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Match Previews

Exeter Preview

Andy Phillips previews Saturday afternoon's clash with Exeter City.

22 February 2018

Town host Exeter City on Saturday afternoon (3pm) as caretaker boss Paul Wilkinson hopes to make Blundell Park a tough place for opposition teams to visit.

The Mariners continue to look for a victory to get the season back on track, and will now be looking for it against a Grecians side that are having a strong season and currenly find themselves on the edge of the play-offs.

It will be a difficult challenge but will be one that Wilkinson hopes the players will relish as he continues to look to put his mark on the team.

Positives and negatives on the injury front for Town

There is much news on the injury front for Town, with positives coming in the form of Siriki Dembele, Danny Collins and Mitch Rose all coming back into contention after recovering from respective problems and suspensions in the case of the latter.

However, Ben Davies does still remain out and the Mariners will also have to make some changes going forward with loan pair Simeon Jackson and Malik Wilks set to be sidelined for the next few weeks, meaning the likes of JJ Hooper and Scott Vernon could be in line for a start.

Exeter could be Pierce Sweeney, Liam McAlinden and Dan Seaborne for the fixture so have injury issues to contend with themselves.

Exeter looking for a play-off place

Exeter will now be looking to consolidate their place in the play-offs after a strong first half of the season followed their terrific run from the foot of the table to the play-off final last campaign.

They have had a difficult run of fixtures in recent weeks that have seen them drop away from automatic promoton contention slightly, but they have plenty of experience in their ranks to get them back on track, and their stoppage time comeback to come from behind to beat Crewe Alexandra in mid-week shows that there is plenty of character about the Grecians too.

Boss Paul Tisdale has been in charge for over a decade now and is very much a part of the furniture at the club, with the second longest serving manager in English football, so he will be hoping to help guide to the club to the same feat that he achieved with them  

Their success this season has mostly been built on having a very solid defence, with teams struggling to score against them regularly, so the Mariners will need to continue to be positive if they are to get the result they want.

Last time out

The reverse fixture between the two sides saw Exeter come away with a 2-0 victory at St James' Park back in November.

Goals from Jayden Stockley and Liam McAlinden saw the Grecians to all three points that day, and Town will certainly be looking to be more of an attacking threat than they were in both that game and others as of late.

The two sides have met on 33 occasions over the years, with Town winning 13, Exeter winning 12 and there being eight draws.

Form guide

Town: LLLLDLLDLL

Exeter: DLLWWWLDLW

Managers in summary

Paul Wilkinson: “If we’re going to win a game, we’ve got to win it by being positive, we’ve got to win it by believing we can win the game. We need to get on the front foot in games and see if we can give ourselves a foothold by trying to get the first goal. We need to try and make Blundell Park a fortress. We’ve got a lot of the teams coming that are in and around us over the next few weeks. I’m one for looking at teams, and who we’re playing, and making sure that we can play our game, and affect them. We need to be positive at home – we need to go and try and take the game to teams when we can, and I’m looking forward to pitting our wits against Exeter on Saturday.''

 


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