Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale says he and his players will not be falling into the trap of expecting an easy game when they travel to Stevenage on Saturday just before their opponents are sat in a comfortable mid-table position.
The Grecians go into the game needing a victory to boost their chances of overhauling Wycombe Wanderers for the third and final automatic promotion spot from League Two.
Stevenage, sitting 15th in the table though, have only professional pride left to play for this season. However, Tis knows that doesn’t mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that Saturday’s fixture is more winnable than if they were battling for promotion with Exeter.
“You can spin it either way,” he said. “Is the team motivated by the league position or are they motivated by professional pride and future performance or is it just the fact that the pressure is off and you can play better?
“Who knows. However, we are only able to conduct our own business, to prepare our own team and make our own thoughts. We will concentrate on what we can do.
"We are well aware of the opposition and what they have in strengths and weaknesses and we will do our best to beat them. It can go either way but we have to make sure we play well enough to beat them whatever they do.”
The pressure up at the top if intense, so how does Paul Tisdale keep his players calm in this type of situation.
“We try and avoid people like you (the media) coming and talking about it and asking us questions about it,” he said. “We try to make this week the same as every other week. That is pretty much it.
“Until the media turn up and start asking questions we are literally getting on with what we do. We have an itinerary, a schedule a way of developing training and we are sticking with that.
“We are a pretty steady, balanced coaching staff and group of players. If you go back 18 months ago we were bottom of the League Two and, although we didn’t like it, we were pretty balanced about the whole thing and now we are balanced about being in a play-off position and going for the automatics.
“Yes, it is pressurized and it is nerve-wrecking at times but that is all quality stress and we are loving it. It is proving to be an exciting end to the season.”
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