Paul looks ahead to trip to Field Mill
Ahead of the Grecians’ trip to the One Call Stadium on Saturday, Paul Tisdale was very aware of what kind of threat that Mansfield Town will bring upon their return to the Football League for the first time since their 2008 relegation – the same year City were elevated back into the League.
Promoted as champions of the Blue Square Bet Premier last season, the Stags went on a run of winning 20 of their 23 games in the second half of the season, including being triumphant in all their league fixtures in that time at Field Mill. So Tis is taking nothing for granted against a side that were playing a division below last year.
“We’ve had a look at Mansfield and we’re doing our normal preparation,” said Tis. “Essentially it’s a new team and a new challenge and not something that we’re that familiar with. I’d be lying if I said we were totally au fait with their players, their system and their manager – it’ll be a new challenge for us.
“This is Mansfield’s first home game in the Football League for a long time, so I’m sure they’ll be very motivated for it.”
Indeed, sometimes that winning habit that earns teams a place in the Football League can often roll onto the next year and get teams successive promotions – with Exeter being no exception with promotions in both 2008 and 2009. Despite Mansfield’s poor start to their campaign – losing their two opening fixtures – Tis is cautious of their threats.
He continued: “There have been a number of teams like Stevenage and Crawley over the past few seasons that have had back-to-back promotions. There’s no reason why we should look at Mansfield and think they’ll be easy opponents – they won’t be. If they have won the Conference, then I am sure they will be a force to be reckoned with.
“Mansfield finished last season strongly, and they are a tough, organised side. I can see how they were effective in the Conference and they’ll be looking to take that into this season.
“There is a difference in the quality of the leagues, but it’s certainly not one that is impossible to bridge – we’ve done it ourselves. They will be well and truly ready for it.”
It is the Grecians’ first away trip of 2013/14, and while travelling City fans last year had more to cheer about on the road than any other of the 107 previous campaigns, the Grecians boss is aware that getting near to the record-breaking 11 away victories that were set last season will be a big ask.
“Recreating our away form from last season won’t be that easy,” Paul continued. “I’ve tried to make adjustments to improve the home form and by definition I assume that will alter some of the away form. We will have to try to do it in a different way or achieve results in a new format with one or two alterations in the side.
“We’d love to win a dozen games away from home next season, but I’d be happy to even come close to that.”
Tickets are now on sale for City’s trip to the One Call Stadium from Reception. Travelling supporters can save £2 by buying from Reception in advance before close of play on Friday. Click here for ticketing details for this fixture.
Please note that the Grecian Travel coach service is now completely sold out for this fixture.