FA Cup: Exeter boss Paul Tisdale plots unlikely win over Liverpool

Paul Tisdale reacts to Lee Holmes after he put Exeter 2-1 up against Liverpool at St James Park
Paul Tisdale reacts to Lee Holmes after he put Exeter 2-1 up against Liverpool at St James Park

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale has urged his side to play with "no fear" in their FA Cup replay against Premier League giants Liverpool at Anfield.

The League Two club drew 2-2 with an under-strength Liverpool side at St James Park after leading twice.

"We'd love to be through to the next round, the reality is that's going to be some ask, but why not?

"There's no point us going into the game expecting to lose, we have to spin every positive we can," Tisdale said.

"We don't very often play at Anfield in this type of fixture, it's a big tie and it does give some reward to the Exeter supporters and supporters at this level to watch their team play in this type of match."

The Grecians have not been beyond the third round since 1981 when they lost in round five to a Tottenham side that contained the likes of Ossie Ardiles, Glenn Hoddle and Exeter's current director of football Steve Perryman, and went on to beat Manchester City in the final with the help of Ricky Villa's famous replay goal at Wembley.

Liverpool selected a side with an average age of 22 for the first match against Exeter, with just 34 first-team appearances between them, and 21 of those by Christian Benteke.

And because of injury problems, manager Jurgen Klopp has hinted he could pick a similar line-up for Wednesday's replay.

"It'll be a very different environment to the game at St James Park a few weeks ago, albeit the two teams might be similar," said Tisdale, who had never managed a team in the third round of the FA Cup until this season.

"I don't know what team Mr Klopp will select but he might pick the same. It'll be a different set of circumstances, a different environment and a different playing surface.

"I think we've just got to go into the game believing that it's possible and no fear, just play, and see what happens."

The tie will be decided on Wednesday, even if it has to be by a penalty shootout, a prospect Tisdale would relish.

"If you offered me penalties now, I'd take it," he said.

"It'd be no mean feat going toe to toe for 120 minutes and getting to that point, so if we have that opportunity then fantastic.

"We'll prepare the best we can, there's no point me spending days on it because we might not get to that point, we have to put in a performance first."