RESPECT, not revenge,...
...will be the message with which Argyle manager John Sheridan sends his Pilgrims into battle for Tuesday’s Devon Expressway Derby at Home Park.
Argyle were beaten 3-1 by Exeter when they visited their Devon city rivals in October. Since then, the two sides have each experienced a massive swing in fortune, with Exeter tumbling down the League 2 table from third place, and Argyle inching towards the play-offs from 19th spot.
“That was ages ago,” said John, when reminded about the earlier encounter. “Different teams; different players mostly; different formation. I don’t think 3-1 was a fair scoreline. If we can get a good result, it will be great for supporters.”
Okay, then, maybe just the hint of revenge.
However, the reverence is genuine. Like many other football observers, John recognises the transformation of Exeter under Paul Tisdale’s long management, in terms of both achievement and style.
“They are a good footballing side,” said John. “He has done a great job there. They have done well, over the years. They are not doing so well this season – I did not expect them to be where they are now – and they play good football. We’ll respect them.
“They are an attractive side if you let them play. That’s the way Paul has them playing. But we are the home team – I expect nothing less than three points.”
Most of a large five-figure crowd will be hoping that Argyle can carry on where they left off in their recent Home Park matches, when they outplayed top-three sides Chesterfield and Scunthorpe.
“Hopefully, we’ll show the form we’ve shown of late,” said John. “If we play like we did against Scunthorpe and Chesterfield in the last two home games, Exeter will have a very hard night.”