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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter 14:58 - Aug 15 with 5417 viewsHarryfromBath

I have fond memories of Exeter. In a previous job looking after a number of bookshops in the South West, the company I worked for had two shops in the City. One of these backed on to the Green by the Cathedral, and the manager who ran it had the best natural judgement I have ever known when it came to understanding her customers and knowing precisely the right books to put on the shelves.

“It’s about lots of little victories, you know.” Every so often a phrase hits you like a thunderbolt. We were sitting on the Green with our lunch when she came out with this sidewinder and it has never left me. So many businesses are wrecked by corporate egotists who believe that they can alter the world with one stroke of genius. Life doesn’t work like that. It’s the little victories that get you there.

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This conversation returned to me as I navigated my way through the maze of roads meandering to the centre of the City. This small labyrinth would have been especially unwelcome if you had made the six-to-seven hour trip from Suffolk. I made good time and was able to meander up to the ground and chat with a steward who seen first-hand the highs and lows of the Grecians’ last two decades.

The club have had their fair share of their corporate egotists, with John Russell and Mike Lewis (two directors in charge during the 2002/3 season) convicted of fraudulent trading at the club. I was also entertained by stories of train journeys involving Michael Jackson, David Blaine and Uri Geller, my host memorably concluding with the words “you were never sure quite what would happen next”.

It’s all very different now. With their new stand virtually finished and other construction work being planned, the tidy St James Park was a statement of progress and ambition. Our starting XI was seen as a positive contrast to Mick’s cup sides and there was excitement at Teddy Bishop’s appearance on the bench. Freddy Sears and Grant Ward weren’t out-and-out wingers but the shape looked decent.

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“Exeter have got drums.” They do, as anyone who watched their recent highlights will know. It must be hell following them as away fans as there is no escaping the noise. The Grecians didn’t lead with their strongest XI, but they emphasised experience with the likes of Craig Woodman and Lee Martin in the side. They had a 4-4-2 shape, but a style of play the complete polar opposite of Lincoln’s.

Off we started, and it was football but not as we have known it for years. We mixed clever short pass and move football with neat longer balls to switch direction and create space. Both full-backs were up by the corner flag, and I had never seen Jonas Knudsen ping so many crosses in as he linked up with Sears and Tayo Edun in particular. This was a vision of the future and I was quickly besotted.

Exeter battened down the hatches for the opening quarter of an hour. They had little choice because we were all over them. The only problem was converting this into hard chances as the pretty build-up play foundered on a lack of a final shot or killer pass. I could see how we had flattered to deceive at Rotherham and was tempted to dig out clips of how Shrewsbury actually did score last season.

One foray by Kayden Jackson down the right saw Edun on his own with five Exeter defenders in the box, and this was followed was an eight vs two imbalance when the ensuing corner was quickly taken. We varied our corner routines during the game as we lacked the aerial dominance to combat Exeter’s titans, but you could see the wider problem that we haven’t worked out how to score yet.

When the goal did come, it was due to Edun’s persistence as much as anything. He slalomed his way past a series of meaty challenges before releasing Jackson. Edun is highly talented with a good vision and a knack for a delicate pass in a congested area, but he was unthinking and raw with some of his passing. One telegraphed pass across the Exeter area released the alert Lee Martin on the counter.

Jackson is all about pace, but his goal highlighted his streetwise side as he knew what he was doing when drilling the goal past Christy Pym’s near post. He skinned Troy Brown on a few occasions but he often lacked support and grew increasingly isolated as the game progressed. He needs supply from the wings and more importantly he needs midfield support if we are to get the best from him.

Therein lies what would become an increasing problem as the game progressed. With Knudsen and Janoi Donacien hammering up the wings, it was incumbent on Sears and Grant Ward to either hit the penalty area or provide overloads on the wings. While both were alert and industrious as ever, they seemed incapable of reading the signals and neither contributed little of effect to prise Exeter apart.

There were some familiar groans when Knudsen’s final ball wouldn’t quite come off, but to be fair to him he never stopped attacking and linking with Edun and Jackson. He did get caught out of position several times and Lee Martin was ever-eager to pounce. The former Town man fired in a cross which City’s Matt Jay bundled wide, this being Exeter’s only decent first-half chance before our opener.

