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'We are still on an upward curve,' says Tisdale after in-depth review of Exeter City's season

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

By Simon Larkins


Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale - Picture: Pinnacle

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‘WE are still on an upward curve,’ was the message from Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale as he assessed the club’s first four months of the season.

City take a break from competitive action this weekend following a disappointing run of eight games without victory.

However, despite only two points from a possible 15 in the league during November, Tisdale was taking the positives from the club’s start to the season including the emergence of some of the younger players.

“The most logical way to asses the first four months of the season is by where we sit in the league,” he said.

“We are mid-table, we had a very good first three months and then we have had a very poor November, but I think the essence of our team is very positive.

“We have got some improvements to make, but I think we are well-placed to do that.

“That is the simplistic way to look at it, the more in depth view would be to look at the emergence of the younger players, which is what is a large factor at Exeter City in terms of how we assess progress.

“It speaks for itself really, with the under-21s having a good season.

“Players like Matt Grimes are also starting to establish himself in the first team, Tom Nichols, Matt Jay and other young players are coming through.

“I would say it looks very bright. So again we have to judge things on a few different levels.

“One being the league status and recent results and the other being the health and the strength of the club. And I think the underlying curve is still upwards, thankfully.”

City are not in action this weekend as one of the four defeats they suffered in November was in the FA Cup to Peterborough and the second round matches take place this Saturday.

Tisdale admits they have a few things to work on as he bids to halt the club’s slide down the League Two table but there are a few areas he wants to focus on ahead of a game away at in-form Accrington on December 14.

“There are literal dozens of things you can concentrate on,” he said.

“One thing I would say is I don’t think we have to focus on motivation or fitness.

“The players are very focussed on being the best they can be and being part of a good team.

“What we have to do us make sure players understand their jobs and we have to look at the way the team functions and the patterns we play to, when we have the ball and when we don’t. “It is about team understanding, match-understanding. Where the players stand, where they run to, where they get on the ball.

“Just the basics that when it all works it looks so simple, but when it doesn’t work it can be factor in our function, so we will spend some time on that.”

Tisdale also added that despite the club, slipping to 11th in the table there was plenty to be positive about as they enter an exciting month of fixtures through December.

“Things can change very quickly and it is not lost at all,” said Tisdale. “It is about understanding why you win and understanding why you lose.

“You can’t always change those things, but I think if your analytics are correct and rationale and you apply them at the right time then you can move forward in your performances and the decisions you make.

“Hopefully we have got a clear picture of what we need to do going forward and I don’t think we are unhealthy at all, but of course we have to produce the performance to produce the results to get us back in the running which is what our target will be. I don’t see that as impossible.

“It is going to be a really good month leading up to that very hectic festive period when we have got four games over Christmas and New Year.

“We need bodies fit and well, part of our strategy has to be to have everybody at full pace when it comes to those matches.

“We have got an opportunity to work on some team play and then have a really busy festive period so it is a excitement month ahead for us.”

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