Grecians boss reacts to Crawley drawEXETER CITY MANAGER Paul Tisdale insisted that his players only had themselves to blame after Luke Rooney's last-gasp goal saved a point for Crawley Town at St James Park.
Alex Nicholls had given City the lead before Sonny Bradley drew the visitors level. City were in front at the break with Tom Nichols scoring in first-half stoppage-time, but the Grecians were forced to settle for a point, leading Tisdale to proclaim that his side had to do better.
"Crawley were always going to put pressure on because they were a goal behind and they had nothing to lose. They were going to go direct and throw caution to the wind. That's a pretty simple conclusion. From our point of view, you can't blame tiredness or fitness, and you can only say that though we had a really good foothold in the game, we were only a goal in front, and we needed to score another goal. We had too many attacks where we gave the ball away cheaply and let them come back at us. You run the risk of that type of goal flying in - we had it against Stevenage and another flew in today.
"If you stay just one goal up and allow the opposition to keep possession, you can't stop putting pressure on them. What you can do, is that when you get the ball back, you can make better use of it than we did in the last twenty minutes. You can play better passes and retain the ball better, and maybe create another chance or two to score. If there's one thing we didn't do in the last twenty minutes, it was that. We just let ourselves down by losing the ball too cheaply. I have to say that we only have ourselves to blame.
"Very rarely does one game of football have one single tone from start to finish. It's pie in the sky if you think that you can play a certain way without adapting. The opposition can adapt - we have to step up to that, but we didn't do that today. It was very disappointing, and we have to do better. The effort was there; the players applied themselves terrifically well. The supporters were brilliant and deserved more than that - especially in the Big Bank, they really got behind the side, so credit to them. I just feel that we didn't take advantage of the situation; we allowed what happened today to happen.
"We need to take advantage of our good starts; we've continually attacked early and gone into the lead, but we have to find a way to capitalise on that. It may or may not happen again, but we have to do better."