Paul Tisdale hails team ethic in overcoming the challenge of Cup heroes Bradford
A common theme this season has been Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale paying tribute to the team, rather than individuals, after a victory, and that was the case again after Saturday's 3-0 win over League Cup heroes Bradford City.
"It was a very much needed three points, it was a comprehensive scoreline in the end against a very good team and we had a host of extremely good individual performances," Tisdale said. "Most of all, though, it was an excellent team performance."
No one could argue with Tisdale's assessment and that team ethic was perhaps reflected by the fact that Exeter had four different goalscorers. Craig Woodman bagged his first for the club, Lawson D'Ath netted on his debut and Scot Bennett and John O'Flynn were on target on what was a challenging day at the Park.
"It was a very gusty, wet, slippery day, but I think we played the conditions very sensibly and we did the job. I am very pleased," Tisdale said.
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"We were very competitive. Our back four has been quite settled and in very good form. Mark Molesley and Scot Bennett don't play together very often in centre midfield and, as a pair, they were very competitive and tough and they were aided by the quick thinking of Lawson D'Ath, who had a fantastic debut, Arron Davies and Jake Gosling.
"We played with the breeze in the first half and got the ball forward early. In the second half, we had to defend our final third under some stiff pressure from Bradford, but we counter-attacked very well."
Tisdale was full of praise for Bradford before the game and his opinion of Phil Parkinson's Bantams had changed little come full-time.
"I actually think Bradford played particularly well today," he said, with the 4-1 scoreline perhaps complimenting his side. "They changed their formation and went with three in midfield – I don't they have done that often this season – and played one behind the front two and they were very attacking and progressive in their set-up.
"I have to say that probably affected our effectiveness in that we were able to break on to them. It was always likely that they would change it again at half-time, which they were entitled to at 2-0 down. They went to a 4-4-2 and, with the breeze, they came on to us and gave it a real go.
"I am delighted to win 4-1 against a side who are very effective and attack with a lot of purpose."
Tisdale was also delighted with debutant D'Ath and the hard working O'Flynn.
"He [D'Ath] supported John O'Flynn. He is a quick thinker and, in that position, you need to be the brightest player on the pitch in order to react and see things and he did that. He did extremely well and got a goal to start," he said.
"It was a day for John and it was fabulous he got his goal in the last minute because you could see the work he put in."