Ward believes in the beautiful game
Colchester United manager John Ward hopes his side can combine style and substance this season following an entertaining season opener at Exeter.
The new U’s boss delivered on his promise of providing a more attractive brand of football in his first game in charge, the Essex side producing some free-flowing moves in a fluid 4-3-3 formation.
And while the match ultimately ended in disappointment – an Exeter side who played some decent football themselves in patches snatching a late equaliser through sub Richard Logan – Ward was left encouraged by his side’s performance.
“I can’t really grumble about the draw after watching the game I’ve just watched,” said the U’s boss. “It was two good sides wanting to play football.
“At 2-1 you’d like to see us hold on, but Paul (Tisdale) has made some good substitutions and fair play to him they’ve come off.”
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Many Colchester fans were left frustrated by the direct style of play seen under Aidy Boothroyd last season, but they will be pleased by the team’s new approach. Indeed, the U’s first goal was a thing of beauty; individual skill, one-touch passes and intelligent movement combining to devastating effect.
“I’ve tried very hard to get them passing and moving and I thought our first goal was testament to that,” said Ward, reflecting on Anthony Wordsworth’s ninth minute header.
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“It was a super move and when you get that right it’s nice to see.”
Exeter more than played their part in this entertaining League One encounter and they probably just about deserved the draw.
And after the match, Ward was quick to praise his opposite number Paul Tisdale – a man who shares his philosophy of playing football ‘the right way’.
He said: “Paul is renowned for playing that type of football, but it’s taken him 200 games to get them going – I have had five weeks.
“Perhaps we went slightly gung-ho at times, but that’s the type of football I like to see. What I don’t want though is us to be a team that plays good football but doesn’t become effective.”
He added: “I’m really pleased with the way my team went about things today. I enjoyed watching the game – if that’s possible as a manager. A lot of teams will come here and find it difficult to get points off them.”