Ollie Watkins: Exeter City striker still has a lot to prove, says boss Paul Tisdale

Paul Tisdale (left) led the congratulations for Watkins after his late goal secured victory over Plymouth Argyle
Paul Tisdale (left) led the congratulations for Ollie Watkins after his late goal secured victory over Plymouth

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale says young striker Ollie Watkins must be able to prove himself during the bad times as well as the good.

Watkins, 20, has scored six goals in the last seven games.

"He's gone in at the right time, the team around him has been functioning very well," Tisdale told BBC Sport.

"But we've got to make sure if he's going to prepare himself for a good career, he's got to prepare himself for all sorts of eventualities."

The Newton Abbot-born forward endeared himself to the Exeter faithful with a spectacular winner against fierce rivals Plymouth Argyle last week.

But Tisdale was quick to raise the fact that he has come in to a side which is performing well, having won five and drawn three of their last eight games.

"There's been moments in games where it hasn't just been about Ollie," said Tisdale. "It's been goalkeepers making saves, defenders heading the ball out, midfield players, wide players, full-backs doing work off the ball.

"It's all about a functioning team with a rhythm and doing the right thing at the right time."

And the Exeter manager, who has nurtured a host of players such as Watkins from the club's academy to established first-team starters, says he is the sort of character who will not let his recent success go to his head.

"At the moment it's great, he's doing very well, so make the most of that," he said.

"He's a very level-headed chap and I'm pretty sure he's pleased and appreciative that he's in the side and he's got an opportunity and has had the chance to do well.

"There'll be all types of challenges along the way and those types of challenges will continue for 10 or 15 years. They'll be different and he's part of this team at the moment, and the team's doing well. It's not just all about Ollie, but he has played his part."

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