Tisdale urges club bosses to make the most out of FA Cup clash


Manager Paul Tisdale was quick to urge club bosses to use Exeter City’s Emirates FA Cup exploits as a platform to boost their promotion push.

The Grecians staged a thrilling fightback to finally see off Forest Green Rovers at St James’ Park on Tuesday evening.

Christian Doidge fired the visitors into a first-half lead from the penalty spot and Exeter looked like they were crashing out when they were reduced to ten men with the dismissal of Jordan Tillson on his return from injury.

But Exeter levelled through a Pierce Sweeney penalty before Jayden Stockley settled the tie in extra-time to earn the Grecians a home tie against Premier League West Brom.

Frustratingly the third round encounter has not been selected for live tv purposes, denying Exeter of the chance to cash in on the mouth-watering clash.

Yet that hasn’t stopped Tisdale spelling out his hopes to use some of the money generated by the match to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window.

The City manager admits he wants to bring in two new players and hopes an increase in ticket prices will help bankroll a drive to improve the squad.

Exeter approach the hectic Christmas schedule in the thick of an automatic promotion race and Tisdale knows one or two key signings could prove crucial.

It is not known which positions he hopes to strengthen and whether he already has targets in mind ahead of the opening of the transfer window.

Having raised more than £2-million from the sales of Ollie Watkins to Brentford and David Wheeler to QPR, Exeter surely have money in reserve to fund any new signings.

And with a transfer tribunal soon to make a decision over how much Chelsea should pay for signing Ethan Ampadu over the summer, the League Two club are certainly in a healthy financial state right now.

So Tisdale is surely within his rights to ask for some money to be made available to improve his promotion-chasing side.

Some fans have criticised the club for raising ticket prices for the visit of Alan Pardew’s Premier League strugglers. But it comes as little surprise that supporters are being asked to fork out a few more pounds for such a high profile clash.

The crying shame is that the tie is not being screened live on tv where clubs receive £144,000 each for appearing on the box.

The decision to televise Norwich against Chelsea and Nottingham Forest against Arsenal as opposed to a League Two club against a Premier League side is a smack in the face for Exeter, and seems to fly in the face of what the FA Cup is all about.

It seems that tv has become increasingly obsessed with the top seven sides in the top-flight and don’t feel an obligation to filter some of their riches down to the bottom tier of English football.

Aside from (italics) BBC Wales (end italics) beaming Newport’s clash with Leeds United, no League Two side will appear live on the box in the third round.

It needs to change as the FA Cup has always revolved around potential giant-killing acts and not necessarily about more air time for the big guns regardless of who they are playing.

Given there are so many games screened live on tv now which involve the richest clubs, it would be a nice change if the tv companies changed their tack and opted to carry some of the less glamorous ties.

Sadly, it is all about audience figures and, in the case of (italics) BT Sport (end italics), delivering matches which will attract maximum advertising revenue.

With St James’ Park’s capacity reduced to around 6,000 due to redevelopment work, and the fact that gate receipts are split between the two clubs, Exeter’s eagerly-anticipated date with West Brom will not provide the windfall many believe it will.

But with West Brom’s main focus on avoiding relegation, meaning they may field a weakened side against the Grecians, Exeter will fancy their chances of springing a shock on January 6.

Tisdale was quick to remind his players there is a lot of football to be played before they can fix their attentions on the Baggies.

On Saturday, Exeter travel to Yeovil Town for a derby clash which will mark the half-way point of the season.

The Grecians have a good record at Huish Park, having gone five games unbeaten against the Glovers and they will start as favourites to deepen Yeovil’s relegation fears.

Exeter are closing in on a fully-fit squad as Lee Holmes has returned to full fitness, while striker Robbie Simpson is back in full-time training following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a broken ankle.

Central defender Luke Croll remains unavailable with a groin problem, while Troy Brown is still struggling with a knee injury sustained in the recent 2-0 win over Accrington.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.