The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO PLAY-OFF PREVIEW - By Char­lie Peat

PAUL Tisdale says Ex­eter have noth­ing to lose go­ing into their play-off semi-fi­nal against Carlisle.

The Gre­cians make the long trip to Cum­bria for tonight’s first leg in a tie which seemed im­prob­a­ble six months ago when Tisdale’s side were in a rel­e­ga­tion scrap.

The un­likely play-off con­tenders slumped to the bot­tom of the ta­ble af­ter a 3-2 de­feat when the sides met at Brun­ton Park in Novem­ber. The score­line was the same in the re­turn match last week­end.

Both games were en­ter­tain­ing and Tisdale is ex­pect­ing two more.

“I imag­ine it’s go­ing to be very sim­i­lar be­cause both sides have strengths and I think we’ll both try to play to our strengths. I re­ally do,” the 44-year-old said.

“I’m not say­ing we’ll get ten goals over the two legs. You just don’t know and you can’t pre­dict these things.

“You’ve just got to have the where­withal to adapt and mod­ify your per­for­mance dur­ing the two legs, re­act to the sit­u­a­tions and have the phys­i­cal ca­pa­bil­ity to get through the two games and a po­ten­tial ex­tra-time in the sec­ond leg.

“All these things are im­por­tant to look at, not just the tac­ti­cal side of things. It’s go­ing to be a long week, but an ex­cit­ing week.

“Since we started the sea­son and went through the process of re­cov­er­ing it, I think we’ve had the play-offs in mind all the way through.

“We’ve achieved it now, so we’ve got to re­mem­ber that. We’ve got noth­ing to lose what­so­ever.”

Tisdale’s side are look­ing for a re­turn to the third tier for the first time since 2012

and the Gre­cians boss said there was a real buzz around the club.

He said: “We’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to it and it’s a great op­por­tu­nity for ev­ery­one. We should see it as an ex­cit­ing propo­si­tion. We’ve got noth­ing to lose and I think we should play as such.

“We’re not blind to the fact it’s two legs and I think when we get to the close of Sun­day evening’s game we know we’re not done, which­ever way it is. It’s half­time.

“The sec­ond leg will be where it will man­i­fest it­self. I think the re­ac­tion at the end of the first game, whether you win or whether you lose, will be dif­fer­ent to a nor­mal game be­cause you know you’re only half­way there. That’s the dif­fer­ence.

“I be­lieve we’ll do ev­ery­thing we can to be in the best shape. We’ve got to get play­ers play­ing to their po­ten­tial and we know and un­der­stand the strength of the op­po­si­tion. It’s our job to try and stop that and create our own strength.”

DAN­GER­OUS: Reuben Reid scores against Carlisle last week

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