City boss looks ahead to Devon derbyEXETER CITY manager Paul Tisdale looks set to have Lee Holmes, Matt Oakley, Craig Woodman and Christian Ribeiro available for selection for Saturday's Devon derby at Plymouth Argyle.
The Grecians head to a top-of-the-table Argyle side looking to avenge a 2-0 Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat at the same venue earlier in the season, and the City boss said that the Pilgrims' lofty standing in the Sky Bet League 2 table added extra spice to an already fiercely-contested derby.
"Plymouth being top of the league adds an extra bit of spice to what already is a fixture that both sides desperately want to win," Paul said. "It'll be a tough game for us, because they are top of the league and they have proved already that they are the team to beat. When it's a local derby and it's Plymouth Argyle, it makes it that much more of a challenge. We're preparing as we always do, but there is maybe a slight extra push in what we're doing this week.
"We're going to have to be at our very best in order to get a result. When you prepare for a game there are a number of things that you bear in mind. You know the scouting, the recent history between the sides and so on, but this time we can also draw on the game of a month or two ago. It does lead us to believe that they are a strong and effective team, but we have a good view of them. There's no chance that we are going to go into this game blind; whether we're going to get the result that we desire, we'll have to wait and see.
"Any game, and particularly this type of game, needs the right mix of emotion. It's not just about going in blindly optimistic, or about going in and being determined and aggressive to the point where you stop doing the things that are appropriate. It's about making sure that there's some kind of caution in there as well. It's a mix; you can't go into any game without the right mix, and it's my job to get that right every game. It's for three points - that's the same as normal, and if you win, that's what you get. This game will have a certain emotion and tone to it, and we'll have to prepare for that.
"We had a friendly during the week and Lee Holmes, Christian Ribeiro, Matt Oakley and Craig Woodman all played. Clearly, they are all a step closer, and they are now all available for selection. That means that I have a good squad to pick from - that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a simple choice, but we probably do have the best options that we've had for a while.
"We're in mid-table - it's a congested league, as it has been in recent years, and you're always just three games away from propelling yourself up the league, or three games from dropping down it. It's going to be the same again this year - we're over a third of the way into the season, but there's plenty of football to be played. We have a good squad this year in terms of strength-in-depth; we have suffered from a lack of continuity over the last two months, and I think we were hoping to have gotten more points, but there is a lot of football to be played."