Paul Tisdale refused to blame Cardiff City for the two injuries Exeter City suffered in their 3-0 preseason friendly win over the Bluebirds on Thursday evening.
City made it a clean sweep of friendly wins as Lee Holmes opened the scoring before Robbie Simpson’s brace finished the South Wales side off.
Yet the win was overshadowed by injuries to Holmes and captain Jordan Moore-Taylor following heavy slide tackles from Cardiff players.
However, Tisdale did not want to label the challenges as malicious, instead pinning them down to fatigue from the young Cardiff side who had struggled to stamp any sort of authority on the game.
“It was a competitive game and I thought we were very, very efficient and sharp,” he said. “We were very purposeful and I just think the opposition were probably stretched.
“When you’re fatigued and having the run around, you can tend to stretch into things and unfortunately we had a couple of players caught and injured.
“It’s probably just taken the edge off the evening but I thought it was a really solid and sharp performance.”
“Lee and Jordan both seem to have gone over on the ankles in the challenge and that can be anything from four days to four weeks, so you don’t really know until we see,” Tisdale continued when asked the extent of the injuries.
“I’ve experienced all types here, anything from a week’s injury to Matt Oakley, who had to have his ankle reconstructed.
“You just don’t know – we’ll look at it and see how it reacts tomorrow, then go from there.”
The win was City’s seventh of seven preseason friendlies, continuing some impressive form that has seen them concede just two goals in all of their games.
Tisdale puts this down to having a settled side that knows what they are doing.
“We’re not testing too much,” he said. “I’m not searching for combinations; I know what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it.
“Unusually so, it’s been a fairly straight line into these matches and the pattern has been a pretty straightforward line, so it’s so far, so good.
“It helps when you spend five weeks working together, it can only add to what we’re doing.
“I’ve had plenty of preseasons and there are some preseasons where you win every game and then can’t find a win or vice versa – let’s hope this is a preseason where we do pretty well through the friendly games, accelerate into the start of the season and do the same again.
“It’s all about the first game next week at Blackpool, that’s what really matters, so it will count for nothing until we get our first win in the league and the cup, etc. and we move forward.”
He added: “I would say we are ahead of schedule in previous years because we have a settled team and are concentrating on the performance element of our displays as opposed to trial and error.
“We’re not really testing anything, as we know how we’re going to play and the players are in slot – they’re in their position and we’re just concentrating on improving our performance with one or two areas of focus.
“I’m really pleased where we are.”