Revenge over Southend not on Tisdale's mind
One of Paul Tisdale's biggest disappointments this season was watching his Exeter City side go down to defeat at Southend United.
After a relatively even first half, the Grecians went in front through Scot Bennett's close-range strike and were seemingly in control of the game.
The introduction of former City target-man Barry Corr changed the course of the game. The Irishman celebrated his return after an 18-month injury lay-off with the equaliser 12 minutes from time before fellow substitute Freddie Eastwood plundered the winner with just two minutes remaining.
Today, Southend travel to Exeter for the first meeting since that Essex encounter with the memory of that game still fresh in the manager's mind. However, while that result hurt Tisdale, revenge will not be on his mind.
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"We are very close in the league to Southend, they have had periods of very good form and some slow results, a bit like us," Tisdale said. "I know [Southend boss] Paul Sturrock will gradually, through trial and error, find a winning formula and they seem to have that now.
"It will be a very close game and one of my major disappointments this year was that game up there. From being a goal up and being so in command of that game to losing the game was so disappointing.
"But football moves on very quickly and that game was three or four months ago. I don't see it having any bearing on the game at St James' Park. Most of the players will be thinking of the games at Wycombe and York for something to draw on rather than when we played Southend."
That loss was one of only three for the Grecians on the road this season. With nine wins, their away form is among the best in the league, but at home, City have struggled.
Tisdale's side have won only three times with the 2-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon at the start of November the last time the Grecians picked up maximum points on home soil.
"I have been at the club for six years and we have not had a problem like this in previous seasons. The team has been prepared in the same ways in previous years," Tisdale said.
"I don't think we should get too excited about our away form and we shouldn't get too despondent about our home form. We have to keep some sort of level opinion of the reasons for that and why we have these stats.
"I think it's fair to say that our form in the last two home games has not been too bad. Results is one thing and form is another and I want to be careful not to be too critical of the way the team have played.
"Obviously we haven't given the fans at St James' Park too much to be cheerful about, but I don't think the form has been that bad. Your mind, your opinion and your sentiment can be influenced by the result, so my warning to the players is not to get too excited with themselves with our away form because the next game is always the most important, Similarly, let's not get too worried about home results."
On the plus side for City, the last two home games have certainly been more encouraging, especially the Barnet game. However, the Grecians threw away all their first-half hard work by surrendering a 2-0 lead at the break to draw 2-2. They could – and should – have scored five goals in the first half alone.
"The way we started against Oxford was very positive, but we got caught on the counter which changed the course of the game and in the Barnet game, the way the players played in that first hour was as good as they have played this season," said Tisdale.
"There is certainly the suggestion that the players have the right mentality to play through the anxiety and the edginess of this poor sequence of results. I can only prepare the players and ask then to play in the same way.
"What happens after that I can't predict, but we can work on how we start the game and I will be asking them to do what they did against Barnet."
Exeter City (from): Krysiak, Evans; Tully, Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Oakley, Gow, Davies, Doherty, Amankwaah, O'Flynn, Bauza, Keohane, Chamberlain, Dawson, Moore-Taylor, Jagger-Cane, Micklewright, Roper, Wannell, Anderson.
Unavailable: Gosling, Frear, Knowles, Nichols (out on loan), Sercombe (ankle), Cureton (suspended).