City boss looks ahead to Devon Derby against Torquay
City boss Paul Tisdale has been looking ahead to the second meeting in last than two weeks between Devon rivals Exeter and Torquay. The Gulls arrive in town on Monday evening, for a derby fixture in front of the Sky Sports cameras and under the floodlights – giving a worldwide audience a glimpse of what Exeter City stands for.
With last weekend’s fixture against Bristol Rovers called off because of the poor conditions up the M5, and with the Gulls’ tie against Chesterfield also postponed, it has made for a double-header of fixtures between the clubs.
“It’s a strange anomaly,” said Tisdale. “There’s nothing I can really say about it other than it’s different – I’m not sure whether it’s an advantage or a disadvantage. It’ll be an advantage to the team that does best on Monday!
“There are certain things we can look at now because of the game at Plainmoor so recently. But then again, it’s another home game for us and an away game for them, so things will change, and I’m not looking too deeply into it.”
Paul also explained his decision to bring Mark Molesley into St James Park. After being released by AFC Bournemouth, the midfielder signed terms with City last weekend and Tis is confident that he offers an alternative in his side after losing Liam Sercombe to a long-term injury.
“I’ve been looking for a player since Liam Sercombe’s been injured, who to all intents and purposes will be out for the remainder of the season,” said Tis. “I’ve had my eye on possibly bringing someone in on that inside-right position, and in its circumstance it’s an opportunity. So my radar was set.
“Mark has played against us for Bournemouth Reserves here before Christmas, and I thought he really stood out. He was in the reserves as a senior player and he was really competitive and professional, and had a really good attitude. Then he played for Plymouth on loan against us – so it’s unusual that you would have two looks at a player against us, and both times he played really well.
“When I discovered that he’d be leaving Bournemouth, it was a simple solution to the injury to Liam Sercombe. He’s not a carbon copy of Liam, as everyone’s different – but he’ll provide me with a solution to the right side of midfield. In the last few games I’ve really had to work hard to make two or three changes per game to fill a gap.”
With the Sky cameras in town, the spotlight will shine on Exeter City and their fans for an evening – and Tis is hoping that everyone can represent the team well and show off the club’s magnificent support to the rest of the country.
And with supporters having the option of watching from their homes, Tis is calling on fans to turn out in their numbers to create a truly special occasion. City took almost 1,500 fans to Torquay for their away fixture, and he is hopeful that the home support will mirror that level of passion and excitement.
“I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t feel different with the cameras around. You get asked for interviews 45 minutes before kick-off and you have to adjust what you do. There are differences to it, and it’d be blasé to say we don’t notice it. We’re presenting our club on a national stage, and with that in mind I’m sure we’ll be doing our best to do things the right way.
“When supporters come and pay to watch the club play, they’re investing in the club. You’re promoting your team and the potential for future success. So I hope they come – it makes a better atmosphere to have more supporters there than not, and after winning our last home game, I hope we’ll win the next as well.”