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A chorus of ‘Edward Ebenezer Jeremiah Brown’ bellowed out as the half drew to a close. The mood at the interval was pretty relaxed. Exeter had grown more into the game as it progressed but they really didn’t give Bart anything to do. One small detail I did pick up was the intense short-passing drills being worked on by our substitutes in contrast to the Exeter long-range showboat passing.

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As is often the case, the team trailing came out with renewed purpose after the break. I was alarmed by our static defending when Grecians’ substitute Archie Collins broke into the area and hit the side-netting with his shot. City’s heralded midfielder Hiram Boateng had a quiet first half but now broke free on the left, but Canary loanee Tristan Abrahams didn’t connect. These were warning signs.

Toto Nsiala looks a confident and athletic defender. He takes up good positions, is physically capable of handling most striking units and his tackling, intercepting and timely nudges were all good to see. He was a far more reassuring presence than Luke Chambers, whose passing was often wayward. One wild Chambers’ clearance yielded up the set-piece from which Exeter would grab their equaliser.

After the game I worried about Chambers, but the wider truth is that we as fans are fretting over the wrong players. The new arrivals were comfortable throughout the 90 minutes with what is asked of them. They are naïve and raw at times (and this will cost us) but the established players are having to adapt to a new footballing and tactical model after up to five years of doing something different.

I felt that Jon Nolan had a quiet game. He had one deflected shot in the first half and should have hit the target with one second-half effort, but his link-up play was subdued partly a result of people not being on his wavelength yet, but he was also corralled by Exeter’s holding man Jordan Tillson and targeted with some nasty challenges, one of which could have seen City’s Jake Taylor dismissed.

Which brings me to the subject of the referee. Mr Huxtable had a poor evening and I felt that there were differing burdens of proof for each team. Marginal decisions increasingly favoured the hosts as the game wore on. He criminally killed one Town advantage with the Exeter defence spread-eagled and we had a huge counter-attack building. Call me cynical, but he didn’t have a long journey home.

Although the game finished at a canter, we had become ragged and frustrated, and Jordan Spence can count himself lucky that he remained on the pitch after one late petulant stamp. Spence worked hard, but he fitted the wider pattern of the inherited squad struggling to adapt to the new model of playing. I felt that Janoi Donacien as an up-and-down attacking right-back had been more effective.

The game concluded with both teams going for it but it was in many ways thanks to Trevoh Chalobah that it went to spot-kicks. I have saved this guy to the end because he was the most special thing I witnessed on the night. If we are to climb out of this early-season predicament, we will look back to the Chelsea loanee and thank him for the fundamental part he will have played in doing this.

I have not seen a Town player with a better positional sense in years. Cole Skuse is effective at this, but Chalobah’s reading of danger and knowing where to be is unnatural. Time and again as Exeter broke forward he was on hand to flick a header, intercept a pass or collect a parry away from Bart. You could usually read how well or otherwise we were doing by looking at where he was stationed.

In possession, he has a lovely touch and a knack of taking a player out with a simple trapping of the ball. With Nolan finding options hard to come by, Chalobah would often move forward as a deeper-lying playmaker to link play with Edun or the over lapping full-backs. He was the most defensive of the three midfielders on the team sheet, but he was instrumental in much of our build-up play.

It was so unfair that Chalobah’s penalty hit the van in the building site behind the goal, although we wonder if you should get bonus points for this. The shoot-out was hardly England-Colombia. There was an amusing sight of one Exeter player sprinting forward to embrace Lee Martin after he scored the winner only to stop when he realised none of his team-mates were overcome with emotion.

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Before the game, one Town fan chatting in the pub had compared the parting of Mick to a divorce. The fear of the consequences breaking away need to be benchmarked against previous unhappiness. It was a very apt analogy – Mick himself said that things had become stale – but a divorce requires an act of destruction before you can build a new future, and innocent bystanders will be affected.

Reflecting on the journey home on the M5, it was clear to me just how broken things are right now. If we play like this all season we will be relegated, but we know that we won’t. There’s enough in this squad to build a competitive team, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the impact these changes are having on the remaining players from last season. If anything, this is a far more pressing concern.

