Tis: “We’re working hard for our points”

Manager gives analysis of Burton draw

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale felt that a 1-1 draw away at Burton Albion was no less than his side deserved for an industrious and creative performance.

The Grecians carved some of the best openings of the game – although the opening goal actually came courtesy of Brewers skipper Ian Sharps turning into his own net early in the second half, before Adam McGurk slotted home minutes later.

Similarly to the goalless draw against Oxford in midweek, the Grecians’ point owed much to a diligent and untiring performance from those in City colours.  In a rare and bold move, Tis opted against tinkering with side by making substitutions, but instead entrusted the whole 90 minutes to his 11 starters.

Only the base of the post denied Arron Davies a winner deep into stoppage time as he aimed to power a header past Dean Lyness, but ultimately a draw was a satisfying result from a strong display.  Such is the strength of the opposition every week in Sky Bet League 2, Tis is hoping that his team can continue putting in such indefatigable performances in the coming weeks to keep the points ticking over.

“I’m very pleased with the way we played,” said Tis.  “It was a very committed performance, and I felt that we shared the energy out and every player contributed.  It was a team performance and we thoroughly deserved a draw out of the game.

“I said to them again afterwards that we’re having to work very hard for our points, but there’ll come a point when we work that hard and things start to fall for us a bit more.

“We little bit more patience maybe around the last third, but that’s what you get off the back of a long run without winning too many games.

“I hope I’m not looking through rose-tinted glasses, but I think we shaded the flow of the game with our play around the pitch and we were a touch quicker to the ball.

“It was a game that either team could have won – at one-all, as a manager you’re wondering whether to stick or twist.  They made a few changes, and I stuck with the 11 – they were tired but they were doing the business.”

One of the more pleasing aspects of the performance from City was in the final thirds at either end of the field.  Artur Krysiak was rarely troubled, whereas Brewers stopper Lyness and his back four were made to work overtime to keep out a threating Grecian strike-force.

Striker John O’Flynn was one of the key dangermen for Exeter, and that was especially pleasing for the City manager after having seen the Irishman on the periphery during recent weeks – and cited the front-man as a case in point to others that aren’t racking up much playing time at the moment.

“I haven’t seen a performance where our front players put as much pressure on their defence as we did today,” continued Paul.  “That’s not just John O’Flynn and Jimmy Keohane – that includes Arron Davies and Liam Sercombe.  They were exceptional as a group.

“There are lots of things that show optimism going into this really big couple of months for us.

“I’m delighted that I’ve got another centre-forward back in the squad.  John O’Flynn has been out of things recently but he was probably our man of the match today in terms of his effort, and he’s an example to a lot of players that are out of the team.

“John didn’t know he was playing until 2 o’clock today.  He’s trained week after week after week for his chance, which just shows how fit he has kept himself.  He put himself on the line today and he’s a very good example to players on the fringes – you never know when you’re going to get your chance.”