Exeter wrap – Exeter City 1 Oxford United 4

Do you know what happened as a result of our win over Exeter on Tuesday night? Nothing. Our form remains moderate, just seven points from the last fifteen, exactly the same amount as in the five games up to and including Accrington. We remain just three points ahead of Accrington having played two games more. We are in precisely the same situation as to the one we were in at 4.45pm on Saturday.

Do you know what happened as a result of our win over Exeter on Tuesday night? Everything. Belief came back. At the final whistle people weren’t looking down at Accrington, but up at Plymouth who had dropped points. We were no longer talking about players playing being dead on their feet. According to Jerome Sale, Liam Sercombe was playing his way to renewed freshness, because medical science presumably suggests that the best thing when suffering from the effects of over exercise is more exercise. That’s pub logic – let’s drink ourselves sober, it’s 2 in the morning and I’ve got to be at work at 9, let’s just power on through, I’ll be more tired if I go to bed.

To be fair Sale did cut one caller dead on Saturday who had suggested that we had all but destroyed any promotion chances reminding him that we’d won only a week before at Morecambe.

We became fixated with the idea that players were in the ‘red zone’; a phrase that had emanated from the club at some point in the last week. Not that anyone really knows what a ‘red zone’ is or how it effects people. Presumably, unless it’s just a metaphor, it’s a combination of measures which indicate  a player is not performing at a level they might expect, but it’s not going to be sophisticated enough to be able to identify precisely how far a player is from his next injury or patch of poor form. That’s what everyone is working towards, but we don’t have it yet.

The reality is that on Saturday, we were beaten by a team that handled the conditions better. The defeat and idea of running out of steam fitted a convenient narrative. On Saturday we were the nail, on Tuesday we were the hammer, it just happens like that. Nobody knows if Accrington are going to go on a devastating run or blow themselves out of the race, we can only live in the moment and keep plugging away.

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