PAT BALDWIN: Grecians go the extra mile for Tis
This has been a very tiring week, to say the least. In the space of four days we have had two away trips, travelled roughly 900 miles, achieved a win, managed a draw and produced two clean-sheets.
I like to think this week has been pretty successful. Not completely perfect, but a small success nonetheless. Scunthorpe and Oxford are very tough places to go at the best of times, let alone in the space of four days, so to achieve the results we did was great.
Like I said, the performances were not perfect, we still have things to work on and improve but the two results were a fantastic response to the disappointment of our game against Hartlepool.
Just as I said in last week's column, we had to make sure we did not get too low about that game so, equally, we will not allow ourselves to get too carried away now.
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Our goals against Scunthorpe were a great mixture of team goals and individual brilliance. Both of Liam Sercombe's goals came from good, patient possession. He took his chances extremely well.
Arron Davies' goal was nothing short of spectacular. Whether he meant it or not is a different matter but during the celebrations he said he did not – but that is just Arron being Arron. A very modest, down-to-earth character.
Personally, I cannot see how it was not intentional, as I have seen him score similar goals in training.
He is a very intelligent and technically gifted player who very rarely loses the ball and works hard for the team, often being asked to play in different positions without fuss. It says a lot about his ability that he has played most games since his arrival.
Another player I was really pleased for was big Sam Parkin. He took his goal really well, showing a deft piece of footwork to dink the ball over the goalkeeper. I know how frustrated he has been about missing games due to his hamstring injury, so it was good to see him among the goals.
In other football news this week, there has been the release of Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography. It was released amid a cloud of controversy due to its truthful content. Reading the write-ups about the book, Fergie certainly does not seem to hold back anything.
The book will be of interest to a whole spectrum of readers, not just football fans. The fact that Ferguson worked with a professor from Harvard Business School on a piece that appeared in the Harvard Business Review just shows how revered he is around the world.
I had a nice Skype chat with my mum and dad, as I sometimes do, to show them how big their grandson is getting and the conversation turned to the release of Ferguson's book. My mum is of the opinion that he did not need to be so nasty about some of his ex-players.
I, on the other hand, as I told my mum, am of the opinion that he is just being truthful. I do not think Fergie is the sort of man who is just being controversial for the sake of selling more books. He does not need to. Football has made him an extremely rich man already.
He is completely entitled to set a few records straight. He has certainly earned the right to, with all the success he has had over the years.
The thing that I admire most about Sir Alex is how he has adapted to changes in football over the years. A lot can get in the way of accepting change – pride, stubbornness, arrogance, but the way in which he has embraced change is commendable.
Honesty is another trait that Fergie has that most players like and appreciate. There is nothing worse than a manager who says one thing to your face but evidently means another. Managers like this will never get the best out of their players.
I have worked under one or two of this type and they certainly did not have the respect of the changing room. The fact that the seasons under them petered out into mid-table obscurity just goes to prove that not being honest can hamper success.
Fergie and Paul Tisdale could not be any more different in terms of personality traits. Tis is slightly more under-stated. He does not rant and rave on the touchline or give us the hair-dryer treatment, but one thing he does do is demand perfection.
He has complete respect from the dressing room and we never want to let him down. When things are not quite right, whether in a game or in training, he certainly has his way of letting us know.
We all want to improve, learn and work hard and that certainly stems from the respect that Tis has. Let us hope we do not let him down today and get back to winning ways at home today against Burton. Enjoy the game.