Preview: Carlisle United v Exeter City

Tis: "We have to enjoy the play-off experience"

Manager Paul Tisdale has urged the Exeter City players and supporters to enjoy their play-off venture ahead of their trip to Carlisle United on Sunday.

The Grecians finished fifth in the League Two table to book a play-off semi-final tie against the Cumbrians and Tis is expecting a tense and tough game against Keith Curle’s side. 

However, he wants everyone connected with City to enjoy the occasion, especially after a topsy-turvy season that saw the Grecians go from bottom of the table in November to qualifying for play-offs at the end of April.

“We are ready for it now,” said Tis. “We want to play and do our very best. We have to enjoy it. Yes, we are going to be nervy at times and there are things that we will be uncomfortable with, with the stresses of this game, but crikey we need to enjoy it. 

“We have been in some really, really dark places this season and the team has shown so much resolve and energy and togetherness and faith in each other. 

“And this is the reward. It is an opportunity. It is an opportunity that we have earned. We are just one of four teams who have got the chance and the line had now been drawn. We are where we are. Everyone is at the same point and we just have to hope that we can be the team that does it but it is going to be enjoyable and exciting.”

Tis also saved a special mention for the fans, with around 600 expected to make the trip up to Brunton Park for the 6.30pm kick-off on Sunday. 

“They’ll have a very late night coming home, I’m sure,” he said. “There will be a few tired eyes the next day, but you are not in the play-offs every year so let’s make the most of it. The supporters, the players and the club generally.”

Tis has been involved with two successful semi-final play-off ties with Exeter City – one against Oxford United in 2007 and another against Torquay United in 2008. 

Therefore, he knows what to expect from these games and said everyone is going to have to hold their nerve and brace themselves for a range of different emotions over the next week. 

“You have to be ready for a topsy-turvy emotional rollercoaster of a match,” he said. “You can have plans, you can prepare but it doesn’t always go as you would expect it to and you need to be flexible and keep your nerve. 

“When things are going really well, you have to avoid being too pleased and when things are going poorly, you have to avoid being too disappointed because things can change very quickly.”