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'They have won four out of four, so they need to be respected'

Tis looks ahead to Saturday's home match with Carlisle United

8 March 2018

Exeter City face Carlisle United at home on Saturday with both sides firmly in the hunt for promotion from League Two this season.

City go into the match sixth in the table, four points off the automatic promotion places with a couple of games in hand on the teams above them.

Meanwhile, Carlisle United are only three points off the top seven having won their last four games. Both sides are no strangers to the promotion race in League Two, with City facing Carlisle in the League Two play-off semi-final last season.

Those games, played over two legs, proved to be spectacular matches, with City winning 6-5 on aggregate thanks to a late strike from Jack Stacey. However, City manager Paul Tisdale was quick to dampen expectations of a similar encounter this weekend. 

“Those games have been mentioned a few times but I am at pains to say that it is two different teams from the two that battled it out last May,” said Tis.   

“However, Keith (Curle) and myself are both still in charge so we still have that knowledge of each other and that recent history but the players are different. 

“The dynamics of teams in League Two change quite regularly even with consistency of managerial positions. When players leave the club, it is hard to replicate those players so you are never at a liberty to pick and choose how you play. 

“You just have to get the best out of your teams and respond to recent form. Carlisle and ourselves have done that over the last 12 months. They are in form at the moment. They have won four out of four coming into this match, so they need to be respected.” 

The pitch at St James Park is also not conducive to free-flowing football at the minute, after suffering with bad weather on plenty of weekends so far this season. Last weekend, it has also had five foot of snow on it so has the pitch got worse since City’s last home match against Mansfield? 

“I don’t know because we haven’t been on it,” said Tis. “But nothing anything is possible with St James Park at the moment. It won’t start recovering until the spring is well and truly here and the temperature consistently reaches towards double figures. 

“Then the grass will start to recover and the pitch might look a bit different, but with the minus temperatures last week it will be just as it was a few weeks ago. I believe we have got more rain coming this weekend though so that won’t help us.” 

City have been boosted by players returning from injury in recent weeks though, something which pleases the manager going into an important stage of the season. 

“I don’t think we have been stronger in terms of the depth of the squad,” he said. “All the players are back from injury. I am certainly not going to get too pleased about that because things can change literally in an instant.

“Kane Wilson, if of course, suspended following his two yellow cards at Grimsby but apart from that we are in pretty good shape. We are going to need it. There are a lot of games coming up – it is almost two games a week now for the next six or seven weeks. I think it is time to get our heads down and keep everyone fit and match fit.”

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