Martin Ling expects Exeter City duo to return after Tisdale's 'brave' call to omit them
Torquay United manager Martin Ling has described Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale's omission of both Alan Gow and Matt Oakley from last week's 1-1 derby draw at Plainmoor as "a brave decision".
He expects both the Grecians' experienced playmakers to start Monday night's return npower League Two clash at St James' Park.
City were already without suspended leading scorer Jamie Cureton at Plainmoor – he will be back for Derby "part two" – and Tisdale then left Gow and Oakley out of his starting XI, before bringing both on in the second half as City came from behind to earn a point.
"They left Oakley and Gow on the bench last time," said Ling. "It was a brave decision – I think Paul had a look at the pitch before making it – and they got a point, so maybe it was right for them.
"They did have an influence when they came on, especially Gow.
"For me, they will both start in this game."
Ling believes that neither the Gulls nor the Grecians can break too much new ground in team selection.
"We know each other inside out," he said.
"Shaun Taylor [assistant manager] and I have both watched them a couple of times, and there are not going to be many surprises."
United's fitness problems continue to ease, although Monday will be too early for winger Lloyd Macklin.
Macklin is back in full training after recovering from a broken metatarsal bone in his foot.
"It's nice to have Lloyd back, but he needs another week before being considered for a match," said Ling. "He's trained with us over the last few days, but after a long lay-off like he's had the second week back is often when you have to be careful."
Midfielder Ian Morris is still on the comeback trail after rupturing his Achilles tendon, but United expect to have everyone else fit and available.
Torquay United Reserves will travel to Home Park on Tuesday, February 5 (2pm), for a development squad game against Plymouth Argyle Reserves.