Exeter manager reflects on final match of 2012/13
Despite a 4-0 defeat at Chesterfield, Grecians manager Paul Tisdale had plenty of reason to be positive looking forward towards the future and the start of the 2013/14 campaign.
With nothing riding on the outcome of the game, City fielded something of a youthful squad, as seven of the 14 players that faced the Spireites having played less than a dozen professional games in League football – but the potential was there to be seen. Exeter matched their hosts in almost all departments – the ruthlessness of the finishing not being one of them, as Chesterfield appeared to find the net at will while Richard O’Donnell consistently foiled the City attack – and Tis believes they have shown signs of what they will offer in the coming years.
“I’m really pleased with the way those young players that played,” said Tis. “I think it’s the sign of things to come over the next 18 months or two years. It was a good opportunity to see them play and try one or two things differently – we were a bit naïve at times, and maybe a little bit too nice in certain areas of the pitch, but I enjoyed the game.
“It’s never nice to lose a game of football, especially 4-0 which doesn’t look good. But I’m really pleased with some of the players and we’re making progress into next year.”
Tis admitted that the learning curve will begin now for a lot of the younger players and that a modest playing budget will mean a lot of players that have come through the club’s Academy will be involved in the coming seasons. Even though the injury crisis that beset City during the latter part of the season ultimately cost Exeter a promotion chance, it did give Tis a chance to blood some of the younger squad members for the first time.
“We all have to be ready for a couple of seasons of bringing these young players through and building a new side,” said Paul. “We’ve missed out this season and we’re bitterly disappointed – we were certainly a promotion contender, if not an automatic contender.
“We’re going to have to bring some of these players through. The benefit of having the injury situation is that a lot of these young players have played and they’re going to have to come through – they’re not just going to win games straight away.
“We saw a side that’s well capable of playing in the League, but that need to be a bit more worldly-wise at times and maybe a bit less nice at times.”
The two loanees in particular – Anton Rodgers and Lawson D’Ath – were praised by the City manager for their contribution and the potential they continue to demonstrate.
“[Anton] has got a very good skill-set, in terms of his ability to pass and receive and build play – he’s got plenty to work on in his game, but he did what he does particularly well and I’m sure he’s learnt from the experience. It’s good to see him in this type of fixture and on a very bumpy pitch he looked after the ball well.
“It was a fresh day for us, with Alan Gow back and playing 90 minutes and Scot Bennett playing as a centre-forward – who did particularly well – there was a real freshness to the day. I have to say thank you to Lawson D’Ath for his contribution – I thought he was the pick of the players today, he was brilliant. If he wanted to come and join us again at any time, he’d be more than welcome.”