Full-back gives his take on defeat to TranmereExeter City suffered a setback in their promotion ambitions with a 2-1 home defeat to Tranmere Rovers, but right-back Christian Ribeiro feels the team is still determined to push up the league and finish in those all-important play-off places come May.
City trailed in the first period to an improbable goal from Jennison Myrie-Williams, whose header from Lee Molyneux’s cross could have hardly come from a narrower angle, but Alex Nicholls levelled the scores with a free-kick soon after.
However the game was settled by a fine finish from Rory Donnelly – Max Power had the chance to extend the lead from the spot when Myrie-Williams was fouled but Christy Pym saved.
Ribeiro felt that after having a strong opening half, City might have been able to get something more from the game – and that the side are desperate to kick on in the remaining games.
“Unfortunately it has gone against us a little bit today,” he said. “I thought in the first half we were very good and we played as well as we have for a little while – we got caught with a sucker-punch which set us back, but we got the equaliser and had more chances then to go ahead.
“In the second half, I felt we were a bit more open and they ended up getting a bit of a soft second goal. It was an uphill struggle for us but we still had chances and did well in the game – but it didn’t quite fall for us.
“[In the first half] we showed lots of composure, we kept the ball well, and we were very much in control. It felt like one of those games when we were going to go on and have a really good 90 minutes.
“Football isn’t like that sometimes and we got caught with the first goal – I can’t believe it managed to squeeze in. It’s mad sometimes that a bit of luck manages to go against you like that.
“I hope that it quickly starts to turn because we still want to challenge for a really good season. There’s not too much wrong but we can always improve, and getting a bit of luck along the way would be greatly appreciated.”
With 17 games remaining, Exeter sit three points off next-week’s opponents Bury, who occupy the fourth and final play-off position at present. Several other teams around the same position in the table also failed to register wins, and the play-off places are still up for grabs.
He believes the squad are sufficiently motivated and capable of turning the 2014/15 season into one to remember if they can keep their chins up and keep working to improve.
“We showed lots of positive areas today – there are some weaknesses of ours, but every team has got weaknesses,” he continued. “We aren’t the finished article but we’re getting better. We are working on things all the time and teams are having to work very hard play against us.
“We are still going for those three points and they are vital, and of course we are devastated that we didn’t get them at a home fixture for us. But there is always another three points next week and we’ve got to pick ourselves up and give a better account of ourselves again and be at it.
“Every three points is vital and we want to have a positive season, so every game is like a cup final for us – we have to keep picking ourselves up and we’ll go from there.
“We’re still in the top half of the league and we’re still looking up. We’ll always be very positive here and that’s really important for everyone – positivity will take us a long way. We have to keep pushing ourselves as individuals and as a team.
“It is a good group of people here and we’re all trying really, really hard to get there. We appreciate all the support that we are having, and rest assured that we are working really hard to make sure we get there.”