DEVON DERBY COUNTDOWN: Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale bothered by points rather than club record
The opportunity to create a club record will have some significance for Exeter City tonight, but three points are more important for manager Paul Tisdale.
The Grecians make the short trip to Devon rivals Torquay United having equalled a club record of nine away wins so far this season, a feat matched by Tisdale's League Two runners-up of 2009.
With ten games still to play away from St James' Park, there is every chance Exeter will break that record this year, but, while they can do it with a win at Plainmoor tonight, Tisdale is more worried about the points to maintain the Grecians' promotion push.
"At the end of the season, it will all be about how many points we accrue and it doesn't really matter if we get them at home or away. But I am proud of the away form and it certainly shows a personality to the team," Tisdale said.
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"There is no hiding that fact, we have some sort of personality that has made us very efficient away from home. We have ten more games to go away from home and I would like to see us add to that nine, but, really, I don't mind where we get the points from.
"It's like scoring goals. I don't mind who scores them and I don't mind where we get the points from. We just have to accumulate points in ones and threes – mainly threes – and we will edge up the league.
"It would be great to break the record but, if we get three points at Torquay, it just adds to the overall total and that is what it is all about. We go there with an added incentive, but it is not the main influence of this game. The main influence is the three points."
Tonight will be the first time the two sides have met since an entertaining 3-3 draw at St James' Park during pre-season. Bearing in mind it was only a friendly fixture, that game showed both teams in their true light. Torquay are very much like Exeter in that they like to play football when they can, but Tisdale questions whether tonight's game will be another footballing spectacle.
"It was a very entertaining game on a lovely evening and on a very good pitch. But I think the two games in January against Torquay will be very different, with the weather here in Devon," Tisdale said.
Tonight's game has been rearranged after heavy rain saw the original fixture postponed on December 22. Tisdale said: "The pitches are suffering. Torquay like to play football and, if they have the opportunity to play, they will.
"We have to continue our away philosophy and look to capitalise on any opportunities," the City boss added.
Exeter have won their last five away games, and a 3-0 home win over Southend United last Saturday saw them climb up to third place in npower League Two. A glut of postponements and missed opportunities have seen Torquay slide in the opposite direction, but it shows just how tight League Two is that, if the Gulls win their games in hand, they will be right back in amid the promotion-chasing pack.
Jamie Cureton serves the last game of his three-match suspension tonight and Liam Sercombe misses out through injury. Otherwise, the Grecians are unlikely to be changed from the side that won on Saturday.
Exeter City (from): Krysiak, Evans; Tully, Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Oakley, Gow, Davies, Doherty, Amankwaah, O'Flynn, Bauza, Keohane, Chamberlain, Dawson, Moore-Taylor, Gosling, Jagger-Cane, Micklewright, Roper, Wannell, Anderson.
Unavailable: Frear, Knowles, Nichols (out on loan), Sercombe (ankle), Cureton (suspended).