Manager on defeat to Northampton TownExeter City fell to a third defeat on the spin with a 2-0 home loss against Northampton Town on Saturday, and manager Paul Tisdale is hopeful that his team can find their form again in the coming weeks.
Following a slow start to the campaign, the Grecians had consistently climbed the league table over the past three months – but defeats on each of the last three weekends have halted the upward trajectory for the moment.
Despite the run of unfavourable results, Exeter remain just two points away from the play-off positions with 20 games remaining.
While Tis is under no illusions that the recent results have been a bit of a glitch, he is keen to set things straight again soon to get Exeter back on track.
“All in all I’m really disappointed; this is a really tough few weeks we have had and it hasn’t gone to plan,” Paul said. “It is a bit of a shock to the system, having done so well for a number of months.
“But although it has put a spanner in the works, it hasn’t finished our season. We’ve still got a lot to play for and we’ve got to recover ourselves and recover some rhythm in our team.
“I mentioned it last week – we started brightly today and had the rhythm, but we soon lost it.
“Teams are entitled to do their thing and to play against us and compete against how we play, and the teams recently have done a good job of it.
“So I have to say, we’ve got some serious work to do – I’m certainly not belittling the fact that we have had a poor run of results. I’m very concerned about it.
“But on the other hand I know there is a lot of good there building up to that period, and I have to make a decision over the next week what changes we need to implement – whether that’s how we train, how we think, and the players we pick for next Saturday.”
City looked by far the likelier in the early exchanges, with Tom Nichols and Arron Davies in particular forcing smart stops from Matt Duke and Nichols and Ryan Harley each seeing lobbed efforts fall off target.
But Marc Richards’ goal brought that to a halt, and John-Joe O’Toole put Northampton two goals to the good by the half-hour mark.
Paul was especially disappointed that Exeter weren’t able to react in the remainder of the game to earn a way back in.
Tis continued: “We started excellently – I thought our first 20 minutes was really good. But that was about it.
“They definitely scored against the run of play, and I was disappointed with the goal – goals do change things. But I was probably more disappointed by the fact that after that 20 minutes we didn’t actually produce anything of note in response.
“Up until the point that we conceded, we had challenged their defence, looked sharp around the pitch and I was stood on the touchline feeling comfortable with the way we were going about the work.
“But the issue for me is how we didn’t respond to that first goal. It’s another time that we have conceded a second goal shortly afterwards, which happens too often.”