Exeter City could welcome a number of players back from fitness for Saturday’s final League Two match of the season.
Craig Woodman, Jordan Moore-Taylor and Ryan Harley are three players who have not started a match for City for over a month, but having returned to training, and play-offs on the horizon, all three could be in contention for some game time on Saturday.
“The squad is slightly fitter than it was a week ago,” said manager Paul Tisdale.
“We have had one or two players who have been out medium-term who are now back in training such as Craig Woodman, Ryan Harley, Jordan Moore-Taylor.
“That gives me a couple of things to think about going into the next two or three weeks.”
Asked if they might make this Saturday or whether the first leg of the play-off semi-final was a more realistic target, Tis added: “When they are back in training that is the first step.
“Then they have to prove that they are up to match-speed and then they have to prove that they have got the resilience back into their legs because there is no point playing one game and then breaking down again.
“It is something that you actually work in collaboration with your physio and bit of gut instinct on the experience of those players.
“However, they are back in training and they are trying to be fit for the play-offs and we have to use everything – be that the game, the training, time – to get as many players fit as we can for next Saturday. And it is not just about next Saturday because then there is the second leg. We have got a good fortnight ahead of us now and an opportunity to put some players back into availability.”
There is little for either side to play for going into Saturday’s match, with City already secure of their play-off spot and Colchester United sitting in a comfortable 12th position in the table with no promotion or relegation issues to worry them. However, that doesn’t mean Tis is expecting anything less than a competitive encounter.
“We want to go into the play-offs games feeling good about ourselves, with a result on Saturday against Colchester,” he said. “I don’t think we can hide the fact that is different from us as it is to Colchester, but it is our job to focused and disciplined in the things we need to do to maintain fitness, focus and preparation.
“It is very different for them than it is for us but it is still a game of football. We are still professional people and I don’t think for one minute they won’t want to win and I don’t think for one minute we would want to win more than them.
“It is just slightly different but it is the job of a professional to put himself mentally into a place that is appropriate at that moment. I’m sure all the coaches and players will be doing that on Saturday.”
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