Paul Tisdale happy with a point from Exeter City's draw at Oxford
Paul Tisdale was happy with a hard earned point from Tuesday’s goalless draw at Oxford United, which kept Exeter City in third place in League Two.
In a game of few clear cut chances, played against the backdrop of a spectacular thunderstorm, defences were certainly on top and Grecians goalkeeper Artur Krysiak was never really called upon to make a serious save.
HALF-TIME THUNDERSTORM AT OXFORD UNITED
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It was City’s second consecutive clean sheet following the 4-0 win at Scunthorpe United last Saturday
They were certainly two different types of clean sheets with Krysiak having plenty to do at Glanford Park last weekend. Tuesday’s was more down to a brilliant display from all the Exeter defenders and that four-point return from two tough away games against sides in and around City in the early League Two table pleased Tisdale.
“My description to the players after the game was that we defended very well, but we were sometimes too safe in one or two moments or we didn’t have the legs” he said.
“I think the difference between Saturday and today was that Saturday was just full on defending. We were in a fight and we had to stick to it, but tonight was more about concentration and making sure we didn’t get countered.
“When we had the ball, we had to be ready to defend and we had to be careful with how we positioned ourselves with the ball. We defended the box really well and sensibly.”
There certainly seemed to be a lethargy to Exeter’s performance, especially in the second half when chances and attacks dried up. But Tisdale had some sympathy for his players.
“I know what it is like, I have been a player and I know what it is like when you just don’t have the legs to make that overlap,” he said.
“We got into some good positions on a semi-break, but then we checked back and went backwards. I was hoping that we would then add something, but it’s a big pitch and when the ball is being passed about – there were a lot of passes tonight – that is the most physical type of game you can have as a player.
“It is a fallacy to say it is when the ball is up in the air and there are lots of headers and crunching tackles and set pieces. That’s not physically difficult, you have to be brave, but it is not physically difficult.
“When the ball is on the ground and moving ten yards, 20 yards like it was tonight, that’s when players are tested physically and that extra ten per cent at the end, we just didn’t have the energy for it.
“We turned back too often when we could have gone through and won the ball in the middle third and too often played a safe pass when we could have challenged ourselves with maybe a more difficult pass. But do I blame them? No.”
Next up for Exeter is Saturday’s home clash against a Burton side that moved up to eighth in the table with a 2-0 win over Torquay United on Tuesday.
Rochdale now lead the table after two goals in the last three minutes saw them beat Northampton Town and they are two clear of Exeter and Chesterfield, who remain second and level on points with City after a 2-2 draw with York.
“It is going to be another ten games before it opens up again,” Tisdale said. “I think it may be one of those seasons where we may get to the half-way point and things start to present itself.
“We are not going to be too far away if we go away from home twice and get four points with two clean sheets. If we can have that kind of return from home, we will be on the right tracks.
“There is just no point in looking at the league. It is nice looking at the league when you have one of those weeks where you win and everyone around you drops points, but it was a good point today, I am sure the teams around us picked up points. But now is not the time to be worried by that type of thing.”
Looking ahead to the Burton game, Tisdale was pleased to report: “Everyone seemed to come through fine.
“There are a few bags of ice in there, but that’s normal.”