Tis: "We will need to be at our best."
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale is expecting a tough test from in-form Newport County AFC on Saturday and has told his players they will have to be on top of their game to get a result.
County will arrive at St James Park second from bottom of League Two and five points adrift of safety. However, they have won three and drawn one of their last six matches and therefore Tis is wary of the test they will pose.
“I am expecting a very, very tough challenge,” said Tis. “However, we get the same sort of comment every week. I am always saying the next game is tricky and difficult and we actually go into every game believing that.
“League Two is a difficult league. Every team has a capability of producing a performance to win a game.
“So, as much as they are at the bottom of the league in that drop zone, Newport have over the last six games won three and drawn one. So if just the theory that a team scrapping for their lives will give you a tough test you can add to that that they have had an upturn in form. That should be enough to tell anybody that we have got to be at our best to get points in this game.”
Newport are indeed scrapping for their Football League survival and with just six games left of the season to save themselves from relegation they have plenty of motivation going into the match.
However, City also need the points for their push for promotion to League One. Therefore, Tis does not think each side’s desire for the points will be a telling factor in the result on Saturday.
“It is something that you’ll hear me say a lot but every team has got a reason to win a game because they are professionals,” he said. “I don’t really want to quantify tit-for-tat who has the most motivation because we have all got our own reasons.
“We are desperate to get ourselves into the play-offs and they are desperate to get out of the relegation zone. So, everyone has got some reason to be 100 per cent focused and to be fully motivated and I don’t think it is a case of seeing who is most motivated. Let’s just assume everyone is and on that basis we need to be on top of our game. That is how we will approach this game – as we will every other game. We need to be at our best.”
City manager Paul Tisdale will be without Lee Holmes, Craig Woodman, Robbie Simpson and Tom McCready for the match but other than that he has a full squad to choose from for the game.
Tickets for Saturday’s match can be purchased at a discounted rate in advance of the day of the game. This can be done online at tickets.ecfc.co.uk, by phoning 01392 411 243 or in person by visiting the reception at St James Park between 9am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday.