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Jimmy Keohane and Bauza backed to fill in for injured Alan Gow

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 15, 2013

Jimmy Keohane is being tipped to fill the boots of Alan Gow. Picture: Mat Mingo/Pinnacle

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When Exeter City travelled to Accrington Stanley at the back end of August, supporters in attendance witnessed one of the most outrageous goals seen by a Grecian in recent times.

Alan Gow's 'rabona' was the second goal the Scot scored that afternoon on a day when he absolutely tore the Lancastrians apart.

The good news for them is that Gow will not feature tonight, nor will he for the foreseeable future. But City boss Paul Tisdale is confident that the Grecians have enough resolve to overcome the Scot's absence and still challenge at the top end of League Two.

"With a squad to pick from, I feel I can always pick a team that is capable of winning any game, home or away," Tisdale said. "The downside of having injuries is that the bench becomes depleted and I don't have as many opportunities to change during a game or from one game to the next.

"The players that played at Morecambe are all first-team players and capable of playing and getting a result, just as they did."

City are used to playing without Gow though. Earlier this season, his absence from the side coincided with Exeter's worst run of the season, but Tisdale feels the Grecians are much improved now.

"We struggled and lost our rhythm when Alan was injured before, but I think we are a better side now, I think we have improved and are a stronger unit and players like Jimmy Keohane have emerged," he said.

"It is frustrating for me not to have my full side available and I don't have that ability to play an out and out creative player like Alan, but Guillem Bauza is back now after being out for most of the season unfit and I think he will play a part now he is fit.

"He is a different type of player, but as a manager, I have to be optimistic and in my own mind, I am always creating a positive outlook with any situation. It is the time for others to step forward and I certainly trust Jimmy, Guillem, John O'Flynn and others."

Enough has been said about Exeter's erratic home form, to the extent where the statistics will have become boring to most Grecians fans.

However, by moving the game from its original Saturday date to tonight in an attempt to entice new supporters, Tisdale hopes that his players can feed off the "different feel" and pick up three valuable points in their promotion push. "I am looking forward to it, it has a fresh feel and it feels different," Tisdale said. "We have no reason to be negative about it, we have to approach the game and take it for what it is.

"I hope we get a good crowd and attract some people who wouldn't ordinarily make it on a Saturday."

Asked if he would prepare any differently, Tisdale said: "It's about getting the balance right and I have to say, I have tried different approaches to the games and I am yet to establish what is best for us this week.

"My manner – since I have been here at the club – has been to ask the players to be relaxed, but focused and to do their jobs very well and have no fear to make mistakes and play their game. I have always stressed that and it has always been a successful way in the past.

"I don't really think I will change too much. It has been an unusual season so far and hopefully its an anomoly in terms of the Exeter City seasons of recent years and it won't happen again."

One thing that would help is a boisterous and supportive home crowd. Recent games at St James' Park have been soured by some unsavoury comments directed at Tisdale and his team, some perhaps justified and others not so. One thing that can't be argued though is that if everyone backs the team, it can do the Grecians no harm.

"I don't think it's for me to go about telling the supporters how to support their team. All I would say is that it is beneficial when the supporters can encourage and lead the team," Tisdale said.

"It is not always down to the team to lead the supporters by providing entertainment. Sometimes, when the team needs it, the supporters can lead the team and they can do that in many ways and one is to be positive and encourage.

"I think everyone has a human element to their emotions, of course they do, and the supporters have been a bit anxious recently. But the players haven't given the supporters too much to cheer about either, so it is a two-way thing."

Exeter City (from): Krysiak, Evans; Tully, Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Cureton, Davies, Doherty, Amankwaah, Bauza, Keohane, Molesley, Dawson, Moore-Taylor, Gosling, Jagger-Cane, Micklewright, Roper, Wannell, Anderson.

Unavailable: Sercombe (ankle), O'Flynn (hamstring), Oakley (hip), Gow (ankle).

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