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Preview: Luton Town v Exeter City

16 March 2017

Tis: A top three spot is still possible

Manager Paul Tisdale says it is still possible for Exeter City to get a top three spot this season, but they must remain focused on the game ahead and not get caught up in the excitement of a promotion push.

The Grecians are eight points off the automatic promotion places with nine games of the season to go, but having gone on a seven-game winning streak earlier this campaign Tis knows his side should not be ruled out just yet. And they travel to Luton Town on Saturday, looking to take points of another fellow promotion rival. 

“Time is running out and there are only so many games, but we have put some runs of wins together this season already,” said Tis. “So, it is possible but, regardless of that, whether we are looking at automatics or the play-offs, we are looking to win the next game. That is all we can do this week. We have got a match against Luton Town, a competitor for the play-offs and a competitor for promotion, and we have to try and win the game.”

City got back to winning ways on Tuesday night as goals from Reuben Reid (2) and Jake Taylor gave them a 3-0 win at home to Cheltenham Town. Having lost the two games previous to that, Tis admits it was boost they needed.

 “it is nice when you have lost a couple of games to remember how it feels to win,” said Tis, who added that they would be looking up the table rather than at the points gap between them and the teams outside the play-offs. 

“I am aware we are in the table and where the points difference is, but we can’t dwell on it,” said Tis. “We can’t have a ‘hang on in there’ mentality. We have to accelerate through these final games and I think that is really important for us to have that purposeful mindset.”

City have already played twice against Luton Town this season, losing to them 3-1 in the FA Cup first round before playing out a goalless draw with them in the league at St James Park. So, does Tis think that will have any bearing on Saturday’s game?

“It gives us something, but we are in a very different place then than what we are now,” said Tis.  “We feel a different team. We have a lot of the same players, but we have got some continuity now – which we didn’t have then – and some good form. So, I think we are viewing the game differently. 

“Albeit they (Luton) are a good team, who are playing at an interesting stadium with noise and an atmosphere and a team that wants to win. So it is going to be tough game for us.”

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