Manager previews visit to York
Ahead of a 600-mile round trip to face York City, Grecians manager Paul Tisdale admitted that he and the team are looking forward to the long journey up to Bootham Crescent to face the Minstermen.
Exeter head to York with the sixth-best away record in Sky Bet League 2, but the City boss conceded that there had been an anxiety amongst the players in their last outing at St James Park in their game against Wycombe in midweek.
It capped a disappointing run of three games at home within eight days, in which City were unable to register a much-desired and overdue win to
And while the team are looking forward to the away journey, Paul asserted that he and the team shared the disappointment that the home faithful hadn’t been given much to cheer in exchange for their loyal support during recent months.
“I would be lying if I said there’s no difference between our home and away form and performances,” said Tis. “It’s not that we’re trying any less at home – in fact we’re trying harder. When we go to away games, it seems that the players relax and play each second at a time, and bizarrely they’re not trying to win the games – they’re just trying to play.
“At home, they’re trying very hard to win and end up making elementary mistakes. There’s a stress involved, and I mentioned on Tuesday night that there’s an anxiety that I saw in them. They worked incredibly hard but there was a slight disconnect over the last couple of games, albeit that we’ve been in every game and haven’t been that far away.
“Other than the enormous drive we have up to the north, we’re all looking forward to the game. We’re looking forward to being able to play and get our heads down, and enjoy each other’s company.
“We’re disappointed that we’re not treating our own supporters to better football, and we’re all sincere in that. We want everyone to be pleased in what we’re doing and we wish we could do better – and we’re trying hard to do it.
“I understand the frustration at home, I really do. I feel it, and we’re not playing as well as I’d like us to do. But away from home, we have nothing to fear and we should just go and play.”
The mood in the camp was particularly buoyant after City’s last away game, as the Grecians came from behind at Southend to take all three points.
Tis is hopeful of channelling that positivity ahead of the game and using it as part of the blueprint towards registering another win on Saturday.
And beyond Saturday, Tis is confident that if they can keep up performance levels at the back end of the season, they will begin to merit and collect results during the closing stages of the campaign.
“[Southend] is our best tool in terms of drawing on recent performances to give us an image of how we need to perform,” he continued.
“The performance in that last away game was one of our best this season, and if we can do anything going into this week’s game, we’ll be doing our best to remember how we played in that game and trying to recreate it.
“That’s albeit against a different opposition who will play in a different way, on a different day and with different weather conditions. So it’s not just about us; it’s also about the opposition and it’s not a bad place the start.
“It’s going to be incredibly tight over the next couple of months. It’s proving to be that way already and we have to be consistent with our performance.
“We haven’t been outgunned by any team in the last ten games – every game has been decided by the odd goal. We’ve been competitive in every game – I would have liked us to have been better in some areas, but we have been competitive.
“If over the next ten games, if we produce similar types of performances, I’m sure we will get our fair share.”
Aside from the usual bumps and bruises, Tis also has everyone vying in his squad for contention. First-choice stopper Artur Krysiak could potentially return if he comes through a fitness test, having been missing since picking up an injury against Portsmouth. Otherwise, deputy Christy Pym – who put in a man-of-the-match performance against Rochdale – could start a fifth straight game.
“The team is doing okay fitness-wise,” said Tis. “It’s a very tough schedule at the moment and I’m trying to rotate without messing the team up – it’s an impossible situation to get right all the time.
“We have everybody looking to be fit for Saturday – there is nobody that is ruled out. Jamie Reid came through a reserve game this week which puts him back in contention for the first time in a long time.
“Artur will have a fitness test ahead of Saturday – there’s a big difference between starting a game and being there on cover. Though Christy has done very well over his few games.”