The Opposition View: Exeter City

Last updated : 29 February 2016 By Jim Bonner

What's your assessment on Exeter's season so far?

Disappointing to say the least. The management and players spoke about how top seven and a promotion challenge was the target this season. This optimism was matched by our fanbase and with it being the first season in a long time where we haven't had to deal with financial restrictions, it seemed there was little standing in our way to improve on the 10th place finish we secured last season.

However, things really haven't gone to plan. Quite simply, we haven't, nor will we come close to achieving that. It is fair to say that injuries to key players have halted any run of form we may have been threatening to make but in truth, we haven't been good enough and our league position reflects that.

What are your current views on Paul Tisdale?

A real contentious topic amongst our supporters is the position of Paul Tisdale. This was a big season for Tisdale. After years of producing on a small budget this was a massive chance for him to help us challenge to get back into League One. He has failed in that respect (not confirmed yet I know) and without the "our playing budget isn't very big" excuse, a now majority of City fans believe it is time for him to go.

My view is simple, he did fantastically in his first five years at the club with two trips to Wembley, two promotions and leading the club to their joint-highest league finish. However the next five years have not been good and now he has seemingly failed with a good budget for a club like ours, it would be my preference to let someone else have a go at managing the club while we are in a healthy financial position.

How's Jayden Stockley performing for your team?

Can't really complain with how he's done. Five goals in eight starts and the one substitute appearence speaks for itself. He's very much what we've needed at City for a long time. Someone tall and agile who can get on the end of deliveries into the area.

He's a specific type of player and it's little surprise that all of his five goals have come from crosses into the box and opposed to him running in behind the defence. With Jayden probably being released from Bournemouth at the end of his contract, I'd be pleased if we could pick him up in the Summer.

What are the main strengths and weaknesses of your team and who are the key players now?

Main strengths? Wow. That's not easy to pinpoint at the moment. I'd have to say ability in the wide attacking areas. David Wheeler and Lee Holmes know how to beat a full back and put a delivery in. Now we have someone adept at attacking crosses up front, hopefully the benefits will arrive soon enough.

When it comes to the weaknesses there are some that really stand out. Namely, pace in the middle of the park. Often, when lining up with players such as Matt Oakley, David Noble and Ryan Harley, as good as they are on the ball, when they come up against athletic and fast players, we can find ourselves in trouble.

What kind of match can we expect tomorrow and how confident are you of getting a result?

I'm not confident about Tuesday to be honest. Our season very much has that feeling of nothing to play for at the minute and I'd be surprised if we come away with anything. We were turned over 4-1 against Oxford in our last home game and the atmosphere really turned sour during it. Who knows? The weekend win away at Stevenage may have sparked something with the players but I'm not sure it will be enough to beat Portsmouth.

Predict the outcome of the game.

Think we'll try to do what we did against Stevenage and keep it tight for the first hour before really going for it. Not confident it will reap the same rewards though.

Exeter 0-1 Portsmouth