Devon Derby Duel: Derek Adams vs Paul Tisdale

by Jack Kitson / 10 February 2017, 13:05

One of the most eagerly anticipated Devon Derbies in years takes place on Saturday afternoon when Derek Adams’ Plymouth do battle with Paul Tisdale’s Exeter City in a crunch League Two promotion clash in front of a jam-packed Home Park.

Last season’s play-off finalists Plymouth, who were in the Championship in 2010, have been in promotion contention since the hazy days of August, as they bid to return to League One after a six-year absence.

Meanwhile, rivals Exeter have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround in form, with Tisdale propelling the club from the dark depths of despair, at the foot of the table, right up into 4th spot to within touching distance of the three automatic promotion places.

Derek Adams (Plymouth)

Adams, who was previously sacked on the phone by his own father (Ross County), took charge of Plymouth in June 2015 following the departure of John Sheridan.

In his first season managing in England Adams led The Green Army into the play-off final, only to agonizingly fall short against AFC Wimbledon at Wembley.

However, both Adams and Plymouth refused to let that heartbreak affect them, and after 28 matches they currently sit 3rd in the table with 57 points.

Earlier in the campaign Argyle enjoyed a stunning run of form, winning 13 of their 16 league and cup matches, and while results have been mixed of late, the club remain bang in contention for automatic promotion, while they memorably took top-flight Liverpool to an FA Cup replay.

Adams opted to voyage off to the Costa del Sol this week, running his troops through daily double training sessions ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash with Exeter, with whom they beat 2-0 earlier in the season.

Plymouth can be found at a best-priced 15/8 (Betfred) to complete the double over their Devon neighbours, while they’re as short as 1/5 to win promotion, and 4/1 to hoist the League Two title.

Paul Tisdale (Exeter City)

What a staggering transformation!

In November Exeter were rooted to the bottom of the Football League, with many calling for Paul Tisdale to step down after a staggering 10 years at the helm (he’s the longest-serving manager in the Football League by some distance: 5 years).

Exeter remained loyal to the most stylish man in football, and wow have they flourished. Since sinking to a 3-2 defeat at Carlisle the Grecians have gone on a 12 game unbeaten run (10W 2D), winning the last seven successive games, and scoring four in each of their last two matches.

As a result, Exeter have stormed up the league ladder, from 24th to 4th, and Tisdale’s troops are now within four points of the top-3, although there is a nine-point gap between themselves and Plymouth.

However, Exeter can slash that margin to six points on Saturday - and thus set a club record of eight straight wins - in a match Tisdale has labelled a “promotion six-pointer”.

And with 17/18 games to go there is all to play for!

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