2017/18 League Two Preview: Paul Tisdale and Exeter City

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Paul Tisdale and Exeter City ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League Two season.


Paul Tisdale came through the most turbulent period of his 11-year tenure last November when he was forced to renegotiate the terms of his contract by the governing supporters trust with Exeter bottom of the table after 17 matches. Tisdale didn’t seem overly concerned by the pressure, though, and he subsequently guided the Grecians into the play-offs with 55 points from the remaining 29 matches. Defeat at Wembley was a disappointment but - again - just another setback for the 44-year-old to take in his stride.


Arguably the most articulate manager in the country, Tisdale has talked about pursuing a career in business when he leaves Exeter with landscape gardening high on the list of possibilities. He is essentially an architect in his approach to everything, formulating intuitive bigger-picture ideas in his head and carrying them through with cold logic and clarity. He rarely gets emotional about anything, which enables him to adapt quickly to most unforeseen events. Tactically, he’s fixated with space rather than rigid systems or quality of personnel.



Results are never the be-all and end-all for Tisdale, which is what puts Exeter in such a great position from a wider perspective but it should also temper immediate expectations on the pitch. For example, the sale of 16-year-old Ethan Ampadu to Chelsea was probably worth more to them than clinching promotion last season and yet they return no weaker for his departure. If they keep Ollie Watkins and David Wheeler beyond the August window, then another nonchalant promotion challenge surely awaits.

Prediction: play-offs

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