Devera: We can handle Exeter’s style

Joe Devera. Picture: Joe Pepler

Joe Devera. Picture: Joe Pepler

Alan Ball

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Joe Devera believes Pompey will not change their approach to deal with the Exeter City threat.

The Grecians have established a reputation as one of the more attractive passing sides in League Two under the long tenure of Paul Tisdale.

But while the Blues centre-back will be well briefed on what to expect, he insists the emphasis will be on what Pompey can do to hurt the opposition – especially on home turf.

Devera said: ‘We will go through the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses but I think it’s all about us and what we do.

‘Sometimes, it can happen too much where you can look at the other team.

‘Of course, you need to know who you are up against and how they play but it’s more about us and the way we can play.

‘We need to make it as hard as possible for any team to come down to Fratton Park and concentrate on what we can do.

‘We will go into the game very confident because we have gone three games unbeaten and it feels like we are making progress.

‘There are a lot of important games coming up and we have a decent platform. Now we have to build on that.’

Pompey went down to a home defeat against another side who play a similar style, Accrington Stanley, back in December but they have also had their 
problems in coping with more direct teams.

But Blues boss Andy Awford is unsure if Exeter’s possession-based philosophy will suit his team in their quest for a second successive home win.

‘I don’t know if their style suits us any better – ask me at 5pm tomorrow,’ said Awford.

‘But they are a footballing side and that’s how Paul Tisdale wants the game to be played. Fair play to him.

‘They know what Fratton Park will be like but we all know we won’t be playing at Wembley every week. You have to adapt to that.

‘But there are no excuses with pitches – it’s the same for both sides.

‘They are one of four or five teams in the league who are more “footballing” teams.

‘Exeter like to pass the ball on the floor more than they do up in the air, let’s put it that way.

‘They have a philosophy and they stick to it.

‘Paul has been there a long time 
and he has been able to get that message right through the club.’

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