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Paul Tisdale wary of injury-hit Millers

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 24, 2012

Paul Tisdale will not be taking anything for granted when his Exeter City side face an under-strength Rotherham United side at St James' Park today PICTURE: Gary Day/Pinnacle

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Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale says he is taking nothing for granted ahead of today's npower League Two clash with Rotherham United.

While the Grecians were enjoying a stunning 3-2 win at league leaders Gillingham on Tuesday, the Millers lost 3-2 at home to Wycombe Wanderers, which led to manager Steve Evans bemoaning his club's injury list.

Despite having a budget that would make many managers green with envy, Evans says he has had to field a reserve side in recent weeks. He strengthened his squad on Thursday by bringing Liam Ridehalgh from Huddersfield and Jack O'Connell from Blackburn Rovers in on loan, but Tisdale believes there is still enough quality in the Rotherham team to pose danger to his side.

"They seem to be a hot and cold team at the moment and they are very capable of having a hot streak," Tisdale said. "They have lost a couple of games, but we all have to deal with injuries at some point in the season.

"I am not taking anything for granted. They are more than capable and Steve [Evans] is more than capable of driving his team to a performance.

"You only have to look at what we did against Tranmere last year with a team that was completely depleted of first-team players and we beat them 3-0. You can't take anything for granted."

Such is the draw of Rotherham this season – expectations are high following their move into a new stadium and a considerable playing budget for this level – that two players departed Exeter for south Yorkshire over the summer.

Captain David Noble headed north and linked up with Evans, who was his mentor at Boston United, but their relationship turned sour after rumours of a fall-out surfaced in September.

Since then, Noble has had to stand trial after being charged with assault at Bristol Crown Court, for which he was found guilty and sentenced to 200 hours' community service. He has not been seen on a football field since coming on as a substitute in a 3-0 home defeat to Southend on October 18.

Daniel Nardiello also left Exeter for Rotherham, but his switch has been more successful. The former City striker has notched eight goals so far this season, five of which in his last five matches.

However, City go into the game with confidence having won three of the last four and enjoying fine wins at Bradford City and Gillingham in their last two fixtures. That sequence comes on the back of a run of nine games which yielded just four points, but Tisdale is not surprised by the change in fortunes.

"We have had a settled side now for the past two weeks and a bit of continuity about the team," he said. "I will be expecting them to go into [the] game with plenty of confidence and to try and keep the wheels turning as they are because there is no need to change anything at the moment.

"Three wins and a draw out of the last four games is a really good run and we are now playing against a team that are fancied to be in the top echelons of the league.

"We have certainly got to be at our best again and when you look at the top half of the table, I think there are only two or three teams playing at home, of which we are one of them.

"It is a good opportunity to really attack the league and last week has re-launched our season in a way.

"It is no surprise and I have expected it to happen as soon as I got the players fit again and got some continuity with training."

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), Davies (injured).

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