Things I'd rather not have to talk about No.65: Gillingham

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Call it a premonition, call it fate, or find some other way to describe it, but I'm rather glad I didn't manage to get to Gillingham yesterday. Reading through comments, reports and the like, I've yet to find one positive word about our three-nil loss. As Exeweb Steve texted me: "The scoreline flattered us".

Losses can be accepted. It's those poor why-on-earth-did-I-bother losses where nothing goes right and the players don't seem up for it that really grate.

Panicking and knee-jerk reactions are exactly helpful at this stage, but it's understandable to be concerned.

Exeter are traditionally slow starters in the league (we're not far off where we were this time last season) but while we knew we were promotion contenders from the Conference, and had an idea of the relative strengths of League 2, the division above is a bit more of an unknown quantity for us.

As such, City need to be scrapping for every point they can get until safe from relegation (realistically, we're probably a bottom-half team), so that means taking points away from other potential bottom-half sides like Gillingham.

Tisdale himself has admitted he's knew to this level, and probably expects a few sometimes heavy defeats as he adjusts to League One. I have faith that he'll do just that.

But it's also clear that some things just aren't working (says the man who hasn't seen the last few games). Playing a lone striker home and away doesn't seem to be clicking and we need to get a bit stronger in the middle.

Most importantly, we need to sort our home form out and start winning games at St James' Park, starting with Tranmere in a fortnight. EhJohnEhBarnes' side are struggling as well and there will never be a better time to get that first home win on the board.

Meanwhile, it's Leyton Orient away up next, and another game that's definitely winnable (they all should be viewed as winnable, in all honesty. But some are more winnable than others. You know what I mean).

Without making wholesale changes, but with the odd tweak and a different player or two in the side, we should be able to get something from a visit to East London. That will at least take away the need for the more hysterical supporters to reach for the panic button for the time being.

[Oh, we're also playing Swindon in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy second round. Nothing more needs to be said on this matter]

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Happy As Larry

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