Manager previews visit to MorecambeGrecians manager Paul Tisdale is expecting another tough encounter when Exeter City visit Morecambe at the Globe Arena on Sunday.
The Shrimps were the in-form team at the start of the season and sat atop the Sky Bet League 2 table after winning each of their first four games.
However Jim Bentley’s side have not registered consecutive wins since then, and as such have dropped away from the summit. Only Jack Redshaw’s stoppage-time equaliser against York City in midweek prevented the Shrimps from losing a third straight home fixture and from dropping to below the play-off places for the first time.
But Paul isn’t taking anything for granted, in particular against a team that have always proven tough opponents in the Football League.
“There are many teams that can put three or four wins together and then not win for four or five,” said Paul.
“That’s the type of league that it is – you can’t write anybody off and it’s ‘game on’ every time you play. We’re certainly not looking at Morecambe that is a team in a dip.
“You consider things like form, but also things like the amount of injuries they’ve had or whether they have played teams that are off or on form themselves.
“You look at all of those things and you try not to hinge all of your preparation and thinking onto a few statistics, but it does go into the pot when you make decisions.
“Jim Bentley has a nice mix at Morecambe. He has a strong team – he was a strong centre-back himself but was able to play and had a good understanding of playing football.
“They have a physical athletic element, and they have ability with the ball as well.”
Paul is also keen to keep the run of results going for Exeter and keep the wheels turning.
City have been on an upward curve since winning away at Cambridge just over a month ago, and he wishes to keep turning performances into results while the team are impressing.
“Five wins in seven is not a bad return – we’d like to do that again over the next seven games, and if we keep doing that we won’t be far from the top of the league,” Tis continued. “We realise it’s a tough ask but we’ve just got to keep going.
“We’ve playing well and we have a fair few players on form. The phrase ‘make hay while the sun shines’ is particularly apt at the moment because we may have a couple of tough months through November and December.
“There’s always the possibility of injury and we’ve got a small squad, so I’m keen for the players to take every opportunity at the moment. We’re coming out on top at the moment and we’ve got to keep that going.”
The 1pm kick-off on Sunday will mean an early start for the hardy travelling Grecians, but with British Summer Time ending on the same evening, there is at least some respite and chance to hit the snooze button.
Paul paid his compliments to the travelling fans that have had their enthusiastic support repaid in points over the past few years, and hoped that they would be able to reward them with another win this weekend.
“I don’t think our away support could have too many grumbles over the past two and a half seasons,” continued Tis.
“They are wonderful – we get comments wherever we go about our away support. People are amazed at how supportive, encouraging and positive they are.
“They have been rewarded back with the amount of wins we’ve had back in the past few years. The clocks do go back on Saturday night so they’ll only be short of an hour.
“I’m sure our supporters there will know that we enter the game positive and eager to get another win.”