Nichols - We'll Focus On The Positives
Striker Tom Nichols has said that Exeter will focus on the positives following our loss to Portsmouth last Saturday.
The three two score line implies the game was slightly tighter than it actually was over the full 90 minutes, given Exeter restored a lot of pride on a difficult day with two goals after we were already three nil down, so Nichols is probably right in terms of the atmosphere at Fratton Park being a huge learning curve for the players and one which will hopefully stand us in very good stead moving forward.
Speaking to the Official Site following the match which saw Nichols get his first run out of the season with seven or so minutes normal minutes remaining, the striker said the feeling in the dressing room after the game was one of disappointment because given our late fight back the players were hopeful of getting that extra goal to draw level, but with that not happening for us, there is still plenty we can take from how close we came given many teams at three nil down - especially away to Portsmouth this season - will simply fold and give up.
'If the game had gone on ten minutes longer, I think we could have won it. You could tell Portsmouth were hanging on by the groans that went around the stadium when it was announced there was six minutes of stoppage time. I think we reacted well to going three nil down. We're disappointed that we didn't manage to get the points, but I think there are a lot of positives that we can take from the game.'
Nichols obviously had a sterling opportunity to get that point he talks about in the final throes of the game but unfortunately their keeper pulled off an amazing save to keep it out, and that really probably summed up our luck on the day in terms of the result.
But he is right, the atmosphere and crowd numbers at Fratton are going to unsettle many a side this season, so to have the crowd nervous especially when they were three nil up with only under 20 minutes to go, shows how well Exeter did adjust to it over the match, but it was unfortunately too little too late but it's something we can learn from, something that won't come as so much of a shock in terms of intimidation again for the players in the future - and they can still walk out knowing they almost achieved a fantastic upset given how we ended the match.