Crawley Town head coach Dermot Drummy praised Exeter City during Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat.
The Reds boss stressed it takes time to get a team to play like the Checkatrade Stadium's visitors did.
Drummy said the Grecians have clearly played together for a long time compared with his side, which he assembled this season.
The Devon club are managed by Paul Tisdale, who has been at the helm since 2006 and has steered them through two promotions and one relegation.
He revealed: "This team keep the ball, this team make you move, this team block, this team counter-attack you and they are a good side.
"They have been together for a long time and you can see that."
Drummy stressed Crawley are a work in progress, rather than the finished article.
He said: "We are building, we are giving some good performances, we are giving some indifferent performances.
"Consistency is what we ask for but I think you've got to work at it and it does take time, no matter what a lot of people think, that you can put a side together unless you've got a super budget, we haven't got that, we have to do what we do and we'll keep working at it."