Tis: “A chance to win again”

City boss looking to getting back to winning ways at the Park

Exeter City’s recent performances have been promising and encouraging in recent weeks, and a feeling of having played well has been a constant in the camp.

But in spite of the style of play and the gradual improvement as individuals and as a unit, Exeter City have been defeated on their last three outings in all competition.

For Grecians manager Paul Tisdale, the algorithm to winning a football match is far from simple, with countless numbers of complexities that develop before and during every game, making every on-field clash unique.

However Tis is confident of being able to put their own stamp on the weekend’s encounter against Southend United and getting back to winning ways at St James Park.

“When you have got 22 players running around and all making different decisions and working on emotion and trying to do what they have been asked to do, in different degrees of confidence and physical ability – trying to put a formula to that is incredibly hard,” said Tis.

“It is an intellectual challenge which I don’t think anyone can solve.  It’s about making sure you don’t have too many variables to focus on.  My job is to reduce those variables by making certain things constant and to try to eliminate variables that we can’t control.

“We had a good start to the season and won our first three at St James Park, but we’ve only won one of the last four home games.  But we’ve got a chance on Saturday to win again.  I’ve got a few ideas – but you can play well and get it all right, but still be affected by a mistake or bad refereeing decision, or a bobble or a beach ball.  All of those things can affect a game of football.

“That’s why we like football – there are so many things that can affect a game.  Let’s hope we can do the necessary on Saturday.”

The most recent defeat came against League 1 high-fliers Peterborough United in the first round of the FA Cup, and Tis only took heart from what he saw at London Road in spite of an early exit from the competition.

“We were disappointed that we lost the game, and we quickly moved on to the next week’s training and looking forward to the next game,” he continued.  “That’s the way we have to work in sports and specifically football – it’s a week-by-week industry and you can’t be too grumpy.

“We played a team in the top three of League 1 and there wasn’t a great deal of difference between the teams.  Ultimately they had the attacking spark which won them the game.  What that tells you is that games will be won and lost and seasons will be successful and unsuccessful when a team can put continuity and consistent types of good performances together.

“It doesn’t always win you a game, but over the course of time you would hope that you will win more than you lose and the probability will be that over the course of time you will be reasonably successful.”

One look at the league table is enough to raise spirits again – City are presently sitting above 18 teams in League 2 and are beginning to find a groove in the way they play.

And with the impending return of two key players, the prospects look good for the weekend’s game against the Shrimpers.

Paul continued: “We’re in sixth position – we’re in a play-off place in a very tight league, so we’re only four points away from the top but not that far away from the bottom either.  But it’s better being sixth than 16th.

“We’re in a good position with a lot of games to play; we’ve got players that are getting better and we’re learning about the way we play and how we can improve things, and I’m also considering things we’re not so good at which we might not try anymore.

“Southend look to be a hardworking side who are picking their form up, which looks ominous – so we’ll have to be on our game.  Danny Butterfield is fit for selection – he hasn’t had any matchplay but he has trained and is through his injury.  And Alan Gow is fit for selection too, so we’re getting back towards full strength.”

Tickets for the St James Park clash against Southend United are available at normal matchday prices, and can be bought either in advance or on the day of the game.  Click here for home ticket information.