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Preview: Exeter City v Carlisle United

17 May 2017

Tis: 'We must focus on Thursday's game, we can't look back.'

Paul Tisdale believes that Exeter City should not dwell on their 3-3 play-off draw with Carlisle United and must now look forward to Thursday’s second leg.

The City boss was speaking after Carlisle fought back from 3-1 down to level the scores ahead of the second leg. But with St James Park set for a sell-out crowd on Thursday, Tis reckons that the Grecians have every reason to be optimistic about their chances reaching the Wembley play-off final.

“We’ve got to look forward. We can’t keep looking back at what has happened. We are where we are and the scores are all level,” said Tis.

“We did so much right in the first leg, but they are a good team with a great sense of attacking identity.

“We shouldn’t be too disappointed or worried. We’ve got a great opportunity so let’s go and do it.”

With excitement building in the city ahead of Thursday’s vital clash, Tis was keen to stress the importance of his players remaining grounded and having the correct attitude on the night. 

“We can approach the game by giving ourselves a target to the focus of our play, but it will come down to the players doing their best on the night.

“It will only be a special night if we win. Until the tie is complete, no score is a good score. It’s half time, that’s all it is.

“Two great teams are going to be trying to beat each other. It’s got to be enjoyed.”

Thursday’s encounter will see City face Carlisle for the third consecutive game, with the two sides also having played each other on the last day of the standard League Two season. But Tis reckons that this familiarity won’t count for much on the night.

“It does make it different when you’ve played the same team twice in a week but that’s just the way it is,” said the City boss.

“If that gives us a head start, it will give them a head start also

“We both have recent information on each other and we are level on scores so it is all level in every aspect.”

Tis admitted that he didn’t know whether he would have a fully fit side to pick from on Thursday. City full-back Craig Woodman picked up a knock in the Brunton Park leg and the City boss said he will be assessed in the run-up to the match.

“I don’t know about Woodman. He will need to see the physio.

“He hadn’t played for six weeks (before the first leg). It’s different to someone who has played seven or eight games on the bounce so we’ll see.”

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