Grecians manager looks ahead to Scunthorpe on Saturday
With just two games remaining in 2013/14, Exeter City haven’t quite yet secured their position in Sky Bet League 2 for the next season – and manager Paul Tisdale is glad to be in the position of power from amongst those fighting the drop.
Bristol Rovers, Wycombe Wanderers and Northampton Town all lie beneath the Grecians in the standings, and even defeat for Exeter at home against Scunthorpe United on Saturday would still leave the ball in City’s court. Rovers and Wycombe, who face each other the same afternoon at Adams Park, cannot both pick up maximum points to make up the two-point deficit on Exeter.
But Tis and the team will be doing everything in their capabilities to secure a much-craved three points against the Iron on Saturday. A win against Scunthorpe would most probably deny the Lincolnshire club a chance to get their promotion party started at St James Park.
“I’d rather have it in our hands than not,” said Tis. “That’s the way I view it, and that’s the way we’re talking here.
“That being said, that doesn’t prevent any anxiety creeping in – but it is a good thing and I am happy that we’ve got it in our hands.
“I will pick the team on Saturday on what I think is needed from us and what I think the opposition will be good or poor at. I’ll set the tone and pick a team accordingly.
“We’re desperate for it – we cannot dream of next year until we do the job, and we’re well and truly in need of a win. It has not been a great season for us at home and we fully appreciate that, but that doesn’t stop us being fully motivated and doing our best for Saturday.
“We have to do better than we did against Torquay, but we can’t dream of what’s coming next – we have to do the job, and that’s all we can do. It’s about pulling together and doing what we have to do.”
No team has beaten the Iron as soundly as Exeter this season. Paul Tisdale’s side are one of just four teams that have defeated Scunthorpe in their 44 league meetings to date in 2013/14, and that came with an emphatic 4-0 win at Glanford Park.
However with the passage of time and a different set of circumstances, Paul knows that it will require a different tack to win the forthcoming game.
“It was a long time ago and they are two very different situations – they couldn’t be further from being the same,” said Paul. “We approach this on a new footing, with no real relevance to that previous game.
“Scunthorpe look worldly-wise, they do the simple things well, and they have a threatening set of strikers that can start or come off the bench.
“They have been very consistent and very competitive – it’s nothing magical, it’s just doing a lot of small things well.”
If Exeter can register three points against the Iron at the Park on Saturday, they will have to do something that no other team has done since November by beating Scunthorpe.
They remain undefeated since Russ Wilcox took the reins from outbound Brian Laws last year, whose 28-game unbeaten streak is a world record for a newly-appointed manager.
However Paul feels that his team have shown that they have no reason for consternation at the prospect of playing teams in the loftier heights of the League 2 table.
He continued: “I fully admire what Scunthorpe have done this season, and their unbeaten record from the start of Russ Wilcox’s tenure has been extraordinary. There’s no luck in that.”
“But we have no greater fear of those teams that are at the top of the league than we do of those that are at the bottom.
“Our record suggests and confirms that we shouldn’t be more worried about a team from the top part of the league.”
Exeter City v Scunthorpe United takes place on Saturday 26th April, kicking off at 3pm at St James Park. Tickets are on sale in advance and will be available on the day of the game. Click here for more information on ticketing for this game.