City boss looks ahead to Morecambe tripEXETER CITY manager Paul Tisdale gave his thoughts on the Emirates FA Cup Third Round draw before giving a fitness update in his weekly press call ahead of the Grecians' Sky Bet League 2 visit to Morecambe this weekend.
The Grecians boss was keen to stress that his players would be focused on the tasks in hand ahead of the Cup tie, with five League 2 fixtures to play before the match against Liverpool.
"It's like waiting for a bus," Paul said. "We've just had a second home draw in succession, and that was great, as we were probably due a run of games at home given our recent record in the Cup. We had a number of numbers that were were looking at to be the next ball out of the bag, and 23 was one of them. It was an exciting evening - though I have to say that for the twenty-four hours before, I was telling everybody not to assume that we'd be getting Manchester United again at this stage, and then Liverpool come out, so I should have known better!
"We've got three weeks to go, and I know that the anticipation is hotting up already and the club have a lot to do in order to get it all organised. It's very exciting, but we still have five league games to play in the meantime. The players have to keep their league form going and have to nail down a place in the team. I refute the notion that the players will try any harder, because in the professional sports world, there's always a reason to try hard. The industry isn't blessed with continuity and long-term insurance, so they have to try hard to get into the team. It's unusual to have a focus on a game which is six games or so away, so that's the issue - I'm certainly not going to mention it every day to them, but I think we all know that they want to make sure they have the best chance of being selected for the Cup match.
"We have to make sure that at St James Park, we make sensible and appropriate decisions about how the game should be managed off the field, and they've spent a lot of time already, doing that. I don't envy them with that, but as a football club we have to keep our eye on our league form - it would be ridiculous to let this tie cost us the next two or three games because we're not focused. The players will motivate themselves as they always do. We've all got our job to do.
"There's not a light at the end of the tunnel for us injury-wise going into this weekend. We played with five defenders and five attackers last weekend and we made it work. We will go to Morecambe again with some new ideas - we have Tom McCready and Manny Oyeleke coming back into training, so they may feature, but probably only on the bench, having not played much football recently. Matt Oakley is coming along as well - he was the perfect substitute to come on against Port Vale. He's trained all week this week, so we'll see how that materialises.
"We had Matt Oakley and Danny Butterfield both as centre-backs the last time we went to Morecambe, and we had Scot Bennett, Matt Grimes, Jimmy Keohane and Graham Cummins all in the starting line-up, so this will be a very different game. We know that Morecambe can score goals, but Jim [Morecambe boss Bentley]'s teams are always with an attacking element to them. We've traded wins with Morecambe in recent years, and this one is another opportunity for both sides. From recent form there's very encouraging suggestions that both teams will play an open game, so we're looking forward to it."