfway point in the season is our first target.”
With the loan window shutting yesterday, the Exeter boss was more than happy to reaffirm his faith in his current crop. Arron Davies remains the only absentee through injury, while youngster Tom Nichols joined Bath City on loan yesterday morning.
“Unless pushed, unless we have some sort of injury crisis, I wouldn’t ordinarily look [for loan signings],” Tis continued.
“I prefer to trust the players we have, to recruit a team, work on that team and see the dividends as you progress through a long season. I don’t ordinarily choose to go into the loan market, unlike a lot of other clubs.
“We have done it in the past when we’ve had to. But there wasn’t one minute in the previous weeks when I’ve thought, ‘we need a couple of loan players’. I happen to believe in the players we have and hopefully the results in the last couple of weeks have proved that that was a good decision.”