Manager gives verdict on defeat to HartlepoolFollowing a 2-1 home defeat to Hartlepool United, Grecians manager Paul Tisdale was left disappointed with the result but had little to criticise for the players’ effort and application.
After a goalless first half, City were left trailing through the second period to goals from Michael Woods and Charlie Wyke. Christian Ribeiro clawed one back from close range with 10 minutes remaining – his first goal for the Grecians – but it only counted as a consolation when time was sounded.
Preparation was far from ideal for City, with a number of players unable to train with their colleagues through injury during the week and Matt Grimes and Christy Pym both away on international duty and playing 90 minutes for England’s Under-20 squad as recently as Thursday.
But Paul was still frustrated that Exeter weren’t able to record a victory – in particular after controlling the game so well in the first period.
“I’m disappointed with the scoreline, of course,” Paul said. “I’m philosophical about it – Hartlepool worked very hard and had a simple purpose about what they tried to do, which on its day can work out for them, so well-played to them.
“In the first half, our possession play and the way we controlled the game was as near as good as you’ll get. I said at half-time that the first goal would be crucial, and it was.
“Is it any wonder today that we looked tired and disjointed once or twice? Not at all – we have had all kinds of issues leading up to the game today with a very disrupted week. Players are tired and playing half-injured.
“We haven’t got the capacity to respond to these problems and we had no opportunity today to go into the game with some kind of energy and fluidity.
“I thought we were very good in the first half and I was pleased with what I’d seen. We didn’t threaten the goal enough but I thought if we carried on like that we would have got something eventually.
“It was disjointed today and we didn’t have the perfect preparation, but I’m still disappointed we didn’t win because there was an opportunity there and we were good enough to win and had enough of the ball to do so.
“But the first goal changed everything and it was a very hard 25 minutes because we looked very tired, and didn’t have enough spark in us.
“It’s hard work to keep the energy and purpose in a team. I’m not critical of players at all today – I thought they were really good and gave everything they had, but we just didn’t have that spark we needed.”