Tis impressed with Accrington Stanley despite poor run of form
EXETER City have the chance to move back into the automatic promotion places on Friday night when they take on struggling Accrington Stanley at St James's Park.
City need a 2-0 win or better to go into third place and Stanley come into the match on a dreadful run of form that has seen them pick up just one league victory since mid November. It is a set of results that has seen them go from a side with promotion aspirations to one fearing for their Football League status.
Therefore City fans will be optimistic their side can come away with a much-needed three points from the match, despite their side's own poor from at home.
However, manager Paul Tisdale says his side will have to be at their very best to get a result, adding that he has been impressed with Stanley when he has seen them play recently.
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"I just hope we play our best because I know Accrington have got something about them should we give them a chance," said Tisdale.
"We have seen Accrington play a couple of times and been quite impressed with them.
"They have got a young manager who knows how he wants to play and they haven't found the results, but we quite liked the way we have seen them play.
"We can go back through the season, Barnet and Bristol Rovers and other teams that have come to the Park and made it difficult for us.
"This season we have found out that league position and results don't always stack up."
Tisdale added that Accrington may pose a similar problem to Aldershot in the fact that they will come to St James's Park and look to defend well first and foremost, therefore putting the emphasis on the home side to open up the play.
"When teams are intent on defending and they pass the initiative over to the home side, we have found already this season that is not easy," said Tisdale.
"Aldershot made it very difficult for us and we were hindered by the conditions on the day as well. I imagine every side coming to St James's Park have had a real intent to defend.
"I don't think any of them will be lacking in terms of intent and determination and I don't think Accrington will be any different this Friday."
City won the meeting between these two sides earlier in the season as Alan Gow scored two goals in a 3-0 win at the Crown Ground in August.
However, City's influential Scotsman is unlikely to feature in Friday's match having picked up a thigh injury in a reserve game at Reading on Tuesday, February 5.
Gow missed the 3-0 away win at Morecambe on Saturday and Tisdale says the Accrington match may just come too soon for him as well as John O'Flynn and Matt Oakley, who are also sidelined with injuries.
"We are hoping John O'Flynn, Matt Okaley and Alan Gow will be fit for the Burton Albion game (on February 23)," said Tisdale. "There is, I suppose, a small chance with all of them that the Accrington game this Friday may be possible, but it is doubtful."
Predicted City line-up: Krysiak, Amankwaah, Baldwin, Coles, Woodman, Bennett, Doherty, Keohane, Molesley, Cureton, Bauza