Exeter City defender Pat Baldwin says the players must take full responsibility for the club’s poor home form in 2013 and make it their new year’s resolution to put it right.
The Grecians, whose home match against Wycombe Wanderers yesterday (Wednesday) was postponed, have only picked up four wins from their 11 matches at St James’s Park this season.
The rest of 2013 was not great either, with four victories coming from their 10 games at the tail-end of the last campaign on home soil.
However, Baldwin says there is a determination in the squad to put that right this year, and the players accept full responsibility for the poor record.
“The results at home, it is clear to see, haven’t been good enough,” he said.
“That is completely down to the players that have been picked for every game.
“Tis (Paul Tisdale) and the management team give us everything we need in terms of preparation so it is the responsibility of the players that play.”
One of the problems at home has been the side’s inability to defend corners well, with goals being conceded far too easily in matches against Bury, Burton Albion and Chesterfield from a dead-ball situation.
It has led to some criticism of the zonal marking system, but Baldwin again added that it was the players who have to take the blame.
“We have not been too bad at it overall since we switched to the zonal marking system in the last year and a half,” he said.
“The stats have been pretty good, it is just a question of keeping on top of it and making sure we remain focused and defend them properly.
“That has fallen down a little bit at home from the corners and about nine teams from 10 in this league will be a threat from set-pieces mainly, so we have to get that focus back.”
Baldwin, who was captain for the games against Cheltenham Town and Torquay United over the Christmas period, lost his place in the team in early December when Tisdale tinkered with the defence and brought 19-year-old Jordan Moore-Taylor in at centre-half.
However, Baldwin has performed well since coming back into the side and admits he is pleased to see the youngsters getting their chance.
“They are starting to show the qualities that Tis has seen in them from a young age,” said Baldwin.
“He has brought them through and it is nice to see that he is reaping the benefits of the bigger picture and the big plan.
“I’m really pleased for the manager because it is not just the players who have been rewarded for their hard work.
“The manager has put in plenty of years into them and a lot of hard work and it is starting to show a bit.”
However, Baldwin did call for fans to be patient with the youngsters.
“It is really important that you show patience,” he said. “It is not always easy from a fan’s point of view – I completely feel for the fans if the results are not quite going how they want and how they expect – but if you look at the bigger picture of the football club, with the finances the way it is, we have to bring the youngsters through.
“I work with them on a daily basis and really do believe they will be successful, but it is important everyone shows patience with them because it is not going to happen overnight.”