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The problem with early season games is that they promise all knowledge but reveal glimpses. We still know nothing and probably won’t until the clocks go back in October and the coming months will be about making those small tactical changes and players making those small improvements with each game. Treat everything – good and bad – with a huge dose of suspicion right now.

This feels risky – no, in fact it is bloody risky – and it could end up in disaster, but after the hopeless prospect of infinitely grey football I wouldn’t turn the clock back. The number of little victories needed on the training ground seems to be quite vast and it all feels a bit frightening, but as the immortal Bilbo Baggins put it, “I’m going on an adventure.” I’m terrified, but I wouldn't have it any other way.



[Post edited 15 Aug 2018 17:00]

That's a fair pile of assumptions you've jumped to there.....
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 15:11 - Aug 15 with 4364 viewsDarth_Koont

Great post. A beautiful read and some lovely insights about life let alone the imagined reality of a Championship football team.

It made me think that all the players are effectively new now, such is the change in personnel. Maybe I'll have to extend my period of patience from a couple of months to the New Year as it looks like all the players need to find their feet in this new team.
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 15:21 - Aug 15 with 4284 viewsHarryfromBath

Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 15:11 - Aug 15 by Darth_Koont

Great post. A beautiful read and some lovely insights about life let alone the imagined reality of a Championship football team.

It made me think that all the players are effectively new now, such is the change in personnel. Maybe I'll have to extend my period of patience from a couple of months to the New Year as it looks like all the players need to find their feet in this new team.


Thanks Darth. This was the thing that kept coming back to me all evening.

We know that the players Hurst inherited are all decent but in terms of the tactical model (passing, movement in open play and at set-pieces and interplay) as well as technique (accuracy of passing and touch) they are having to learn a whole new game.

It was fine in the early stages when we took the game to Exeter but you could see how fragile it was - especially in the second half - once they started to mix it. We became more static and uncertain and lost the ability to control possession.

It affected different players in different ways. Sears and Ward weren't quite reading the signals and taking up ineffective positions, while Knudsen would be stranded up the pitch at times. For some, notably Chambers but also Knudsen, the issue of touch and accuracy were an issue.

Hurst referenced the murmured responses in the dressing room in his post-match interview and this reinforced my sense that the established players - the leaders in the side last season - are also having to come to terms with a huge learning curve. They need us more than ever right now.
[Post edited 15 Aug 2018 17:01]

That's a fair pile of assumptions you've jumped to there.....
Poll: Who Do You Think Will Win The Championship Play-offs?
Blog: How Mick McCarthy Accelerated His Own Departure

4
Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 15:24 - Aug 15 with 4249 viewsWarkTheWarkITFC

Thank you HarryfromBath,

That was an absolute joy to read and it was very helpful to get such an intelligently described input into a game I couldn't make.

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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 15:25 - Aug 15 with 4245 viewsurbanblue

Thanks Harry. Good stuff as usual. What are your thoughts on PH's comments. Interested in your take on it all.
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 15:50 - Aug 15 with 4120 viewswallyvincent

Wonderful read as ever Harry and essential reading for any Town fan feeling a tad angry!! The perfect antidote of sense and reasoning.

“....he’s a young tearaway by the name of Wally Vincent” - DCI Frank Haskins, Metropolitan Police Flying Squad 1975

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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 15:54 - Aug 15 with 4098 viewsitfctim

Thanks Harry, so refreshing to read balanced opinion, and I, for one, feel slightly less worried, and slightly more optimistic about our survival chances after reading your post, and they are two little victories in my mindset.
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:00 - Aug 15 with 4074 viewsBent_double

"but the established players are having to adapt to a new footballing and tactical model after up to five years of doing something different. "

Exactly this. How can ANYONE expect players who have been instructed to play a certain way under a previous manager for so long expect them to be able to adapt to a new system with loads of new players after just a couple of games?

It's going to be painful for a while, and I wish to god that the noj game wasn't coming up so soon, but we all need to get used to the new 'P' word.

Patience.

