Match preview: Carlisle United v Exeter City

Paul Tisdale says side should back themselves to win at Brunton Park

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale says he sees no reason why his side shouldn’t back themselves to get a result when they travel to Carlisle United on Saturday.

Keith Curle’s Cumbrians have not been beaten at Brunton Park this season and sit second in the table. 

However, City have the second-best away record in the division and go into the game on the back of big wins away at Barnet (4-1) and Morecambe (3-0).

Carlisle also lost their last match 2-0 away at Newport County. It was their first defeat of the season so will that be a blessing or a curse for City ahead of Saturday’s match?

“We won’t know until after the game,” said Tis. “Ultimately we have a part to play. Whether they try even harder and more committed, but we play extremely well. 

“There are two teams playing and there is a referee who is making decisions. There are so many variables that go into it. We could win and you could say that Carlisle’s previous result was a blessing or we could lose and you can say it was a curse. 

“Who knows. Really we have to back ourselves, which we should do with our away record this year. We have won five out of eight. 

“I certainly don’t underestimate Carlisle. They haven’t lost at home this season and they have got a really functional, well-drilled team and we have got to be at our best. 

“It is not going to be easy without the steady back four that we had in the Barnet and Morecambe games. There is changes to it, but still we have to play our football and we have to back ourselves and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t go into the game optimistic that we can get a result.”

City had plenty of central defenders missing for their last match – a 3-1 defeat at home to Doncaster Rovers. It saw them start with a 3-2-4-1 formation with midfielder Matt Oakley and full-back Craig Woodman playing as make-shift centre halves. 

So will Tis be using the same formation for this weekend’s match or have some of the injured players returned?

“Jordan Moore-Taylor and Luke Croll will be having fitness tests ahead of the weekend with their respective bruised leg and concussion injuries,” said Tis. “Troy Brown is fit, but he hasn’t played any football so he will be looking at a place on the bench if anything. 

“Ethan Ampadu has returned from Wales under-19 duty having played three games in eight days, so he will either be very fit or very tired – one of the two. 

“Jordan Tillson is still a couple of weeks off, but Jordan Moore-Taylor and Luke Croll might be back for Saturday.”