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Exeter V Bradford at St James Park : Match Preview
Published : 15 Mar 2013 13:31:34
Exeter V Bradford - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Tisdale struggling in middle
Exeter boss Paul Tisdale is short of midfield options as his side prepare to welcome Bradford to Devon.
Matt Oakley was taken off in Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Gillingham after suffering a dislocated shoulder which is set to rule him out for the rest of the npower League Two campaign.
And the former Southampton man joins Tommy Doherty, Liam Sercombe and Alan Gow on the sidelines.
Sercombe is targeting a pre-season comeback after a broken ankle, Gow could return should the Grecians make the play-offs but Doherty discovered this week that his back injury will sideline him for at least four weeks - leaving their manager light in the middle of the park.
"It is really strange how it goes," Tisdale told Press Association Sport. "But we just have to get on with it and we'll have to adapt and prioritise other areas of the pitch."
Mark Molesley returned from suspension against the Gills while Jimmy Keohane stepped off the bench when Oakley went to hospital and the duo are likely to start against the Bantams.
Bradford skipper Gary Jones is expected to return to the starting line-up.
Jones was rested for the midweek draw at Plymouth and manager Phil Parkinson must decide whether to stick with Ricky Ravenhill and Nathan Doyle or recall his experienced captain.
Parkinson, who has no new injury or suspension worries, could also recall strikers Nahki Wells and James Hanson, who both started on the substitutes' bench on Tuesday night. Andy Gray and Garry Thompson started up front.
Goalkeeper Matt Duke returned for his first appearance since the Capital One Cup final defeat at Plymouth and hopes to retain his place - Jon McLaughlin made way - while defender Michael Nelson is another who will be pushing for a recall.
Defenders Luke Oliver (Achilles) and James Meredith (glandular fever) are still unavailable, but the latter played two separate 45-minute spells for the reserves in midweek and is not far from a return to first-team action.