Tis: “A positive point”

City manager gives verdict on Wycombe draw

Alan Gow’s late equaliser earned City a just draw at Adams Park against Wycombe Wanderers – and manager Paul Tisdale was pleased with the performance and result which will have done wonders for the mood in the camp.

City had to put in a battling shift against their hosts – especially after conceding an early lead – and Tis felt that parity was no less than his troops deserved, as the run of defeats finally came to an end.

“It’s a positive point off the back of a poor run of results,” said the Exeter boss.  “We needed something tonight and we got it.  

“Arguably we put enough into the game that I don’t think we would have been lucky if we had won it.  We put a lot of effort into that and had a lot of positive play and did the pushing for most of the game.”

Wycombe went ahead in the ninth minute, thanks to a stroke of good fortune for the hosts.  Josh Scowen’s strike from outside the area smacked into the back of Steven Craig, diverting the ball beyond the hapless Artur Krysiak.

“It was unlucky – it’s not something I talk about very often.  It was a shot on goal from 25 yards out – it’s not lucky that they’re there, as we have allowed a shot.  But you don’t often get such a big, solid deflection that it leaves the goalkeeper stranded.

“It wasn’t a fair moment for us, and the tempo of the game changed at that point.  It was going to be a long 80 minutes for them to hold out for a one-nil, and I’m just pleased that we kept on going.”

The early setback needed a reaction from the City players, and over the course of the rest of the game, they certainly got that with a performance that grew in stature.  The goal, when it came through Gow in the 81st minute, was overdue.

“We increased and increased the dimension of our play,” he continued.  “Digging in comes in many different guises – it can mean being strong around the box and making sure you don’t go two goals down.  Artur Krysiak made a wonderful save, and some other players made some good headers and defended the box well – that’s digging in.

“But digging in can also mean responding to changes a manager makes and increasing the direction of your play and committing bodies forward.  There was real solid belief and we showed real gumption.”

One of the more pertinent parts of the performance was the physicality that the Grecians were able to put in.  Wycombe won at St James Park in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in a performance that was typified by high, relentless pressing and a robust style from the Chairboys.

On this occasion, Exeter were every bit as good at that side of the game.

Paul continued: “It was part of our preparation.  We’ve got our way and other teams have their way, and that’s how it can be and should be, and I’m comfortable with that.

“Sometimes it’s not always possible to beat teams your own way.  We had to go into the game ready for the battle and be up for it; it was a very combative game and I don’t think our players came out second best at all.  In many ways, we competed just as heavily if not more than they did.

“I didn’t want us to beat them with just football.  I wanted us to match them first, and we did – so well done to the lads.”

The City manager also reserved praise for those regulars that were omitted from the starting XI on this occasion.  Pat Baldwin, Sam Parkin and Arron Davies all began on the bench – the latter two appearing as substitutes – and Paul was pleased with their willingness to play a part in the greater good.

“The players that didn’t play and came out the side all acted like real proper people.  They were supportive of the decisions – I wanted to make some changes and they were supportive of the fact that they were going to be on the bench, and they put everything into the team.

“I think that shows the harmony and camaraderie amongst the group.  They’re proper people and are desperate to do well for the team, themselves and the club.  They wanted it so much today.”