Tisdale happy with attacking intent but laments Exeter's defensive mistakes
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale was left to rue his side's inability to defend their goal in the 3-0 defeat at Northampton Town on Saturday.
The Grecians created more than enough chances to have at least scored a couple of goals at Sixfields. As it was, their failure to take them – and Northampton's ability to take theirs, aided by some soft City defending – was what separated the two sides.
"I said to the players that I find it very hard to criticise our attacking play because we played really well with the ball at our feet. But we didn't defend our goal," Tisdale admitted.
"When we have won games away from home, and won them with the type of performance that we had today, we have managed to keep a clean-sheet for the first half an hour and then get the goal. Today we didn't do it.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"It is the first time away from home this year that we didn't do enough in the first half defensively. I don't want to make a drama out of it, we should have done better in the first half, but we didn't and it's putting pressure on the team to get two or three goals to get a result."
The Grecians have kept only three clean-sheets in 14 League and Cup games this season. Tisdale knows what is wrong and is determined to nip it in the bud ahead of next Saturday's visit of Chesterfield to St James' Park.
"I will look at it, but I have been looking at all the goals we have conceded this season so far and I have a fair picture in my mind of what I need to do, or how we can improve it," he added. "I'm not going to say that publicly, but there are goals you concede that you can do little about and you have to hand it to the opposition because they have forced the ball in and there are times when you think we could have been a bit stronger positionally, physically or mentally.
"It's very hard to tell if there were goals like that today in real time, but I will look at it closely. I will certainly log it and it will be part of my decision making process over the course of a long season."
However, there were still plenty of positives to take from the trip to Sixfields. "I'd rather lose a game where we are playing our game and showing the confidence to pass and belief to attack, like we did today," Tisdale added. "That is far better than just whimpering out with a soft defeat.
"We certainly played today. We just have to defend better or think more defensively. It was great to see the likes of Alan Gow and Liam Sercombe back out on the pitch, and Scot Bennett. We looked a strong unit, but I have plenty of ideas as to how we go forward from here. We have had a poor last three or four weeks results-wise, but it is not the end of the world.
"We are on the way to being a good team. People may think: 'Oh, here we go again', but we are.
"We have to solve our one or two issues, but there is no doubt that we had it in us today against a team that will be effective going forward and will progress through the league over the course of the season. We certainly threatened them particularly well."