Paul Tisdale: Home form is not likely to decide derby result
PAUL Tisdale believes the unpredictable nature of derby matches means Exeter City's indifferent home form will not be a factor in Saturday's clash with Plymouth Argyle.
The two Devon sides go head to head for the first time in just over a year at noon on Saturday at St James's Park.
City's home form has been under scrutiny in the run-up to the fixture, with five defeats, two draws and just three wins coming at the Park this season.
Unusually, it is the Grecians' away form which has seen them mount a solid play-off push, but Tisdale thinks that City's difficulties at home are not likely to come into play in Saturday's match.
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"We know that, at home, we have not been as good as we would have hoped for, so that is something we have to improve," Tisdale told Echo Sport.
"But we also know that, being a local derby, the form guide tends to go out of the window as well and it is more about what happens on the day.
"They are often a very different type of game and previous form has very little bearing on the result.
"I am confident in the long-term that we will find a way of consistently getting good results at home.
"We do enjoy playing at the Park and we always want to win our home games, including this Saturday."
Despite a lack of home comforts, Tisdale's men still head into the match on a decent run of form.
Their last six games have yielded four wins, one draw and a solitary defeat – at home to Rotherham three weeks ago.
They will be further boosted by the return of Scot Bennett from suspension, while Tommy Doherty could feature if he can shake off a hamstring injury which narrowly ruled him out of the 3-2 win at Rochdale last week.
"Tommy was not quite ready to play on Saturday so there will certainly be some debate as to whether he should play this weekend or not," explained Tisdale. "We will have Scot Bennett back from suspension though and that is certainly a big boost for us.
"Having Scot back and possibly Tommy too will certainly give us some more options in midfield, which would be a real advantage."
Perhaps the biggest boost for Tisdale in the run-up to the derby is the form his forward line is currently displaying.
The Grecians have managed 11 goals in their last six matches, with the evergreen Jamie Cureton bagging six and John O'Flynn four in that sequence.
And it was that combination which impressed Tisdale in Saturday's Rochdale win, with O'Flynn scoring twice and receiving a glowing reference ahead of the Argyle match.
"I don't mind who scores the goals as a manager, but to see both John and Jamie in good form is very encouraging," said Tisdale.
"It was good to see John get a couple of goals on Saturday. He is such a selfless and unsung player.
"It was also good to see Jamie Cureton get an assist because he worked hard and got something out of it. It's good to see my strikers linking up so well."