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Town Insider - Exeter City

9 November 2012

Fleetwood Town enter new ground yet again on Saturday with a 568 mile round trip to St James Park, long-time home of eleventh-placed Exeter City.

By David Mitchell

Fleetwood Town enter new ground yet again on Saturday with a 568 mile round trip to St James Park, long-time home of eleventh-placed Exeter City.

Town have an unbeaten away record stretching back seven games while Exeter are the only team in the top half of the table to have lost more times at home than they have won. Town travel south with a number of injury concerns.  Striker Jon Parkin was added to the list after coming off with a hamstring problem on Tuesday evening.  Town manager, Micky Mellon, described it as, ‘another niggling injury.  They are starting to build up which is not great news for us.’ Damien Johnson is moving closer to recovery and joined in training at the end of this week but Mellon is concerned with the number of fit players available.  Speaking Thursday the manager said: “We currently have 17 fit players. That’s not making excuses it’s just stating fact. We’ll closely watch Damien’s progress before we travel to Exeter.” The Town boss also praised the battling spirit showed by his side against an experienced Rotherham side. “I’m most pleased about the commitment my lads showed against Rotherham. I think they were magnificent putting their heads on the line and, in the case of Steve McNulty, tackling with his head. It just shows the commitment these boys are putting in for the cause at the minute. They are giving me 100% and I can’t ask for more than that. “We stood up and went toe to toe with a physical and experienced Rotherham side and I have to be really pleased with our players. The ball never came down too much to allow it to be passed like people would like us to do. “I spoke with Barry Ferguson after the game and he said he hasn’t been in a game like that since been in Scotland – and that’s from a former international and Premiership player. He said it was difficult to get the ball down and play but he enjoyed the battle. He enjoyed getting stuck-in for Fleetwood Town and his teammates. Let’s remember 4 or 5 of those teammates have come through the Conference North days. Their development is continuing as they become good Football League players. “There is nothing better than sticking together in tough game for team spirit and that’s what we take into Saturday’s game. It might be a different game at St James’ Park but we’ll do what we have to earn the points. The last word from Mellon was for the Town supporters. “All this hard work and preparation is done so we can be successful on the field. That then let’s our supporters enjoy the games.  We want them to enjoy the journey as we progress as a football club. We give all we have got for our supporters and we’ll fight for them on the pitch. We’ll continue to do that and play football the way they would like to see. First and foremost, we will keep this club successful” Exeter returned to winning ways with a 2-0 home victory over Wimbledon on Tuesday, a result which ended a six-match league and cup run without a win and left them just two points from the play-off places.   It was also the first clean sheet for the team for two months. Manager Paul Tidsdale emphasised the importance of the result in an interview with BBC Radio Devon: ‘It was about the win, performance was secondary, and although it wasn’t perfect it was satisfying to say the least.’ Tidsdale is aware of the threat posed by Town, as he told the Exeter Express and Echo: ‘You always have to look at the teams that are building and getting stronger and stronger.  It looks like Fleetwood are doing that.  They have got strong players and are adding to their team constantly.  Any side that are on that cycle and are building a team to progress up the leagues are going to continue to do so.’ ‘If you add to that the capability to sign very good players, arguably on a level higher than League Two, then you have to say they have got a very good chance of getting promoted.  I don’t think there are a lot of people who are surprised at how well Fleetwood are doing.’ A no score draw appears to be the least likely result as Exeter have played 35 league games since their last!  A threat up front comes from Jamie Cureton, the second-highest goal scorer in npower League 2.  The 37 year-old much-travelled striker has hit the back of the net 11 times so far.  Tidsdale enthused about the performance of fellow-striker John O’Flynn whose goal against Wimbledon helped to make-up for an injury ravaged 2011-12 when the former Barnet player made only ten appearances. Exeter have straddled three divisions in the last decade.  Having been a member of the Football League for 83 years since 1920, the Grecians spent five seasons in the Conference before re-establishing their place in 2008-09.  They immediately achieved promotion to League One before being relegated at the end of last season. The club is owned by its fans through the Exeter City Supporters Trust and its nickname remains a topic of much speculation.

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