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Tis: We Have Every Reason For Cup Optimism

3 December 2015

Grecians boss looks ahead to FA Cup Second Round

EXETER CITY manager Paul Tisdale has told City fans to expect a few unusual selections in the middle of the park as the Grecians prepare to play host to Port Vale in the Emirates FA Cup Second Round on Sunday.

Manny Oyeleke, David Noble, Danny Butterfield, Matt Oakley and Ryan Harley are all looking set to miss out on a starting place this weekend, so the central positions will be occupied by others in the squad as the Grecians look to put themselves in the hat for the Third Round.

"We have problems in central-midfield," Paul conceded. "David Noble will be out injured, while Manny Oyeleke is still a week or two away after aggravating his injury in the First Round at Didcot. Ryan Harley is a serious doubt after last week's game, and Danny Butterfield is still recovering from Plymouth. Matt Oakley, who missed out on Saturday, may be fit enough to make the bench. Christian Ribeiro and Jamie McAllister are also out, but I'm happy to get on with it - we have plenty of players who have been gagging to play, so there may be a few unusual positional selections for one or two of them.

"It was only a matter of time before we drew a home tie, and it was only a matter of time before we won a couple of ties," Paul added. "We've had a poor run in the FA Cup up until this year, and for us a home tie is greatly appreciated. It gives us as good a chance as anybody to progress to the next round. It's hard to curse your luck of the draw when you lose some very disappointing games, and we have done that. We progressed through the tricky banana skin of the First Round tie at Didcot, and we're now at home against a League 1 side. I believe that we should fancy our chances as much as anybody.

"You can't draw a big side in the Third Round unless you progress through the second, so it's about winning this game before thinking about what happens next. We all know what could happen, but really it's a non-topic until you win the games to get there.

"The home crowd always play a part in whatever we do, and the more positive energy they put out onto the pitch, the better. It's a team effort, between the players, the coaching staff and the supporters as well. There are times when the players may have to see out a tough period in the game, and what happened last Saturday against Bristol Rovers is that the crowd started to lead the game. There's no harm in that - the supporters can help the team, and that meant it was no surprise that we came back on Saturday with the late goal.

"We have every reason to be optimistic - there's still a few days left before the weekend, so perhaps a few players might surprise us."

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