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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:22 - Aug 15 with 3948 viewsbadadski

Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:00 - Aug 15 by Bent_double

"but the established players are having to adapt to a new footballing and tactical model after up to five years of doing something different. "

Exactly this. How can ANYONE expect players who have been instructed to play a certain way under a previous manager for so long expect them to be able to adapt to a new system with loads of new players after just a couple of games?

It's going to be painful for a while, and I wish to god that the noj game wasn't coming up so soon, but we all need to get used to the new 'P' word.

Patience.


Chalobah is looking mighty good, even as a forward thinking midfielder he looks impressive. Look at the Blackburn game, the Morris and Edwards late runs and strikes on goal them selves but look where Chalobah had got too. Both times he had cut across into the middle of the box away from any marker, waiting for a square ball which would have been a tap in.

He didn't shout or moan when it didn't happen due to probably being young and a loan but i would have been swearing my a** off if i didn't get a pass whilst being in that position.
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:26 - Aug 15 with 3927 viewsBurwell_Blue

Too many words.

Synopsis?
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:28 - Aug 15 with 3916 viewsbadadski

Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:26 - Aug 15 by Burwell_Blue

Too many words.

Synopsis?


Synopsis, There is a light at the end of the Tunnel.
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:34 - Aug 15 with 3891 viewsHarryfromBath

Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 15:25 - Aug 15 by urbanblue

Thanks Harry. Good stuff as usual. What are your thoughts on PH's comments. Interested in your take on it all.


Thanks, UrbanBlue. I have watched Hurst's interview back a couple of times after your post to try and work out where he was coming from. There was one definite Yorkshire echo of Mick in that it was a blunt and unsparing assessment.

The "you ask questions and get very little back", and "they are not really the answers I was looking for" remarks highlights a possible lack of confidence coming from the established players, although for any manager to reference a dressing-room discussion in itself is unusual.

"We have got to get that nasty streak to us. To win you have to have that edge." This and his subsequent comment about players "not digging each other out" on the pitch suggest that our lack of a combative mentality is a huge concern. Looking back, this was evident last night. He would see players going through the motions as their testing his ability and boundaries.

In that light, his most scathing comment for me was this one: "Too slow in possession, not enough willingness to run forward, play forward or play your positions and that's what you get when you do what you want, basically.. ..Poor attitude, there's no other word for it, and I don't want to be associated with a team that plays like that." There was a lot of detail in that analysis.

"They didn't perform." In the same vein, he questioned the lack of respect we gave Exeter. taking them for granted. He's right to say that it wasn't the Grecians' strongest XI, and they even took their danger-man Stockley off midway through the second half. He's right to say that if the players put 100 per cent into the game, we would have won it.

He's also right to say that Villa - with Grealish and McGinn in midfield - could tear us to shreds if we are that disjointed on Saturday so you can understand his fear. The telling comment again was "if we show anything like that application".

As fans, it is hard to read if players are going through the motions, but this is something Hurst clearly felt last night. We have to trust Hurst's judgement on this although it didn't feel like that to me. I felt a sense of confusion and frustration from the players on the pitch coming from a disjointed display.

"A lack of confidence and belief that only results and performances can fix." He clearly wants new leaders finding their "voice in the dressing room" to build this confidence. His comment "they have to do that very quickly" highlights the essential risk around this project. It is a vast amount of change in a minimal amount of time.

That's a fair pile of assumptions you've jumped to there.....
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Blog: How Mick McCarthy Accelerated His Own Departure

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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:39 - Aug 15 with 3843 viewsBobbychase

Brilliant, and accurate, summary of the night. Thanks Harry

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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:41 - Aug 15 with 3837 viewsVic

HfH - a huge thank you from me. It's like you've thrown a big fluffy blanket round us all and reassured us that it's going to be alright.

A perceptive read - so much better than the knee-jerk reaction of others of us. Thank you.

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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:51 - Aug 15 with 3743 viewshomer_123

Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:34 - Aug 15 by HarryfromBath

Thanks, UrbanBlue. I have watched Hurst's interview back a couple of times after your post to try and work out where he was coming from. There was one definite Yorkshire echo of Mick in that it was a blunt and unsparing assessment.

