Paul Tisdale hails team unity as Exeter City claim first win over Cobblers for 29 years
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale hailed a fantastic team performance after watching the Grecians move up to fourth place in npower League Two with a 3-0 win over promotion rivals Northampton Town.
An own goal by visiting goalkeeper Lee Nicholls, Jamie Cureton's 20th goal of the season and a maiden strike by Jake Gosling sealed the points for Exeter, who lie a point adrift of Burton Albion in third with a game in hand.
That game is played on Wednesday, when Exeter travel to Bristol Rovers, and it was towards that match that Tisdale's focus turned immediately after the full-time whistle blew on Saturday.
"It was a terrific win and it is all about three points. It doesn't matter whether it is 3-0 or 1-0," Tisdale said.
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"It is hard to pick anyone out particularly. We defended very strongly. Northampton came very close to scoring and they put a lot of pressure on us.
"They did their thing and what they do best and we cleared two off the line. Everyone did their thing and we managed to keep a clean-sheet.
"We were excellent today. We have won the last two games and scored five goals. We played with one striker again and scored three goals, we played deep and won, so it is on to the next.
"It all counts for nothing because it is all about the next game and three points, whether it is at home or away. We will focus on that and go for it."
The top end of League Two certainly made for interesting reading once all of Saturday's results were in with leaders Gillingham and second-placed Port Vale both dropping points. It means Exeter are only eight points behind the Gills, who travel to St James' Park a week tomorrow.
"Forget fourth in the league. It is so close up there and it is about where finish at the end of the season," Tisdale added. "Let's wait and see – there is still a long way to go yet.
"It is very tight and at the moment our target is to go for third place.
"It is incredibly tight and it is about consistency, keeping players fit and disciplined. We have got to very careful we don't get carried away."
Tisdale did allow himself to get carried away with Gosling's superb goal, though. "If it had been the opening goal, you wouldn't have seen a murmur in me," he said. "I enjoyed it because it was the winning goal and today was all about winning the game, regardless of who scored.
"Jake has the talent to do it and the belief. He is comfortable in the team, it doesn't faze him at all and he is going to go from strength to strength."
Northampton manager Adrian Boothroyd had no qualms with the end result. He said: "We got done at a corner, we got done at a wide free-kick and a counter-attack.
"You would have to say that we didn't deal with their threat from set-plays, which is very unlike us and then we have had three off the line. It wasn't to be our day."