“More of the same” will be Paul Tisdale’s simple instruction to his Exeter City players ahead of the trip to York City this afternoon.
The Grecians travel to Bootham Crescent having won eight games on the road already this campaign, a fine record matched only by Gillingham. That form is in stark contrast to their home record in npower League Two but, with a winning formula seemingly found for road trips, Tisdale’s plans for today’s game are pretty simple.
“In terms of going into the game, it will be about us continuing the pattern and the intensity that we have shown away from home because that formula for us is working, so I would like to keep it the same regardless of who we play,” Tisdale said.
“The thing that will fill us with the most confidence is the way we are playing away from home. I always ask the players to draw on that experience of very efficient away form this year,” he added.
“I empathise with York City’s home record because we are finding ourselves in the same situation. I suppose you always run the risk of them finding the key to it soon, as we are trying to do ourselves.”
Indeed York are very hit and miss on home soil. They have won four, drawn four and lost four, and that symmetrical record continues with 17 goals scored and 17 conceded.
Earlier this season, Exeter needed a late John O’Flynn goal to salvage a point against the Minstermen, who provided the opposition for Tisdale’s first game in charge of Exeter back in August 2006, which ended 0-0.
Tisdale said: “I have not won there and I have been there twice [his other visit ended in a 3-2 defeat], but it has been a season for playing teams and beating teams that people have told me we haven’t beaten on their ground for a long time, so why not York City?”
City’s last success in North Yorkshire was in March 2005, when Jake Edwards and Lee Phillips were on target in a 2-1 Conference win.
“I think every team tries their hardest and they are all professional people trying their hardest. No win is easy and, when you look at Exeter’s record at places where they haven’t won for a while, it just shows you that it isn’t easy.”
One player missing – and potentially out for the rest of the season – is midfielder Liam Sercombe, who is recovering from the broken ankle he picked up against Barnet.
“Liam went in for a procedure on Thursday afternoon just to correct the fracture,” Tisdale said. “It looks as though he will be out for three months from training and then another month, so, for all intents and purposes, that will be him out for the season, which is a real shame.
“It is a real loss for us and I am sure he is feeling very frustrated and incredibly disappointed.
“The irony is that during that Barnet game, he was looking as purposeful and determined as I have seen him for a long time. We have been encouraging him to find the form he has shown for the club in that midfield role and he was doing that against Barnet.
“He had a couple of good weeks and it is a real shame.”
Another player missing today is Jamie Cureton, who serves the first match of his three-game ban. He will also sit out next Saturday’s home clash with Southend United and the rearranged trip to Torquay United on Tuesday, January 15.
Exeter City (from): Krysiak, Evans; Tully, Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Sercombe, Oakley, Gow, Davies, Cureton, Doherty, Amankwaah, O’Flynn, Bauza, Keohane, Chamberlain, Dawson, Moore-Taylor, Jagger-Cane, Micklewright, Roper, Wannell.
Unavailable: Gosling, Frear, Knowles, Nichols (out on loan), Sercombe (ankle), Cureton (suspended).