The "you ask questions and get very little back", and "they are not really the answers I was looking for" remarks highlights a possible lack of confidence coming from the established players, although for any manager to reference a dressing-room discussion in itself is unusual.

"We have got to get that nasty streak to us. To win you have to have that edge." This and his subsequent comment about players "not digging each other out" on the pitch suggest that our lack of a combative mentality is a huge concern. Looking back, this was evident last night. He would see players going through the motions as their testing his ability and boundaries.

In that light, his most scathing comment for me was this one: "Too slow in possession, not enough willingness to run forward, play forward or play your positions and that's what you get when you do what you want, basically.. ..Poor attitude, there's no other word for it, and I don't want to be associated with a team that plays like that." There was a lot of detail in that analysis.

"They didn't perform." In the same vein, he questioned the lack of respect we gave Exeter. taking them for granted. He's right to say that it wasn't the Grecians' strongest XI, and they even took their danger-man Stockley off midway through the second half. He's right to say that if the players put 100 per cent into the game, we would have won it.

He's also right to say that Villa - with Grealish and McGinn in midfield - could tear us to shreds if we are that disjointed on Saturday so you can understand his fear. The telling comment again was "if we show anything like that application".

As fans, it is hard to read if players are going through the motions, but this is something Hurst clearly felt last night. We have to trust Hurst's judgement on this although it didn't feel like that to me. I felt a sense of confusion and frustration from the players on the pitch coming from a disjointed display.

"A lack of confidence and belief that only results and performances can fix." He clearly wants new leaders finding their "voice in the dressing room" to build this confidence. His comment "they have to do that very quickly" highlights the essential risk around this project. It is a vast amount of change in a minimal amount of time.


For me, this was also the most telling:

"Too slow in possession, not enough willingness to run forward, play forward or play your positions and that's what you get when you do what you want..."

We continue to be ponderous, even the more positive passing and moving last night lacked real zip and venom, or belief (depending on how you view it).

In many respects Hurst is right, we have minimal time but that is actually, I believe, more to do with the malaise that will settle into the squad than the results or fans or even Evans. If Hurst can't nip this in the bud now - then the longer terms implications are not great.

It's not a lack of effort though, it's more about using that effort correctly and doing what Hurst has asked of them. That said, if our more senior leaders are not leading by example, it's difficult for the new players and younger lads to really play and express themselves.

We continue to play like we fear the worst and then invite the exact outcome we don't want!
[Post edited 15 Aug 2018 16:53]

Ade Akinbiyi couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo...
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 19:32 - Aug 15 with 3402 viewswhymark4lazio0

Brilliant blog- SE1Blue might be more humorous- but this is the most well written and insightful blog I've read on these pages.

I'm concerned about Chambers- he's undoubtedly a leader- but a leader who's struggling to lead by example in adapting to the New Era. It might be wishful thinking but we need our loan centre-back to be of similar character and ability to some of our most influential past captures- John McGreal, Tony Mowbray, Mark Venus or Jason De Vos. We need a new captain- and the new captain needs to be Hurst's man.

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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 19:45 - Aug 15 with 3360 viewsBurwell_Blue

Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:28 - Aug 15 by badadski

Synopsis, There is a light at the end of the Tunnel.


Thanking you
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 21:54 - Aug 15 with 3103 viewsBanksterDebtSlave

Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:28 - Aug 15 by badadski

Synopsis, There is a light at the end of the Tunnel.


But it may go via League 1 !

"They break our legs and tell us to be grateful when they offer us crutches."
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 22:29 - Aug 15 with 3021 viewsTerra_Farma

Poetically put Harry.

Cracking read, as always.
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 23:47 - Aug 15 with 2908 viewstractordownsouth

Good report as always. Probably should have known you'd be there too because of the location, would have been nice to meet you in the ' concourse' that didn't serve alcohol.

