Manager looks ahead to Daggers gameExeter City manager Paul Tisdale is aiming to end the 2014/15 campaign on a high by taking maximum points from the final game of the season, at home against Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.
With neither team involved in a promotion push or a relegation dogfight on the final weekend, it is something of an exhibition fixture and one which will be repeated next year with both teams still in Sky Bet League 2.
For the Grecians, it is a chance to make sure they are not overtaken by the Daggers on the last day and to consolidate a top-half place, despite dropping away from the coveted seventh place in the latter weeks of the season.
And Tis is expecting a well-motivated team to put on a good performance for the St James Park crowd, who he also hopes will enjoy the day.
“We would like the three points and to end the season on a good note by beating Dagenham,” said Paul.
“There are still players that are playing for progress and experience and improving their contracts and improving their own situation. You can find motivation in many different places other than it just being a game of football.
“It’ll be a good crowd – it’s the last game of the season and it’s often a bumper game. I know that we’re not playing for the play-offs like we hoped we would have been, but I think there is plenty to be optimistic about.
“This team is building nicely for next year and Saturday is going to be a very a good football day. I’d like to think the supporters will respect that, view it that way, and the players will too.”
Unlike Dagenham, whose mid-table position has been assured for some weeks, this is the first and only dead-rubber of the season for Exeter City, following a defeat to Hartlepool United last weekend.
And the City manager admitted he would be bearing a lot of different factors in mind when it comes to selecting the last XI of the campaign.
“Saturday is slightly unusual because there are lots of possible changes,” Paul said. “There are those out of contract who have decided they are leaving; there are those out of contract who haven’t decided.
“There are those that want to stay; there are those that are going to be here already; there are those that have been injured for two or three weeks – do you bring them back for one game and risk injury? Then there are those that are young and developing quickly, and is this the time to play them?
“And then you think about the opposition and that you don’t want to lose the game – and when you put all of that into the mix, it comes out somewhere in the middle of all that.
“I think we have to be respectful of those that have put a lot of work in this season and tried all season and have been available for the games, and have played through bumps and bruises and pain.
“I can only pick 11 players as always, but I certainly won’t be ignoring those that have put a shift in and tried, as much as I’d like to give people an opportunity as well.”