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Tisdale seeking to maintain Exeter City's fine form away from St James' Park

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 13, 2012

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale is content with the way the first quarter of the season has gone for his side picture: Mat Mingo/Pinnacle

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Such is the inconsistent nature of Exeter City's home form right now, an away trip to Northampton Town is perhaps what they need to try and get back to winning ways.

A superb 2-1 win at Barnet was sandwiched by disappointing home defeats to Bristol Rovers and Port Vale. Both were games in which Exeter could have done better, but while home form is patchy at best right now, there are no such troubles away from St James' Park.

Four wins from five has meant the Grecians have maintained their high placing in the early League Two standings and their one defeat – at Southend United – came after Exeter had dominated the first 75 minutes.

It seems manager Paul Tisdale has it cracked for playing away and he will hope to prove that once again today against a Northampton side beset by injuries and whose style of play is in stark contrast to that of the Grecians.

"We are looking forward to it," Tisdale said. "I know they have their problems with injuries, I am sure Aidy knows what sort of side he wants to produce. Whether he has the opportunity at the moment, I don't know.

"They are a good side, but every game is hard to win. You have to earn it and I see this as being another tough game for us."

The good news for Exeter is that they have virtually a clean bill of health for the trip north. Scot Bennett returned to training after missing the last two games, while Alan Gow could also return to the side after sitting out last week's lose to Port Vale.

Another that could get a recall is Liam Sercombe, who made his comeback as a substitute in the defeat to the Valiants.

"There is a chance Scot may be involved on Saturday," Tisdale said. "He is back training and told there is no serious damage, so he can play through any pain he has.

"We are not perfect [in terms of injuries] but we are reaching Autumn time and we have played a lot of games. Players are getting tired from a busy couple of weeks, but they are all available and they all have a bright mind, which is the first part to any fitness assessment."

With a quarter of the season now played, Tisdale felt it was an ideal opportunity to assess his side's progress and overall, he is happy with how things are gone. Ever the perfectionist, he knows there are areas where improvements can be made, but he also knows that certain traits have been instilled into the squad that are producing results and performances.

"I have some very positive thoughts going into the next stage of the season," Tisdale said.

"I am not dwelling on the loss last week, we are looking at what we have produced so far, which is fair. It is by no means a poor start to the season and it is about what we do in the next couple of months.

"We have set some targets for the next couple of months and I am not going to dwell on the last game or two. You can get drawn into knee-jerk reactions, but we are making steady progress.

"Historically, we have always progressed and improved as the season has gone on and I have always had that personality in the team.

With an even wind and a steady group of players, the more you coach and assess it and drill the players and correct mistakes, the more chance you have of doing that.

"My target is not to worry about whether we are fourth or fifth this week, it is to improve results over the next ten-12 games. That is the target.

"That might not bring us more than 19 points, but it is about a consistency of performance and over a period of a season, you improve players individually, you improve little moments in a game, you improve units and everything about the synergy within the side, so you get a better team in the second half of the season. That is what we will endeavour to do."

Exeter City (from): Krysiak, Evans; Tully, Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Sercombe, Oakley, Gow, Davies, Cureton, Doherty, Amankwaah, Frear, O'Flynn, Nichols, Bauza, Keohane, Chamberlain, Moore-Taylor, Cane, Micklewright, Roper, Wannell.

Unavailable: Reid, Gosling (on loan to Dorchester), Dawson (on loan to Havant & Waterlooville), Knowles (on loan to Barnstaple).

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