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Match preview: Hartlepool United v Exeter City

2 March 2017

Tis: 'We have to respect the threat Hartlepool will pose'

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale says his side have to be respectful of the threat that Hartlepool United will pose them on Saturday despite Dave Jones’ team sitting third from bottom of the League Two table.


City go into the match on the back of a morale-boosting win at Crawley Town on Tuesday night, but scrapping at the wrong end of the table Hartlepool are unbeaten in four on their own ground and thrashed Crewe Alexandra 4-0 at home last time out. 


“It is an interesting one,” said Tis. “They have just won 4-0 at home and have not lost in the last four homes games. 


“The manager has been in situ now for a little while and I’m sure Dave will have got his team into some sort of function that he wants. 


“They are scrapping and fighting and they will feel uncomfortable with where they are and they will dearly want the three points. 


“We have to respect every team we play and they will all have a different reason, a different purpose, a different pattern to play to and a different set of motivations, which we can’t always empathise with. 


“However, every team, will have that and Hartlepool will also have that 4-0 victory fresh in their minds and they will want to do the same again to us. So we will have to go and compete and make it our game.”


City certainly showed that focus and determination on Tuesday night as goals from Ollie Watkins and Jordan Moore-Taylor put them in the ascendency against Crawley before a late goal set up a nervy finish. 


The Grecians hung on though for their first victory in five games, having drawn three and lost one of their previous four matches. So, does that mean City are back to playing their best?


“I think it is less complicated than that,” said Tis.  “We just have to concentrate on the next five seconds, the next bit of play and the next bouncing ball. You carry on in that mode and just become determined and fully-focused. 


“Sometimes the opposition plays well and sometimes the opposition does something that has an effect on the way you play, but you must retain that relentless attitude to keep going and focus on the next bit of play.


“Every game the lines are so fine and I had very little to complain about during the last three draws. In fact, I was very pleased with the players so I think the bigger picture is accumulating points over a bigger period of time. 


“I don’t think there was too much difference between the games but I’m mightily glad we got our three points at Crawley and I am looking to the same at Hartlepool.”


City are without Robbie Simpson, Tom McCready and Lee Holmes for the trip to the Victoria Park as they try to recover from long-term injuries. Goalkeeper Christy Pym is also a doubt having aggravated a groin injury in the 2-2 draw with Blackpool on Saturday, February 25.



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