Johnny Hore warns Grecians not to freeze on the big occasion
FORMER Exeter City captain and Plymouth Argyle defender Johnny Hore has warned the Paul Tisdale's players not to freeze on the big occasion when they play in the Devon derby in just over a week's time.
The eagerly-anticipated match is due to take place at St James's Park on Saturday, December 15 and with a lot of connections between the two clubs there will no doubt be a desire from both sets of players to do well.
Hore made over 400 appearance for Argyle in the late 1960s and early 70s before being transferred to Exeter City.
He played in many derby matches for both clubs and warned the current crop of Grecians not to get too caught up in the hype before the match as it can result in a bad performance.
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"One (game) that sticks in my memory is the worst game I have ever played," said Hore.
"Local derbies can be quite tense. It is gritty, but you always used to look forward to them as players. But I remember playing for Exeter, at Home Park, against Plymouth under Brian Godfey.
"I was captain of the side and I was so fired up, in fact I went over the top. I can remember the game and I was absolutely pathetic.
"I couldn't win a tackle and my legs were heavy. I had fired myself up too much – I don't why, as I had nothing to prove. I had done my bit at Argyle.
"It was just a mental thing and that is something that can happen. People can freeze on the day and that is exactly what happened to me."
Hore is well aware of the rivalry that has developed between the two clubs since his playing days.
Back in the late 60s and early 70s, Hore said Torquay United were Plymouth's main rivals, but not anymore.
"It has swung around now and I think the Exeter versus Plymouth games are far greater (in terms of rivalry). They have a better atmosphere and are more committed."
Despite the full-blooded nature of the contest on the pitch, Hore added that he expects the rivalry between the supporters to pass without incident on December 15.
Exeter City are also confident there will not be any trouble at the game and urged fans of both teams to come and give plenty of vocal supports to their sides.
Speaking about the past problems between the two clubs, Hore said: "There were problems down at Home Park a couple of seasons ago when I was at the game. But we don't want to see any of that nonsense again. People want to come and see a ding-dong game, hopefully plenty of goals and a big crowd.
"It is only a small minority that cause problems. As far as the clubs are concerned obviously they have got feelings for each other, both clubs want to do well, but Exeter must be pleased that Plymouth are in the same league and vice-versa."
Another former Argyle and Exeter player who will be at the Devon derby is John Delve.
Delve was a successful midfielder for both clubs, and he says he is looking forward to a good, friendly rivalry when the two teams meet.
"It is always a good rivalry and I love the games," he said. "We are taking about football at the end of the day and hopefully it stays that way.
"When I played they were always good games, good atmospheres and big crowds. It was also pretty even on both sides you won some, you lost some."
Despite Argyle's poor form in League Two of late, which has seen them lose six out of the last seven, Delve insists the Devon derby will be a close match.
Delve, said: "Exeter have been fairly inconsistent, not doing very well at home. Plymouth are up and down, but they are not letting in many goals. I think it will be very tight and it comes back to the old rivalry that it will probably end in a stalemate on the day and go back honours even."
Asked where his loyalties will lie on December 15, Delve added: "I'm live in Exeter and I come to more games in Exeter and they are playing at home, so this time I think I'll be going for the Reds."