Motivating players after the high of derby win is no problem for Paul Tisdale
One of the great mantras that Paul Tisdale abides by is that he and his team never get too high when they win, or too low when the lose. Therefore, he has no concerns about Exeter City getting themselves motivated for Saturday's clash with Hartlepool United.
Last weekend, Tisdale masterminded a brilliant 3-1 League Two win over arch-rivals Plymouth Argyle. Understandably, it did not take much for the players and staff to motivate themselves for that game, but ensuring the players are as focused and determined for Saturday's game could pose a challenge for the City chief, you would think. Not so.
"Conventional thinking would say that my job every week is to motivate players, therefore the Argyle game is the easiest game I have got," Tisdale said. "Only a fraction of my job is motivating because I am assuming my players are motivated all the time – we manage them properly in terms of their personal aspirations and how their careers relate with the team.
"They are forever being managed and that then influences that motivation, so I don't think the players ever need motivating, really. I think it's about direction, it's about giving the information they need and pushing them in the right direction.
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"I didn't have to motivate the players for the Argyle game and I don't think I will have to motivate them this week, either. I think my job will be to set a tone appropriate for the opposition and the game we are playing."
However, Tisdale does not deny taking a great deal of satisfaction from the derby win and he allowed himself to enjoy it – if only for a short time.
"There was a buzz on Saturday evening when we finished knowing we had the three points and had watched the results come in," he said. "It was a nice feeling and a particularly good weekend's work.
"But, in football, you never allow yourself to be too upbeat or too pleased with yourself for too long because there is always something around the corner ready to upset the apple cart, or unsettle things.
"Most of my work is spent doing some kind of risk management. How can we mess this up? What lies around the corner? You are always waiting for something, so, unfortunately, you don't get to enjoy it quite like the supporter. You are always trying to prevent the next problem.
"I had a great Saturday evening, but it wasn't long before I was wondering how everyone was, how was Matt Oakley's ankle, what would the results of his scan be? You go through this whole risk management, checking to make sure you are strong and ready to go next week."
What lies around the corner is the threat of this weekend's visitors, Hartlepool, who will arrive in Devon with confidence high after a decent week themselves. Last weekend, they romped to a 4-1 win at Mansfield Town and, in midweek, they shocked Sheffield United by defeating them 1-0 in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Bramall Lane.
In fact, Colin Cooper's side have won one and drawn three of their five away games in League Two, with the one blip a 3-0 loss at Rochdale on the opening day of the season.
"They have had a slow start, but they have had a really good week and won two away games," Tisdale said. "Their away form seems to be better than their home form, so I can empathise with that off the back of our away form last year.
"I don't know them inside out, but I can see a pattern that we understood from last year, and that will give me one or two pointers going into the game."
Exeter City (from): Krysiak, Pym; Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Sercombe, Oakley, Gow, Davies, Doherty, Moore-Taylor, Dawson, O'Flynn, Reid, Nichols, Gosling, Keohane, Wannell, Jagger-Cane, Parkin, Tillson, Grimes, Jay, Wheeler.
Doubtful: Parkin, O'Flynn, Oakley.
Unavailable: Chamberlain (on loan to Bath City), Bergqvist (on loan to Welling United).