City boss insists Grecians were well-beaten at KingsmeadowEXETER CITY manager Paul Tisdale conceded that the best team won after the Grecians went down in defeat to AFC Wimbledon at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
Goals from George Francomb and Adebayo Azeez were enough to win it for the Dons, but Paul felt his players had yet to fully recover from a hectic Saturday-Tuesday schedule that has lasted since day one of the season, with the big trip to Sunderland in midweek the latest before the trip to Kingsmeadow.
"We were well-beaten," Paul said. "We were beaten fair and square, and we just need to get home and have a rest now. I gave the players two concessions; one being that we've had a long week and the opposition haven't. I don't think that the referee helped us too much, but we can't use those excuses as a team, because we were well below-par today, and I'm clutching at straws really with those two excuses.
"We don't expect to get many decisions here, and I got the feeling as it happened that it was a penalty, but there you go. I don't feel strong enough with my own opinion on that to be assertive about it. I don't think we were done any favours today, but we weren't good enough in other areas to have those as legitimate excuses today.
"We never had the opportunity to pick our game up in the second half. I thought Will Hoskins did terrifically well on his first start, especially as we weren't performing at the level that we needed to be."
Next up for City is the Johnstone's Paint Trophy First Round match against Portsmouth at St James Park on Tuesday evening.
"For Portsmouth on Tuesday, the first thing that I need to do is to pick a team that can get through the ninety minutes," Paul said. "I want to use that game to springboard one or two players back into contention, but first of all we need to nurse our wounds. Wimbledon played their game; we need to play ours, and play it particularly well."