City manager left ruing second-half display
Following the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Morecambe, Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale was left disappointed with the second-half showing of his team.
Goalless at the break, the Grecians conceded moments after the restart to a Kevin Ellison header. City had looked the more commanding of the two teams in the first half but were unable to truly put themselves back into the ascendency after conceding.
“It was a very competent first half, and a poor second half,” said Tis. “I look back now and wish we had taken one of the earlier chances. As a manager you have to trust your players – we were making good chances and playing particularly well.
“We had three or four really good chances in the first half – I’m not going to show frustration at the players [for not taking them] because they want to score. Some days they don’t go in, and a goal can change the complexion of the game and it certainly did today.”
“The first half was a good performance, a fraction away from being a very good performance. The difference between those two performances would have been a goal or an extra bit of quality or something to make a goal. We didn’t quite have that in the first half but another day we could have scored.
“My main instructions at half-time were to be as good as we could in the first five minutes so we could get back in control like we were in the first half, and we certainly didn’t do that.”
The manner of the first goal was a frustration for Tis, as was the reaction to going behind. City never really regained the fluidity and threat of the first period and ultimately succumbed to a 2-0 loss.
Paul continued: “Kevin Ellison finished the two goals very well, but I’m disappointed with the first goal because it was a minute after half-time, and because we had possession on the corner of their box and we contrived to fritter that away and give a foul away. We then allowed a free header from eight or nine yards out which is disappointing from a defensive point of view.
“Those things happen, and at one-nil down I’m still thinking we’re perfectly capable of winning or drawing the game. What disappointed me most was probably the fact that we finished the game so poorly. We were chasing the game at a goal down – we have got to do better than that.”
Alan Gow and Jimmy Keohane were introduced for Tommy Doherty and Sam Parkin for the final half-hour with the intention of working the ball up the field, but in reality Tis was disappointed that that didn’t happen.
However it will give the City manager more experience to build on in dealing with chasing a deficit in the future.
He concluded: “I made two changes – it was no reflection on Sam Parkin or Tommy Doherty, but I saw something different happening as I saw us passing the ball better, spreading the ball about a bit. The result was that we didn’t pass it as well, and we lost the ball every time we got to the final third.
“Morecambe were more than happy to fall over and take the foul and slow the game down as much as they could, which is their prerogative, but we certainly gave free-kicks away, lost the ball too easily and had no snap about our performance in the last half an hour.
“I will look at that going forward – next time we’re chasing a game at one-nil down, what will I do different – and that’s what a manager does: judges his performances and makes decisions off the back of it.”