Exeter City mid-season review

exeterThe Football Lab interviewed Exeter City fan Rodney Boulton. You can follow him on Twitter @roddersecfcv2

A lot of fans were against manager Paul Tisdale at the beginning of the season. Has he proved people wrong?

He has done with a lot of people. The Warrington cup defeat was very disappointing, but that apart he has done well after a bad start.

You’ve scored 10 goals in the last 15 minutes of matches this season, and have rescued 15 points from losing positions. Does this highlight the sense of self-belief within the team?
It does. It’s different to last season as 9 out of 10 times we would have never come back. The Shrewsbury game being a perfect example when we came back from 2-0 down at halftime to win 3-2. It goes to show what a few wins does for the players confidence.

The experienced Matt Oakley has played 22 games so far, which is almost the same number he played throughout the last campaign. Is it important to keep him fit?
Matt has been immense this season. Having been moved into the centre of defence and excelling there. He’s always so calm and composed on the ball and has great experience to give to the younger players. We would be worse off without him.

Jimmy Keohane has made more career appearances from the bench for Exeter, than from the starting line-up. Does he deserve a run of 90 minute games?
Possibly. With Matt Grimes going we may see more of Jimmy. He seems more effective coming off the bench than starting at times, but does add that attacking option when we need it, so yes i’d like to see him start more often.

Top scorer Tom Nicholls, along with England Under-20 squad members Matt Grimes and Christy Pym, all came through the club’s academy. Do Exeter deserve praise for the quality of youth development?

Definitely. There have been some great prospects come through in the past, a couple who are now playing in the championship. We have a very good youth set up here and i believe theres a few more young talents to come through.

You were undecided about your team’s prospects in the summer. With the team now level on points with 7th, can you break into the play-off places?

I would be delighted to make the playoffs. It all depends on how much we miss Grimes and how much of that moneys used on bringing in new players. I wouldn’t be too gutted if we didn’t make it. A top half finish would be a big improvement on last season.