Manager content with well-earned point on the road
After Exeter City and Oxford United played out a goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium, manager Paul Tisdale was happy enough with a well-earned point.
It was an entertaining encounter but didn’t result in a glut of chances – and Tis was not displeased as another point was added to the tally against their promotion-hopeful hosts.
“It’s a good point,” said Tis. “Considering the two games we’ve had – Scunthorpe away and then here at Oxford a few days later – we’ve had two clean sheets and some very considered play. There were some tired legs, it has to be said – but I thought we played very pragmatically.
“We lacked maybe a touch of burst to our game which we had on Saturday, but I can’t be too critical.
“We played very safely today – I’d have liked us to have 10 per cent more and more push and drive in attacked areas, but these lads have worked very hard. We defended very well and did the basics very well again.”
City’s fluid formation – up against Oxford’s steady 4-4-2 – was creating an interesting tactical scenario on the pitch, which ultimately bore no fruit for either team on the goal tally as both sides were able to defend solidly to blunt each other’s attack.
And he argued that it would be the kind of result that would leave both sides mildly contented, whilst each will know they have more in the tank.
“We made a change ten minutes into the second half,” continued Tis. “We deliberately opened up the midfield because I wanted to see if we could expand the game.
“It certainly worked in terms of getting Arron Davies and Liam Sercombe on the ball in areas they could turn.
“But it was even-stevens all the way through. Both sides won’t be unhappy with their performance, and won’t be cock-a-hoop either.
“If we continue with that through the season with our away performances and results, we’re not going to be too far away. The next challenge is back to the Park – but thanks to all those supporters that travelled today and thanks to all that came to Scunthorpe too.”
One of the game’s talking-points was the penalty claims for City in the first half, as Alan Gow’s shirt appeared to be tugged in the penalty area.
But the team weren’t feeling sorry for themselves by thinking about what could have been, and in particular there was no insistence from Paul of it being a clear-cut decision.
“From our point of view, it was worth a request,” he explained. “I’m not saying he got it wrong, because it’s hard being a referee.
“Maybe some would have got it, but I’m not complaining; it isn’t something I’m particularly focusing on. You get some, and some you don’t – and it was one of those.”