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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 04:24 - Aug 16 with 2804 viewsRyorry

If this had been a report by a professional sports journalist in one of the heavyweight national broadsheets, I'd have said it was superb. We're incredibly lucky to have such a great piece of writing here on TWTD - it's so much more than a mere "sports report" - and great also to know that in future, a lot of angst can be saved by reading your blog first, then ignoring the sobbing, wailing and gnashing of teeth in forum posts! Thank you Harry

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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 04:31 - Aug 16 with 2802 viewspowinswitch

Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 04:24 - Aug 16 by Ryorry

If this had been a report by a professional sports journalist in one of the heavyweight national broadsheets, I'd have said it was superb. We're incredibly lucky to have such a great piece of writing here on TWTD - it's so much more than a mere "sports report" - and great also to know that in future, a lot of angst can be saved by reading your blog first, then ignoring the sobbing, wailing and gnashing of teeth in forum posts! Thank you Harry


Harry’s report is superb. As is your appreciation of it in this post, and reflection of the sobbing, wailing and gnashing of teeth. It’s the dawning of a new era, and there will be difficulties on the journey to a better place.
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 07:46 - Aug 16 with 2670 viewsChiefXL

A wonderful piece of writing.
Thank you
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 07:51 - Aug 16 with 2659 viewsurbanblue

Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 16:34 - Aug 15 by HarryfromBath

Thanks, UrbanBlue. I have watched Hurst's interview back a couple of times after your post to try and work out where he was coming from. There was one definite Yorkshire echo of Mick in that it was a blunt and unsparing assessment.

The "you ask questions and get very little back", and "they are not really the answers I was looking for" remarks highlights a possible lack of confidence coming from the established players, although for any manager to reference a dressing-room discussion in itself is unusual.

"We have got to get that nasty streak to us. To win you have to have that edge." This and his subsequent comment about players "not digging each other out" on the pitch suggest that our lack of a combative mentality is a huge concern. Looking back, this was evident last night. He would see players going through the motions as their testing his ability and boundaries.

In that light, his most scathing comment for me was this one: "Too slow in possession, not enough willingness to run forward, play forward or play your positions and that's what you get when you do what you want, basically.. ..Poor attitude, there's no other word for it, and I don't want to be associated with a team that plays like that." There was a lot of detail in that analysis.

"They didn't perform." In the same vein, he questioned the lack of respect we gave Exeter. taking them for granted. He's right to say that it wasn't the Grecians' strongest XI, and they even took their danger-man Stockley off midway through the second half. He's right to say that if the players put 100 per cent into the game, we would have won it.

He's also right to say that Villa - with Grealish and McGinn in midfield - could tear us to shreds if we are that disjointed on Saturday so you can understand his fear. The telling comment again was "if we show anything like that application".

As fans, it is hard to read if players are going through the motions, but this is something Hurst clearly felt last night. We have to trust Hurst's judgement on this although it didn't feel like that to me. I felt a sense of confusion and frustration from the players on the pitch coming from a disjointed display.

"A lack of confidence and belief that only results and performances can fix." He clearly wants new leaders finding their "voice in the dressing room" to build this confidence. His comment "they have to do that very quickly" highlights the essential risk around this project. It is a vast amount of change in a minimal amount of time.


Cheers Harry. I've also watched it a couple of times and without doubt he seems mightily p1ssed off. I did feel though, that he was holding something back! It felt to me (and I hope I'm completely wrong} his reaction was like the bloke that has just realised and accepted that his wife has been shagging around, even though it has been obvious for some time! Comments along the lines of '... they didn't do what we asked them to do.' could, and I stress could, indicate that some of his senior players aren't with him. The team selection for the Villa game may certainly give us some indication of what he is thinking.

If his team don't (or won't) follow his game plan that's one thing. If they simply can't thats another!
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 08:08 - Aug 16 with 2620 viewsBluebell

When I read the title of this I wondered where these 'little victories' were.

It makes perfect sense of course and a wonderfully written post.

Thank you Harry. You should get a knighthood for journalism!
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Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 08:25 - Aug 16 with 2560 viewsBanksterDebtSlave

Lots of Little Victories – Late Reflections on Last Night's Game at Exeter on 08:08 - Aug 16 by Bluebell

When I read the title of this I wondered where these 'little victories' were.

It makes perfect sense of course and a wonderfully written post.

Thank you Harry. You should get a knighthood for journalism!


It was offered but he turned it down........good man! Your virtual flowers will, I am sure, mean more to him!
Exceptional writing though.

"They break our legs and tell us to be grateful when they offer us crutches."
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