Grecians manager already focused on Rochdale fixture
Following a disappointing derby defeat to Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale was keen to move quickly onto the next fixture during an important run-in period.
With two games in three days over the Easter period, moving on quickly was always going to be a necessity regardless of the result. With a crunch fixture against Rochdale at St James Park on Monday to prepare for, Tis is keen not to let a derby defeat turn into a hangover, and instead to get straight back to action and get to ball rolling towards promotion again when the Dale visit.
“It was disappointing of course, but my second thought is about moving onto the next game, which we have to do,” Tis explained. “I’ll make opinions and have an objective view of things, and bank it for future moments – but what we need now is to move onto the next game.
“There’s six games to go and 18 points at stake, and as much as I feel miserable now – and it’s good to acknowledge that – we’ll move to the next game. Football is all about the next game – especially at this time of year.
“There’s no reason to dwell on it, other than seeing if we can gain some knowledge of ourselves, and can we learn from trial and error off the back of today’s game.”
Despite being eager to look ahead to the Monday afternoon game, he conceded that Exeter had put in an under-par performance in the Devon Derby which was always going to make getting a result a tough ask in front of a boisterous crowd – the largest attendance in an npower League 2 fixture so far this season.
The Grecians had certainly started the better of the two teams – nearly going ahead within minutes of kick-off – but after a composed start, they couldn’t really control the ebb and flow of the game and ultimately paid the price.
“I didn’t think we played well enough to win the game,” Tis continued, “our game wasn’t cohesive enough. We started very well in the first 15 minutes, and we didn’t really follow that for the remaining part of the game.
“It was a game of few chances, and once the first goal goes in you know it’s going to be a tough ask to come back, whichever side scored it. But we didn’t do well enough today.”
Prior to kick-off, the Grecians had been vivified by the news that Tommy Doherty would be able to make his first appearance since the trip to Bristol Rovers, most of a month ago. However, just like in that game at the Memorial Stadium, the midfielder only lasted 45 minutes before his back trouble persisted enough to force his withdrawal at the interval.
It was especially frustrating given how well the 34-year-old had performed during the first period – both with and without the ball – and it wouldn’t have been a sensible decision to force him to play any longer through the pain barrier.
“Tommy went off injured again. He’s been out for two or three weeks, and he’s come back and he was struggling today again – and that was a blow for us.
“We didn’t perform well enough in midfield today – not at all. I suppose we were feeling the absence of Matt [Oakley] and Tommy coming in but getting injured.”
Normal ticketing applies on Easter Monday for Exeter City fans – simply pay at the ticket booths around the ground on matchday for this important clash in the race for promotion (kick-off 3pm). Let’s get behind City, support the players, and keep that promotion push going!