City boss reflects on defeat at HartlepoolDespite seeing Exeter City’s promotion hopes finally come to an end with a defeat away at Hartlepool United, manager Paul Tisdale was philosophical about the result as he reflected on the team’s season.
Like many teams across the land, 2014/15 has been a bumpy ride with plenty of twists and turns – and the Grecians weren’t far away from carrying promotion hopes into the final weekend with Exeter’s home game against Dagenham & Redbridge next Saturday.
Graham Cummins found the net for Exeter, but his headed effort was sandwiched between strikes from Scott Fenwick and Jordan Hugill for the hosts as Pools ensured their Football League status was retained. And it turned out that even victory would have been inconsequential for the Grecians, with other results leaving the gap too wide.
And while Paul was disappointed to see the aspirations ended with a defeat, he was positive about the progress made over the course of the year and the prospect of building from that base going forward into the 2015/16 campaign.
“I’m not surprised by the way the game went,” reflected Tis. “If you were to critique our team, you would say that today showed you everything – it showed you the type of football we played, we were good at what we do well, but we made similar mistakes.
“We made naïve mistakes at crucial moments to concede goals and we have been in the habit of that over the last couple of games.
“Of the last five goals we have conceded, four of them you would put down to poor decision-making and a lack of the steely-mindedness that you need to stay in games. We can’t keep coming back from being goals behind like we have done and we just ran out of steam.
“I know what needs to be improved going into next year. We have compromised a lot over the last few years and we have compromised this year. But we have the opportunity to move forward now and hopefully I won’t have to compromise so much.
“We have to move into next year, and hopefully we’ll be able to make better decisions more often.
“We had two or three performances today from players that have been outstanding week after week after week. But we need seven, eight, nine or ten of those every week if we are going to mount a serious challenge.
“We possibly started the season behind everyone else – after six games we had hardly mustered anything after all our problems over the summer.
“But we clawed ourselves into the reckoning and we have come up short. We weren’t quite good enough but when you consider where we were, we were one of the favourites to go down at the start of the year, and we’re back on the up.
“The wheels are turning forward again so it gives me renewed optimism and excitement going into the summer to try to put a team together that can make fewer mistakes, still score goals, and play good football.”