Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale has said that he is looking for a response from the players in terms of their mindset when they take on Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
City go into the game, at St James Park, on the back of a disappointing result and performance at Crawley Town on Tuesday night. Tis labelled the performance as one of the worst he has seen from his side for a long time and is demanding better this weekend.
“I think it is very rare that I feel that about the team but I just don’t think they applied themselves in the necessary way,” he said. “I will give them the benefit of the doubt in terms of fatigue.
“There is a lot of them who have played a lot of games and it was two games of travels in the space of three or four days, but the body is often led by the mind so I am looking for a response of their mindset on Saturday.
“That is regardless of the score against Crawley. Even if we had hung on for a draw or got a win, it wasn’t good enough and I am entitled to say that. I don’t think there are too many people who are arguing with that, especially from the team on the pitch. So we pick a team on Saturday and we get stuck in and that is what I’m asking for.”
Tis also added that the players, who start the game on Saturday, have a responsibility to the other members of the squad and the staff as a whole to apply themselves in the correct manner.
“I think they are professional people and they need to understand that every game is important for them, but also for the people who pay their wages,” said Tis.
“It’s important for me as a manager and it is important for those that weren’t selected but might be selected in a few months’ time or next week.
“Every player that has the luxury or has the pleasure of being selected has a responsibility to the team that is selected that week but also to the other players – the ones that have been injured and are going to be back in the team – to the staff and the support staff that work here.
“We need to not forget that it is not just about that starting XI. Those players have a responsibility. They have the pleasure of playing and being selected and I’m sure that is satisfying but they also there to be criticized and directed by me and Tuesday was not what we needed or wanted.”
Tuesday’s defeat saw Accrington, who occupy the final automatic promotion spot, move four points clear of City. So does that give an extra importance to Saturday’s fixture?
“I don’t think we are in that sort of territory yet where we have to start talking about six pointers,” said Tis. “However, it is relevant all year and I do think they are a challenger to us and I’d like to be a challenger to them. They look like they are on good form. We are not at the moment. I think we need to be on our game on Saturday. There is no other way really because we have just lost two games and we have got to get back on the saddle and we have got to perform.”