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Tisdale satisfied but can see room for improvement at halfway stage

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

Paul Tisdalex

Paul Tisdale

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Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale says he is satisfied with how the League Two campaign has gone so far ahead of a break from competitive action this weekend.

City are approaching the halfway point of the season a point outside the play-off places, having won nine and drawn three of their 20 League games.

Having been relegated from League One last season, Grecians manager Tisdale would have been targeting an immediate return to the third tier of English football when the campaign began.

But City's early season form was disrupted slightly by injuries to key players and a run of five league games without a win in October.

Tisdale admits he would have hoped to have more points on the board at this stage but, considering their recent good form, their placing in the table represents a good place to build from.

"I'm satisfied, but not totally satisfied," said Tisdale. "It is a work in progress and I'm hoping and confident we will continue to improve. With that in mind it is not too bad."

City can arguably count themselves unfortunate not to have more points on the board. Performances away at Dagenham & Redbridge and at home to Fleetwood Town in recent weeks deserved more than the two points they collected from those games.

Gow was also a big miss during October, but Tisdale says there will be no point moaning about bad luck or injuries when the final league positions are sorted out in May.

"We all know it is about points and it is about where you are in the league," said Tisdale. "I don't feel any bitterness towards bad luck, I just work towards getting points.

"I haven't been too unhappy with the way we have played, that is for sure. But I know it is about the points, so it doesn't really matter whether we feel unlucky or hard done by.

"It is the points that matter at the end of the season so we have got a lot of work to do." City don't play this Saturday as the league takes a break for the FA Cup second round – a competition Exeter were knocked out of at the first round stage by Bury.

However, having played six games in November and travelled over a 1,000 miles in the process, Tisdale added that the break will do his players good.

"We need a bit of a rest," he said. "It is exactly halfway through our year. We started back on July 1 and we have got another five months to go through so to have a bit of a break now is not a bad thing.

"We need to build ourselves up again [for Rochdale away on December 8] and then go into that Christmas period, because that December to January period is going to be full-on, so we need everybody fit and raring to go.

"We need to get into it and start picking up points straight away. You feel good when you pick up results because it starts to build and it starts to gain momentum. So that has to be our game plan."

Meanwhile, Tisdale confirmed that City midfielder Tommy Doherty will be out of action for at least three weeks after picking up a hamstring injury against Rotherham.

"Tommy Doherty has got a hamstring pull and there is no clear time scale, but it will be two or three weeks at least I think," said Tisdale.

However there was better injury news for City as Steve Tully, who also limped off against Rotherham, is expected to recover in time for the club's next match away at Rochdale on December 8.

The news will be a welcome boost to Tisdale as Tully has impressed in recent weeks, managing to cement a regular spot in the starting line-up

"There is Steve Tully and one or two others – obviously Pat Baldwin, who had to have stitches – that are injured," added Tisdale.

"However, they are not injuries that we think will keep them out of the Rochdale game and of course we will have Arron Davies back fully fit by then as well."

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