Manager looks on to Sunday’s Newport visit
Exeter City have had to wait a while to get back out on the pitch again following the disappointment of an FA Cup first-round exit, but manager Paul Tisdale is confident that the Grecians will be able to pick up their positive league form once again.
The Grecians have six wins, three draws and a single defeat during their last ten fixtures, and have been climbing quickly up into the top half of the Sky Bet League 2 table.
A defeat at Warrington in the cup bucked that positive trend, but Paul is keen to isolate the incident and move onto the next, and focus the minds on the forthcoming game at Newport County AFC.
In particular he is confident that the performance on Sunday at Rodney Parade will demonstrate that the team aren’t succumbing to any lasting aftereffects.
“We’ll find out on Sunday – the proof will be in the performance, but I see no reason why Sunday shouldn’t be approached and performed in the same way that our league fixtures have been over the last couple of months,” said Tis.
“I’m assuming that will be the case – not to say that we will go into the game with any complacency, but we have a group of players that are training very hard again.
“That’s not to say [the FA Cup] is not important – we’re not dismissing it as an irrelevant game. We understand the importance of it, which is why the team responded by giving 100 per cent and being extremely applied during the game, albeit we lose.
“So what do you do – do you move on and draw a line, and make sure that it doesn’t affect more than just that one game? That’s what we have to do – there’s no point dwelling on it. So we’re off to Newport.”
Newport currently sit eighth in the table, just a point ahead of Exeter, following a fruitful couple of months on the pitch.
They Exiles haven’t been defeated on home turf since the current league leaders Wycombe Wanderers beat them on the opening day of the season.
Meanwhile Exeter have won four and drawn one in their last five away fixtures – making picking a winner a particularly tough prospect.
“The League 2 programme and the teams in it are so closely matched that every game is a real challenge,” continued Paul.
“We go into any game positive and optimistic that we can win, and we will do on Sunday. We have to do that basics and earn that win.
“They are tough and robust, and they will give you a competitive game. I have a feel for the tone of their performance.
“They are going to be a tough nut to crack, and I’m sure they’ll find us tough too. So it’ll be a closely contested game and I see no reason why we can’t think we’ve got a good chance of winning.”
With the FA Cup game falling on a Friday and the League 2 clash at Newport falling on a Sunday, it has left City with the unusual situation of a couple of extra days between games.
And while that has come about by sheer chance, the little extra break has been welcomed in the City camp.
Paul continued: “We haven’t chosen that situation – it has occurred, and we have made the best of it. We gave the players two or three days to draw a line and move on from the FA Cup defeat.
“It has actually worked out perfectly with Christy [Pym] and Matt [Grimes] being away with England. It has extended the vulnerability of them playing too many games in a short space of time, so I have to admit that we’re not complaining – and nor should we.”