Grecians boss speaks ahead of tomorrow's big kick-offEXETER CITY MANAGER PAUL TISDALE has said that his players will do everything that they can to get off to a winning start ahead of the Grecians' Sky Bet League 2 season opener against Yeovil Town at St James Park on Saturday.
The Glovers are in town to get 2015/16 under way tomorrow, and the City boss insisted he and his players are prepared ahead of what will be his tenth season as manager.
"I have to say I enjoy July," Paul said, "because it allows me to work without the kind of stresses that you become accustomed to as a manager. It's different from the rest of the season, and I can get about my work without the normal aggravations. Then, as we got closer to August and the players got sharper and more energetic, we started to look at our first fixture, which will be tomorrow against Yeovil Town.
"We've got a healthy situation this year, in that we have a good base and the club is in a healthy place off the field. We hope that bodes well for the new season; we can't guarantee anything, but we'd certainly love to get off to a decent start. We'll have strength in certain areas, and my job is to iron out, in those first few weeks, the areas that need improving."
Yeovil have brought in fourteen new faces this summer as they look to challenge in League 2 following last summer's relegation. That is something that has proved a challenge for the Grecians in their preparations, as Paul said: "It doesn't help [that Yeovil have so many new faces]. Of course we've done the best we can, in terms of scouting them and the constants in their team. They have very few of those, though they do have some on the coaching staff, so the likes of [Yeovil assistant manager] Terry Skiverton will no doubt have some input into the team. Generally, though we know a lot of their players and they are playing together for the first time, if this twenty games into the season it would be a very different type of game. We have to pick up the tone of the game, and predict the energy of the game, but we can't base our play on any form for the first game of the season.
"They have got a very experienced manager who will get the best out of his players, and I don't think that will be in any way different on Saturday.
"There's a big crowd expected, and hopefully we can benefit from that. We always seem to do well in the big games. We've waited three months for a competitive game, and I'm really looking forward to it.
"It's very important that we win and get off to a good start, but at the same time it's not the end of the world if we don't. The players will do everything they can to make sure we get off the mark with that win."
Both clubs will pay respect to Adam Stansfield tomorrow, by way of a charity match and two separate minutes' applause, on what is nigh-on the fifth anniversary of the former Exeter and Yeovil player's passing.
"The two clubs have a great relationship anyway," Paul said, "though I think that the fact that we both have Adam in common makes that relationship a little stronger. When we looked at the fixture list, we felt that it was a good game to have to kick-off the season, but soon after that it was noted that it was very close to the fifth anniversary of Adam's passing - I suppose it just brings a friendlier edge to the game. We will compete vehemently with them out on the pitch, and it's never an easy game against Yeovil, but the fact that we both have an affinity with Adam Stansfield makes it that much easier to remember him. It gives us an opportunity to talk about him again.
"Adam was a team player. He wanted to play for his team-mates, and he wanted to play for this club. He was one of those players that supporters identified with, because of his performance and his work-rate. He was blessed with athleticism, which does help when it comes to that ability to work hard, but he had it and used it in abundance. He gave absolutely everything for ninety-five minutes; he was so whole-hearted and special."