Grecians boss looks ahead to trip to WalesEXETER CITY manager Paul Tisdale has insisted that there will be no chance his players will show any complacency when they visit Newport County for a Sky Bet League 2 fixture this weekend.
The Exiles are bottom of League 2 with only one win so far this season, but despite City's impressive 2-1 at the then-league leaders Portsmouth on Tuesday evening, the Grecians will be doing everything that they can to win in Wales, according to their manager.
"It's probably a bit too early to call who will be fit and available this weekend," Paul said. "I think there will be a last-minute assessment on Saturday morning as to who's involved and who's not. Ryan Harley and Jamie McAllister are both coming back from a fortnight's lay-off, and are in contention. I'd like them to get through a couple of training sessions and then see how they react with Saturday in mind.
"There are a number of players who are tired and sore from the exertions of Portsmouth on Tuesday. You put that all into the selection mix, and that hasn't yet been settled. It's the first time in a number of years that we've had a squad that can take this kind of schedule.
"We've had twelve players score this season, which is a feat in itself. Ultimately it's about how many you score; I'd rather one player score twenty rather than twelve players get a goal apiece, but it really doesn't matter to me who gets those goals. I don't tell all my players to try and score, but we attack together and defend together, and the goals being shared out is a by-product of that.
"I doubt there are many teams that have that kind of scoring rate from the squad, and it does show that we've got a lot of players who are capable of scoring.
"It would be foolish to go into this game and come unstuck because you've approached it with a complacency. We won't approach it in any other way than with a real focus, but it's not always about that, it's sometimes what the opposition does. We went to Accrington a few weeks ago and lost 4-2, but we played a lot of good football, and it was us that were taking the initiative in the game. It's about having the ability to focus when you have to defend.
"Tuesday at Portsmouth was a very difficult game, but it was simple in so much as the players were committed to defending and playing against a team in that manner. It'll be a completely different game against Newport, and we're definitely not taking it lightly, or with any complacency whatsoever."
It was confirmed on Tuesday morning that City striker Jamie Reid had joined National League South side Truro City, where current Grecian Connor Riley-Lowe is currently on a six-month stay.
"Clearly it's an opportunity for him to play games and get some kind of match-day rhythm," Paul said. "We do have a number of Under-18 and reserve games, but the structure of regular league fixtures is what some players need to get their game going. Hopefully he'll come back with renewed confidence; footballers want to play football, and they develop by putting what they do on the training pitch into practice in competitive games.
"It would be a fib if I said that he's only just come back from his injury; that happened at the end of last year. He's fit and strong now; there's no injury there at all, but it's just about getting back into the structure. He has been looking promising, and we're hoping he can find his form again."
Thinking of travelling to support the Grecians at Newport? Full ticket information can be found here.