Tisdale confident ahead of clash with in-form Cobblers
EXETER City manager Paul Tisdale says he is expecting a tough test against Northampton Town on Saturday but is confident his side can get the result they need to continue their push for promotion.
City won against Port Vale on Tuesday night to leave themselves just inside the play-off places. Mark Molesley was red carded in that match so will miss the Northampton game with Steve Tully likely to be his replacement on the right-side of midfield.
Northampton come into the match on a good run of form having beaten Bristol Rovers at home on Tuesday night to record their fifth win in six games.
However despite the Cobblers impressive form, Tisdale says City will not fear Northampton.
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"As always, I see no reason why we shouldn't be very confident going into the game," he said. "We can't alter the league programme or who we play, all we can do is make sure we are well set for every game.
"We have beaten teams like Southend at home and Gillingham away, another team that was playing well at the time, and yet we have lost to teams out of form. So I don't think we should look to closely at form, we should just look at what we can do on Saturday and do our very, very best to win the game."
City lost away at the Sixfields Stadium early in the season when a strong, physical Northampton side came away with a 3-0 win.
Tisdale was impressed with Northampton on that day and expects them to be well organised, attacking team on Saturday.
"They are a very effective team Northampton," he said. "I have seen them play two or three times this season, including the game they played against us of course.
"They will be playing to an organised pattern set by their manager. He is certainly very confident in organising his team and he will have them well drilled.
"I am anticipating a game where we are not going to just have to attack at home but we are going to have to defend, and defend pretty strongly."
City don't have a good recent record against the Shoe Army having lost 11 and drawn five of the last 16 encounters.
However, only one of those defeats has come in Tisdale's time in charge of Exeter, with the other losses stretching from 2000 all the way back to 1984.
City will be given a boost to end that poor record on Saturday by the fact that both John O'Flynn and Matt Oakley have managed to get a decent amount of game time under their belts against Burton Albion and Port Vale. Both have been recovering from injuries that have kept them out for most of February's games and Tisdale says the minutes they have managed to get on the pitch in the last two games is a real boost.
"It was one of the plusses on Saturday that I managed to get Matt Oakley 35 minutes and John O'Flynn 15 minutes.
"It will help, so we did make a step forward as a squad on Saturday.
Predicted line-up: Krysiak, Amankwaah, Baldwin, Coles, Woodman, Oakley, Doherty, Tully, Keohane, Cureton, O'Flynn.