Paul Tisdale weighs up midfield options for Exeter City trip to Morecambe
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale will discuss with his coaching staff whether to keep talented teenager Matt Grimes in the starting XI for Saturday’s trip to Morecambe.
The 18-year-old made a stunning debut at home to AFC Wimbledon last week but, as Tisdale was keen to stress, an away fixture against a team as combative as Morecambe is a lot different to a home game against the Dons.
Such was the way Grimes conducted himself against the south London side, though, that Tisdale admits the Exeter-born youngster has forced his way into his thinking for Saturday’s encounter.
“He could have done very little more. He did as well as you would even hope,” Tisdale said. “But every game in the Football League is different and there are certain games that will suit certain players and other games that won’t and the better player you become, the more rounded and experienced you become.
NEW FROM SYMPLY - a wet dog food in a tray freshly steamed with real meat and veg you can see minimum of 68% meat content up to 72% in the adult trays.
Terms: Come and try tray at introductory price of £1
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
“Then you understand how to adapt to different games and you begin to affect games no matter what the weather, or the opposition or what type of game it is.
“Matt has a long way to go to prove to me or anybody that he is that versatile yet. I think he will be, he will be a very good player, but I have to decide what games suit him and which don’t. Hopefully, very quickly, all games will suit him and, at that point, we can say he is an out-and-out first-team player.”
Tisdale added: “There is opportunity and then there is decision. I will make a decision because I think it is the right game for someone due to form or loss of form, and sometimes it is circumstance. Last week, he got his chance because [Scot] Bennett and [Liam] Sercombe were injured and, the next time Matt gets selected, it will be based on form and because he played so well against Wimbledon.
“He has pushed himself far up the pecking order and given the manager something to think about now. He played so well that there will now be a debate on whether he should or shouldn’t play, which is great for him.”
It really is a tough one to call. Will Tisdale give Grimes his chance in a more robust kind of fixture to what he experienced last week, or will he opt for the experience of either Tommy Doherty or Scot Bennett instead?
“There are all different types of games and, when you get to Matt Oakley’s age, you play in all of them because you have worked it out and know exactly where to go and your decision making is nigh on impeccable.
“Matt Grimes is 20 years younger and has a lot of playing and trial and error and learning to do. But I would say he has a very good chance of having the opportunity and proving those things very shortly.”
Tisdale is certainly spoilt for choice in central midfield, with Bennett fit again after missing last week’s game through injury. Sercombe is doubtful after suffering a recurrence of a hip injury just minutes after coming on as a substitute against the Dons and, even if he is close, Tisdale may decide to excuse him for the long trip north.
Exeter’s record against the Shrimpers is very good and they enjoyed a superb 3-0 win at the Globe Arena last season. But, true to form, Tisdale is taking nothing from last year’s encounter.
“As you know, I assume we can win every away game in the way we can win our home games. I don’t see away games any favourably,” he said.
“Previous games there count for very little, but the manager has been there a long time and so have one or two players. I think it will be a familiar Morecambe team, but they finished last season well and have started this season well. They will be a good team.”