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Stevenage 0 Exeter City 2: Match reaction

25 September 2016


Stevenage 0 Exeter City 2: Match reaction

25 September 2016

Tis praises spirit of his players after win at Broadhall Way

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale praised his players for the spirit they have shown during some difficult weeks at St James Park.

The Grecians, who have been hit with a number of injuries to key players in the opening six weeks of the season, went into Saturday’s match with Stevenage on the back of a 2-0 home defeat to Plymouth Argyle.

However, despite going down to 10 men at Broadhall Way after 20 minutes, the City players stuck to the game plan their manager had given them and came away with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Lee Holmes and Ollie Watkins.

“I have to congratulate the players on how they have stuck together and the spirit they have shown,” said Tis. “They have trusted in what we are doing. There has been no sign of dissent or anything in them at all, despite some of the negative noise. They have been absolutely 100 per cent committed to what I am asking of them.”

Jordan Moore-Taylor heads of down the tunnel having been shown a red card

It shows the strength of character in the City side that they were able to deal with the dismissal of Jordan Moore-Taylor – who was shown a straight red card for pulling back Stevenage's Tom Pett as he was through on goal. Tis said in many ways the sending-off cemented the task that had been put to the players before the game.

"These things always seems to happen to you when you're at your lowest ebb," said Tis. "There's no hiding the fact we've had a very difficult five or six weeks but we are where we are and we put so much effort into this week.

“I think the point today was that the task and the challenge was a straight forward one coming into the match and the sending off almost cemented it. The players had to show 100 per cent focus and determination and add that extra 10 per cent if they could find it because that adds up and creates that player that you are missing.”

Lloyd James who had an impressive game in the centre of midfield on his 300th career appearance

"We started the game so brightly and purposefully and aggressively and we just looked the determined team out of the two,” added Tis. 

"When Jordan was sent off – I haven't seen it back, so I don't know if it was harsh or fair – I just thought to myself 'crikey, this is the last thing we need now', but we got through to half-time and the players just stuck in.

"It was nice to hear them bossing each other around on the pitch, as it really meant something to them, and at half-time, we only spoke about one or two details we had to stick to, and the rest of it was self-explanatory.

"We didn't have to go and try too much, just defend the goals, and we had one or two things we spoke about to maybe go and win a goal or a set piece.

"Both our goals came from that type of discussion, so it manifested itself with two very nicely taken goals and there could have been a third, actually.

"There was a clean sheet, some great support, big performances and some knackered, knackered bodies at the end – me too. 

“I'm not sure why I feel so tired physically, but mentally it's been a big two or three days getting to this point. We just knew we had to get something, and to do it with 10 men is just brilliant."

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