Grecians boss looks ahead to maiden Hive visitEXETER CITY manager Paul Tisdale is expecting a competitive encounter with Barnet when the Grecians make their first trip to the Hive Stadium this weekend.
Barnet won at the Kassam Stadium last weekend in a result that was possibly the highlight of their season so far, and the City boss insisted that he and his players have prepared well for the challenge.
First, though, Tis gave his thoughts on the Grecians' Emirates FA Cup First Round draw, with a trip to Didcot Town on Sunday 8th November to be screened live on BT Sport.
"The fact that the draw was on television made it an interesting event," he said. "It's a unique competition and we all enjoy being part of it, but I watched the draw with trepidation, interest and optimism, as I do every year. We've got another very interesting tie. You have to be philosophical - if you're demanding yourself, or if you're too keen on a certain draw, you'll probably be very disappointed. I see the good and the bad - it's a very interesting draw, and it's an irony that we've got the lowest-ranked team again, again away from home.
"We know how last year felt, so we're certainly not complacent about the possibility of a difficult and very regretful evening, as we had last year. It's been scheduled for TV coverage, which is good, unless we get a repeat of last year. Every tie is a good tie if you win it and a bad tie if you lose it. We have to commit to the game like any other."
City welcome a number of players back to the fold for the game against the Bees.
"There are players returning," Paul said. "Ryan Harley is back into the fray, and Troy Brown is back after missing the last couple of games. Manny Oyeleke is back into consideration, but we're still missing Lee Holmes. Will Hoskins, Craig Woodman and Matt Oakley won't be involved, so there are four senior players all missing. We've had a week to train quite hard, and we have done, and the benefit of not having a midweek game is that we aren't playing catchup with recovering from the last game. Next week we'll have eight days, so that'll be even more welcome.
"We've been to [Barnet's former home] Underhill a couple of times, and I believe we won both. This will be the first time we've been to the Hive, so it's a new experience, but we certainly understand Barnet and the type of club they are. We know where they get their strength from; they are an efficient club at this level, and they certainly maximise their potential. They've got a really good hub of facilities at the Hive, and it's a real community club. We're up against a manager who understands that club - Martin has been there a few times, so he's very familiar with the club and what it requires, and that's important. It does give you an extra yard, and he knows the league as well. They had a very good win at Oxford on Saturday, and I'd imagine that they'll be ready for us.
"Any team that gets promoted from the Conference that retains its manager and playing staff will have a few givens; one is that they will be organised, and will understand themselves and what they're capable of. They'll have balance and a competitive edge, so I'd imagine they will retain a lot of the qualities that got them promoted."