Manager Paul Tisdale believes the mature personality of his newly-formed squad has been pivotal to Exeter City’s promising start to the season.
The Grecians’ boss made wholesale changes to his playing personnel over the summer, and has said a key part of his recruitment process was to ensure his transfer targets would be closely compatible before signing them.
That policy has paid off in some style so far, as City go into Saturday’s home match against York City having won four league games in a row – a run that has seen them climb to second in the early npower League Two standings.
The St James’ Park chief said: “Going into this season, one of the major factors was the personality of the squad.
“Having been relegated last year, the disappointment of having to start again and knowing that if we didn’t start this season well then pressure would build quickly, we wanted an experienced, mature team that could play under that sort of pressure.
“It’s a different team and we are playing for each other. There are very few egos and the players interact very well with each other.
“They seem to be gelling, but there is still a long way to go yet.”
In the wake of last season’s relegation from League One, Tisdale oversaw a clear-out of his 2011-12 squad, with the likes of Daniel Nardiello, David Noble and Richard Duffy leaving, while the departures of James Dunne and Troy Archibald-Henville are set to go before an FA transfer tribunal. In their places, the manager recruited nine players, including Jamie Cureton, Alan Gow, Kevin Amankwaah and Matt Oakley.
The opening day home drubbing at the hands of Morecambe aside, the new boys’ impact has been instant.
Tisdale said: “The major personality in the group is one of being practically-minded and sensible.
“That adds value, and means we go into games and they carry out instructions and give us a chance of doing well.
“There’s a good balance to it. I hoped there would be and that appears to be the case.
“We have got good players that are socially compatible, who fit together very well and are very well suited.
“We have had a good start but the test will be when we have a bad week at some point, but at the moment they have not disappointed.”
The Grecians’ latest win came last weekend when they beat fellow high-flyers Oxford United 4-2 at the Kassam Stadium thanks to goals from Cureton (two), Scot Bennett and John O’Flynn.
The games do not get any easier, with the Minstermen arriving this weekend on the back of their own four-game unbeaten run in the league.
The following Tuesday sees City host Wycombe Wanderers, who were relegated with Tisdale’s men last season.
The manager said: “We have got two very important home games coming up and it is my job to train the players in every aspect of their preparation. It won’t be an easy week for the players.”