Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale will have a strong selection of players to choose from ahead of the Grecians clash with Lincoln City in the second leg of the play-off semi-finals.
Apart from Lee Holmes, who is still recovering from injury, the Grecians have been given a boost with Troy Brown back in training and could be available for selection.
Ahead of Thursday’s match at St James Park, Tis said: “No one was injured from Saturday which is really good news and Troy Brown has had another week training. He’s close enough to be selected which poses a decision for me.
“That’s what you want as a manager, players who are in the team playing well and players not in the team training well. We are still without Lee Holmes, but apart from that, we’ve got a pretty well functioning team at the moment.”
With the tie currently goalless, the winner on the night will book themselves a place at Wembley for the play-off final, and Tis admits his side are in a good place ahead of what will be a tough test against Danny Cowley’s side.
He continued: “I think we all know it will come down to the second half of the second game, it often does. You have to make sure you are in the game and you need to respond or make your advantage pay.
“We are in the game at this point, we are comfortable with our thinking and preparation going into the second leg. We’ve got a real challenge in our opponent because they’re a purposeful and effective team, so we have to back ourselves but be respectful to them.”
The Grecians defended resolutely against a physical Lincoln attack with captain Jordan Moore-Taylor and Jordan Storey doing well to ensure City returned to Devon with a clean sheet, and Tis thinks it is important to have a balance in play as they go about breaking down a strong Lincoln side.
He said: “They’ve got a route to goal that they are good at and it’s our job to try and stop that and try to score with our own. We did well, we kept a clean sheet, I think we had the same amount of shots on target as they did. You can’t stop everything, that’s football for you, if you spend all your time trying to stop them then you forget to attack yourself. You have to get the balance right.”
Tis also explained that a semi-final will always prove different to a regular league match but says a lot of the preparation for the match will be as normal.
“It’s not a normal week.” Tis said: “There are elements to what we do that are the same in terms of the schedule and the themes we stick to. We all know it’s a different game in terms of what is at stake, but we respect that and strike a balance. We are not immune to the excitement of it or the nerves of it, but neither are they. It’s very evenly poised, on all levels it’s going to be a tight game.”
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