Manager previews visit of Shrews to SJPAhead of Shrewsbury Town’s visit to St James Park this coming Saturday, Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale felt that the Shrews current position in the Sky Bet League 2 table was evidence enough of their qualities.
Micky Mellon’s men have fared better than the other three teams that were demoted from League 1 last season – they currently sit second in the standings and are making a strong case for earning a place back in the third tier at the first attempt.
City have faced many of the stronger teams already so far at St James Park, including Luton Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Bury – all of whom were incumbent league leaders upon their arrival in Devon. And Exeter’s return from those three fixtures have been two wins and a draw, suggesting that the Grecians are capable of matching any team in the division.
The Shakers were arguably the best footballing team that have visited the Park to date this season – albeit they travelled back to Bury defeated – and Tis feels that the proposition that his side face on Saturday against Shrewsbury will be on a par with that game.
“I think this is akin to Bury – it has the same feel to it and they play the same sort of system,” said Paul. “They have good, effective, strong players with some real talent in their midfield. I see it being on a par with that.
“They are a good team at the moment – they have been extraordinarily good at home – fortunately we’re not playing them at their home this week!
“They can’t be anything other than a good team if, with a third of the season played, they are in the top two. We’ll expect a tough game.”
Despite the Grecians’ good form against the top performers in the division to date, Paul wasn’t taking anything for granted ahead of the game.
Quite conversely, he suggested that it would need another rigorous bout of preparation if City wished to be victorious.
“We’re confident that we can prepare ourselves and be ready for the challenge, and it would be reckless to go in without preparing because we think we’re doing well. As always you have to be fearful of the rot setting in and we’ve got to keep our run going.
“I think we have the opportunity to beat every team in this league. That’s not to say that we will – it’s such a tight league, I don’t see us having any less chance of beating a top team than a bottom team.”