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Match preview: Exeter City v Blackpool

23 February 2017

Tis welcomes back Christy Pym, Robbie Simpson and Jake Taylor into the squad

Exeter City welcome back Jake Taylor, Christy Pym and Robbie Simpson back into the squad for Saturday’s game with Blackpool.


Jake missed the 1-1 draw with Stevenage last time out through suspension, while Robbie and Christy were both ruled out through suspension.


However, with three players back into the squad – and only Lee Holmes and Tom McCready sidelined – manager Paul Tisdale admits he has got a positive problem on Saturday when it comes to picking which players to leave out of the matchday squad completely.


“Christy is fit, so we have got a decision to make there,” said Tis. “I have already spoken to Bobby (Olejnik) and he did particularly well last week and has been training really well. And don’t forget he started the season as our number one goalkeeper. 


“So, I have got a decision to make in that position, but it is good for a manager to have those kind of issues to deal with. Robbie Simpson is fit again and Jake Taylor is back from suspension. 


“So, suddenly, the squad looks even more heavily than it has been so we are into the realms of leaving people out who are not even going to make the bench on Saturday.”


“I don’t see that happening every week,” he added. “With so many games coming up there is going to be a real need for the squad, but this weekend we look quite healthy.”


City’s league position is also quite healthy. Having been bottom of the table in November, the Grecians are now in the play-off places with a three-point cushion between themselves in sixth and Mansfield Town in eighth. 


So, is Tis pleased to have a play-off place finish in their own hands going into the final 14 matches of the campaign?


“I think we are too far away from the end of the season to be talking in those terms,” he said. “I think we just have to think about the next game or two, at a time, and try and build momentum and gain points. 


“We have to have a focus. We had a mission over the last three months, after we went bottom of the league away at Carlisle, to get ourselves back into a healthy position and we have done that. 


“Now we need to find, I think, another mission. And we have got 14 games to go and we need to think how we are going to create and maintain momentum for those final months. I don’t think we should be looking at the (points) cushion behind us. We just have to look as those games as a whole and try and accumulate enough points.”


City lost to Blackpool when they travelled to Bloomfield Road for the start of the League Two season. Tis admitted that the players are still smarting from that loss as it was a game where they could not point to their early season injury woes as a factor in the 2-0 defeat.

 

“We were very disappointed to lose that game as we felt we were in very good shape,” said Tis. “Whereas a lot of the games in August, September and October we were understrength because we had a lot of players injured, against Blackpool we didn’t have any players injured that day. 


“We still smart about how we lost that game too easily. We had no excuses that particular day.”


Tis also added that Blackpool, currently in 12th, will be keen to beat City for a second time this season to boost their own promotion aspirations. 


“We know that Blackpool have got some good players and they have been hard to beat recently,” he said. 


“They can certainly score a goal and they have got their problems like anybody else, but they are a team to be wary of.” 


“They have plenty of time to get into the promotion places,” added Tis. “I think it was this time last season that we went on a very good run and flirted with the play-offs. 


“It is not our business after this Saturday. It is our business this Saturday, but after that it is not. However, they are as a capable as anybody. You have seen the progress we have made over the last 15 games, so I don’t see why anybody else can’t do the same thing. Let’s hope it doesn’t start for them this weekend, but I can see them challenging.”


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