Exeter City manager, Paul Tisdale, was happy with his side’s resilience after the Grecians sealed a 1-0 win over Newport County AFC.
Lee Holmes’ second half goal was the difference between the two sides, as City battled against a strong Newport team that also created chances and arguably dominated the first half of the match.
Tisdale said: “It’s a nice scoreline, 1-0. I asked the players to be strong defensively and I think we were today. Newport played extremely well, I have to say, they played some really good football and had the best attacking play but I thought we defended really well.
“We had confidence about us that, at some point, we will take our chance when it came and we did that.”
The City boss was honest in his assessment of the match and played tribute to Newport’s adaptability.
He continued: “There’s no point dressing it up different, they had the most attacking play in the first half and they proved to be quite adaptable. They’ve played different shapes and systems in their first few games and they took it to us in the first half.”
But it was City’s ability to deal with the threat that Mike Flynn’s side brought to St James Park that pleased Tis.
He said: “If we are going to be a candidate to be a successful team this year, we have to have all aspects to our game and this is what pleases me today. We had that resilience and strength and speed to the ball. Yes, they had shots but they didn’t get in on goal very often so there’s a real positive element to our game.”
Reuben Reid was also given praise along with the midfield pair in Lloyd James and Jordan Tillson, all of whom battled well against a strong County side who were very well organised.
“Reuben got into quite a few good positions.” Tis said: “It was he who set up Jordan Tillson, he had a very good game again today, in terms of his presence and thrust in those attacking areas.
“Lloyd James and Jordan Tillson are playing as a two in midfield and sometimes they are left a bit isolated and they did a really good job today. It allowed us to play the two strikers, they’re both doing really well.
“All things are ok, it’s a little bit early to start getting carried away, but it’s a good strong start and the start you want after the disappointment of May 28 (play-off defeat.)