Tis: “I’ve got mixed feelings”

Manager on draw with Cambridge

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale came out of a 2-2 draw with Cambridge United at St James Park seeing both sides of the coin with the points shared.

On the one hand, it represented a point gained after having trailed by two goals early in the second half.

By contrast, though, a chance to secure a seasonal double over the U’s passed and City were made to work particularly hard to grab even a draw from the game, after going behind to a Robbie Simpson effort and a Craig Woodman own-goal.

Ultimately, two goals in front of the Big Bank by Tom Nichols and David Wheeler secured a draw for the Grecians and helped to keep the points tally ticking over.

“I’ve got mixed feelings,” said Tis.  “I congratulated them on being outstanding in the second half, and I spoke about the issues we had in the first issues and the things that we got wrong.

“I know a point is a valuable point, especially when you’re two-nil down.  I thought that Cambridge were an excellent team and in the first half that was probably the best display we’ve had against us this year here.

“It would be easy for people to criticise Cambridge’s performance in the second half, but that had a lot to do with how we responded as well.  There were two teams in it and we were a different team in the second half.

“I’m pleased we got a point.  We’ve had two very hard-fought draws over the last few days – we’ve only got two points to show for it but it keeps us going forward and there’s still a lot to play for.”

He continued: “I’m really proud of the way the team came back in the second half.  We showed a lot of guts and a lot of energy and we’ve got a lot going for us.  But we put ourselves in a really bad position.

“Let’s be honest – this isn’t September or October and we’re not playing on perfect pitches – we played on an average pitch where the ball is bobbling about and the sand is making it slow.  They put pressure on us and we didn’t put enough pressure on them for a good 50 minutes.

“That’s the bottom line – we didn’t adapt our game and exert the appropriate amount of pressure on their defenders.”

City ended the game particularly strongly, and much of the second-half running of the game came from the introduction of the substitutes.

Christian Ribeiro was introduced at the break and Clinton Morrison and David Wheeler saw action after the hour-mark – the latter’s late header getting the equalising goal.

“The three substitutes helped because of their energy and power, but also the way we changed the game and the way we played gave them a terrific platform to do that,” continued Tis.

“I thought in the first half that our front four were excellent, but they were so disconnected from our back-line and they were so hesitant to support from behind that we did them a complete disservice.”