City boss looks ahead to the Devon DerbyCity manager Paul Tisdale is fully mindful of the importance of the one of the most widely anticipated matches on the calendar, when Plymouth Argyle arrive at St James Park for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
Like any derby meeting, more than three points is at stake in the eyes of the fans. Despite lying 12 points and 13 places ahead of Argyle in the table, the Exeter manager is aware that such stats can have little bearing on the outcome of derby fixtures.
“League form doesn’t always have the biggest impact on the game,” said Tis. “Home or away, there is so much atmosphere and excitement within the game that sometimes anything can happen.
“I’m well aware that it’s going to be an interesting game. There’ll be plenty of energy and passion from the supporters, and I’m urging my players to remember their jobs and do the right things regardless. But I agree that it’s not always a good indication to look at the league form going into the game.”
The cerebral side of football can play a key role in success or failure, and Tisdale is keeping his cards close to his chest regarding what kinds of players will be used. With only Arron Davies and Guillem Bauza being short of fitness, Tis is blessed with a healthy squad to choose from and will attempt to strike the right balance.
“Psychology of sport is so important,” he continued. “These types of games will highlight and magnify any crack in your armoury. How you think, prepare, control yourself in your emotions and doing simple things in a game will be evident when you’re playing in a local derby.
“I can remember making selections of players like Bertie Cozic before in such games, so it does play a part. I’ve never been afraid to make tactical changes for games. It’s my way to identify the best way to win a game and that can sometimes mean a change of personnel.”
And in the same vein, the older and wiser players can often offer a bit of guidance to those with fewer feathers in their cap. The Grecians boss feels that he has a more-than-ample group of older players to assist those that are still a little wet behind the ears in such affairs.
“It’s the job of anybody with experience, no matter what it is, to add value to others. I will always try to do that as manager and so will the coaches.
“There are one or two players we have – experienced players like Danny Coles and Matt Oakley that have played in big derbies elsewhere, and players like Steve Tully and Artur Krysiak that have played in this derby before. It’s their job to use that experience for their own good, and also to help others.
“Any player that has played in derbies will gain some experience of what not to do, as well as what to do. Simple things done well are often the key in these games.”
Don't forget that the Devon Derby is ALL TICKET. Fans will not be able to buy tickets on the turnstiles or from ticket booths, and there will be no matchday sales whatsoever. Known Supporters have until 6.30pm on Friday evening to purchase tickets from Reception.