Paul Tisdale pleased to have Alan Gow fighting for Grecians place
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale says Alan Gow remains an integral part of his squad despite the talismanic Scot playing only a bit-part role for the Grecians this season.
The 30-year-old former Rangers striker is yet to start a League game for Exeter this campaign and has made three appearances as a substitute.
His only start came in the Capital One Cup defeat to Queen’s Park Rangers, in which he was largely ineffective before being substituted ten minutes after half-time.
He has looked a pale shadow of the player that played such a key role for Exeter – especially away from home – last season, but Tisdale says that the Glaswegian remains key to his plans, although he will have to wait for a first-team opportunity.
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“It’s circumstances. It is the way a team evolves,” Tisdale said. “Alan has had an interrupted pre-season and missed games, he wasn’t necessarily always fit and you just can’t guarantee how things will evolve.
“That is not to say I don’t want him in the side, I just have others in the side that are doing well, so he will have to wait for his chance. But he is a great player to have ready to come in.”
Indeed, Sam Parkin and John O’Flynn have struck up a decent strike partnership for Exeter this season and with Tisdale preferring a more rigid 4-4-2 system, Gow has had to make do with a place on the bench.
It is certainly a healthy option to have because as everyone knows, when Gow plays well, there are few players better than him in League Two.
Gow is likely to be involved for today’s clash with York City where Tisdale again has a decision to make in midfield.
Matt Grimes shone in City’s last home encounter (a 2-0 win over AFC Wimbledon a fortnight ago) but with Liam Sercombe, Matt Oakley, Scot Bennett and Tommy Doherty all fit, the City chief has some thinking to do before naming his expected pair.
“It is something we probably faltered with last year when we had those injuries with Liam, Matt Oakley and then Tommy. We didn’t keep that depth in midfield,” he said.
“It is always going to be a large part of how we play, we can receive the ball in midfield and play and we have now got that depth.
“As long as my wide players continue to play well, it will mean my midfield players can stay central and I am not then moving them into wide areas.
“As it stands, I am blessed with a good group in there and Matt Grimes has obviously developed and started the season really strong and put himself into the mix. At the moment, it looks really strong.”
As mentioned, Tisdale is also happy with his wide men. David Wheeler has been a revelation since arriving from non-League Staines Town, while Arron Davies has shown plenty of his quality.
Last season was tough for the 29-year-old, who came in for some harsh criticism from certain sections of the Exeter support. But those critics are being kept quiet after some superb displays from the Welsh winger.
“He has definitely upped his game,” Tisdale said. “I don’t think he was worthy of stick last year because Arron brings so much to the team that is not necessarily tangible or visible to the average supporter.
“Maybe the things which were expected of him last year that people were disappointed in, he is doing better this year.
“He has always been a very reliable, responsible and steady player and tidies the play very well. He links play well and players around him play well.
“This year, he has an extra spring in his stride and hopefully, he will develop this year. We know that four or five years ago, he was a terrific prospect and there is no reason why he can’t start scoring goals and contribute on that side of things more and more.”
The Grecians will be at full strength for today’s match, while York will be without suspended striker Ryan Bowman.
Exeter City (from): Krysiak, Pym; Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Sercombe, Oakley, Gow, Davies, Doherty, Moore-Taylor, Dawson, Reid, O’Flynn, Nichols, Gosling, Keohane, Wannell, Jagger-Cane, Parkin, Tillson, Anderson, Grimes, Chamberlain, Wheeler.