Grecians boss looking forward to trip to Brunton ParkHot on the heels of last Saturday’s lengthy trip to York City, the Grecians are back on the road again this weekend with the longest away day of the season – a 700-mile round-trip to Carlisle United.
The Cumbrians – much like the Minstermen – are battling to steer clear of the relegation zone and currently lie two points clear of the trapdoor.
Exeter have won one, drawn one and lost one at Brunton Park under the stewardship of Paul Tisdale – and their last meeting in Cumbria came almost three years ago. The teams last met at the Park in mid-December, and goals by Scot Bennett and Matt Grimes sealed a 2-0 win.
And Tis is looking for a repeat of that result and keenly anticipating a long slog up the northern reaches of England.
“The sentiment to every game is similar, and especially when you’re playing against a team that is fighting at the wrong end,” said Paul.
“But every game is different and there will be certain inherent ingredients to any game that will not be like any other – the atmosphere, the pitch, the way the team plays and the way they are directed by the manager.
“There is always something which will influence the game and make it unique. We understand how important it is for Carlisle and we find it important ourselves. There will be a whole set of challenges which make it a tough game, no matter where they are in the league.
“It’s a good place to play football – it’s normally a good pitch and we’ll have every chance to play our football.
“We have to play those games at some point, and whenever they come it’s going to be a long journey. It is something that you are prepared for when you play at Exeter. Most places are a long drive.
“It’s not a major problem for us – it’s more of a problem for the supporters. We stay in a hotel and we can pick and choose when we travel. It’s a game of football and it’s a long way away, but we’re well used to it.”
The Grecians and Burton Albion were originally scheduled in midweek between the two long away trips, but the teams were able to bring the fixture forward to December after they both suffered a first-round exit in the FA Cup.
It now means that every team has played precisely 34 games, giving the table a truer reflection for the first time in a while.
“We’ve dropped to mid-table, but there are a dozen games to go and there are lots of points left on the table,” Tis continued.
“We’ve got a lot to play for, and we’re now level-pegging with everyone else in terms of games. I’m always optimistic about the way we can continue to develop and make the team more efficient.
“Carlisle is our best opportunity to do it because it’s this Saturday, and we’re looking for three points.
“It has made this week a lot smoother and given us a chance to recover, because you do take a while to get over a long journey.
“That Burton game was brought forward because we were knocked out of the FA Cup, so it wasn’t perfect for us, but now I’m pleased that we pulled that fixture forward and we got a point that day. I’ve certainly had a good week getting ready for this Carlisle trip.”