Tis: “They gave absolutely everything”

City boss beaming after ten-man victory in Wycombe

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale was delighted with his side’s victory against Wycombe at Adams Park, and in particular the manner in which it came after seeing his team reduced to ten men with Jamie Cureton’s dismissal at the end of the first half.

City had to play the entire second period a man down, but a high-tempo and disciplined performance from gun to tape saw the Grecians thoroughly merit their win.  There were elements of fortune about the victory, as the Chairboys missed a penalty after the break and scored an own-goal with less than ten minutes left on the clock, but bringing the three points back to Devon was ultimately a just reward for their efforts.

Following the victory, Tis said: “It’s a mad game, football.  We had a huge, huge disappointment on Saturday [against Barnet] with a 98th-minute equaliser against us, and today we feel great again.  

“It was not just a top performance, but a great result – it’s the first win I’ve had here as manager, and to do it with ten men for an hour was great.”

The old adage goes suggests that it’s more difficult to play than ten men.  But that is only true when the team work tirelessly and keep their concentration levels at a maximum – which is exactly what City did against Wycombe.  By mixing an indefatigable work-rate with sprinkling of flair – in this instance, Alan Gow’s fantastic chip to find John O’Flynn for the goal – City managed to find the winning formula.

“What stood out today was the nine outfield players that played that hour with a man down and gave absolutely everything,” continued Tisdale.  

“I had Tommy Doherty warmed up for about 40 minutes.  I kept saying, ‘Tommy, next minute, the second I see someone flagging, the second I see someone switch off and lose pace with the game, you’ll be on’.  So Tommy warmed up for 40 minutes, and I just couldn’t see a way of putting him on.  I didn’t want to change the flow of the game.

“I’ve never seen Alan Gow run as much as that.  He was wonderful today, as well as that piece of skill [to find John O’Flynn].  That’s why I wanted Alan on the pitch – because he can just win you the game.”

The cause and effect of Cureton’s red card may have helped to galvanise City, but in truth the City boss would probably have preferred to keep a full complement of players on the pitch.  Cureton’s dismissal was judged as violent conduct by the referee, meaning the striker will serve a ban, and Tisdale had little in the way of complaint.

“I didn’t see the incident as clearly as I would have liked to have done, but I believe Jamie kicked at him, and if he did then he deserves his red card.  I can’t complain about it – if the officials see Jamie do that then it’s the correct decision.”

And Paul reserved special praise for those fans that battled against bleary eyes to make the 350-mile round-trip on New Year’s Day to support the team.  Even before kick-off, the supporters that packed out the Dreams Stand were making a racket and their enthusiasm was rewarded with an excellent victory.

“I noted at the start of the game that our supporters were chanting and drumming.  I heard the C-I-T-Y right at the start – they started off as they meant to go on, and they were the most vocal contingent here, so well done them.  

“I’m so pleased we can give them something after the disappointment of our home results, and that we can keep giving them a pleasing journey home.”