Manager previews visit of Shrimps to St James ParkExeter City manager Paul Tisdale knows that Saturday’s meeting with Morecambe at St James Park on Saturday won’t decide the Grecians’ fate for the season alone – but he sees it as an opportunity to increase their prospects in the final six weeks.
The Grecians have won three and drawn one of their games in March to date – stretching an undefeated run to five games – but still remain four points outside the play-off zone, and in need of reining in three teams before the end of the campaign.
While the recent run has been promising, he is hopeful that City can continue that run in the coming weeks – starting with the home tie against the Shrimps.
“If we keep winning games, we are going to improve our chances of making the play-offs,” Paul said. “We’re not in it yet, but we’re a lot closer than we were a month ago and that’s all we can do every week.
“Our job on Saturday is to improve our situation from where it is going into the game. We can’t achieve what we want to achieve with one game but we can improve our situation, and we can do that against Morecambe.
“We’ve got nothing to lose at the moment – we’re nicely placed but we’ve certainly not done anything like what we need to if we’re going to start calling ourselves contenders.
“We have had a good run but we’ll take nothing for granted – things could change very quickly. But we’ll continue with the same tone as we have done over the last month.
“We have got our rhythm back and it bodes well for the final six weeks of the season – but so much can change and other teams can have a say in it. I’m happy as it is but I’m certainly not counting my chickens yet.”
A repeat of the 2-0 victory that the Grecians earned at the Globe Arena would be welcomed – as would the performance, which saw Exeter dominate proceedings for almost the entire 90 minutes on that October afternoon.
But Paul is mindful of a different challenge this weekend, against a side that have picked up more points on their travels than on their own patch.
“It was comfortable win in the end, albeit that the second goal was scored right at the death so at one-nil you’re never really that comfortable,” said Tis of the early-season win against Morecambe.
“I think it will be a very different game – we have had a better away record and they have too during the course of the season, so based on the trend you would say Morecambe have a better chance of success on Saturday.
“But we are in a good vein of form – they are well-acquainted with us and it’s not as if there will be any surprises either way.”
The Shrimps currently lie nine points adrift of the play-off places and 12 points clear of the drop-zone – realistically it would take a spectacular shift in form for the Lancashire to exit League 2 at either end this season.
In that vein, Paul is also not taking anything for granted against a team that can express themselves with little added pressure on their result.
“If you look through results of recent years you’ll often see that there are strange results – be it bottom against top, or involving the middle teams,” he continued.
“The performance form book can go out of the window, especially over the Easter weekend. So it’s an interesting next fortnight and there will be a lot of twists and turns over the rest of the season for us and others.”