Exeter manager Paul Tisdale targets depleted Liverpool side
Exeter manager Paul Tisdale has warned injury-hit Liverpool that his side will play with no FA Cup fear on Friday night.
Liverpool are without 11 players for their third-round trip to Devon as manager Jurgen Klopp contends with a mounting list of absentees and a third game in a week.
Playmaker Philippe Coutinho and centre-halves Kolo Toure and Dejan Lovren were the latest to pick up injuries in the 1-0 Capital One Cup semi-final win at Stoke on Tuesday night and will all miss the St James Park tie.
Klopp has particular problems in central defence with Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel already ruled out, and Tisdale has promised that Liverpool can expect a bold approach from his Sky Bet League Two minnows.
"We are not just going to sit back and defend," Tisdale said ahead of Exeter's first third-round tie since they took Manchester United to a replay 11 years ago.
"I don't want to do that, we need to have some intent about us. I don't think we should hold back and wait for the game to happen.
"We need to go out and give it a go and get the balance right between risk and reward.
"It's a compromise between how much you risk, but we can play with no fear."
Exeter held United to an Old Trafford goalless draw in January 2005 before Sir Alex Ferguson wheeled out big guns Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo for the Devon return.
Both Rooney and Ronaldo scored in United's battling 2-0 win and the Grecians underlined their status as robust underdogs in losing 3-1 at home to Liverpool in a League Cup tie in August 2011.
Tisdale, English football's second longest-serving manager behind Arsene Wenger at Arsenal after over nine years in the job, was in charge for the Liverpool game and admits Klopp will encounter different conditions than his predecessor Kenny Dalglish did.
"Kenny brought a very good team down and Luis Suarez was among the scorers that night," Tisdale said. "But it's a different game and two different teams.
"There's not many players left around both sides four or five years later and conditions will be different.
"It's mid-January, not mid-August, and a League Two mid-winter pitch is not what Liverpool are used to."
Exeter go into the game on the back of four successive defeats, three of which have come at home, but Tisdale insists he is not reading too much into the Grecians' poor form.
"I'd rather have been winning games going into the match, but I happen to think that we have been playing pretty well," Tisdale said. "Although we have lost games, I don't think we have looked like a side that has suddenly lost our energy and our purpose.
"On the contrary, I think we have gained some, but unfortunately it hasn't manifested itself in any results.
"I'd rather have won the last four games than have lost the last four, but this is a break from the league.
"We have nothing to lose and we shouldn't be hindered by any stress or any worries."
Tisdale will be without winger David Wheeler due to a foot injury, but Christian Ribeiro, David Noble, Danny Butterfield and Jamie McAllister have all trained this week following recent knocks.
However Christy Pym, Ryan Harley and Will Hoskins remain on the sidelines for the Grecians.
With Liverpool hit heavily by injuries, Klopp will be forced into making several changes to his side, but has insisted whatever team he picks will not take the game lightly, despite the prospect of facing Arsenal next week in the Premier League.
"The team which will play tomorrow will want to win this game for sure with 100 per cent of everything they have, but it will be a team that hasn't played too often together," he said.
"If this is a chance for Exeter then they have to take it. We cannot be blind and say it's the FA Cup, we cannot think about Arsenal (on Wednesday). It is a big tournament and we have a big respect for it."
He added: "Tomorrow we have to find a solution. If we go out you have to criticise us, no problem, but we have to think about more than only one game. Everyone wants to see the sensation [of an upset].
"I don't know too much about them but we know enough. I saw after the rain the pitch is not in the best shape. The dressing room should be small, I heard, so maybe we should not spend the longest time in it and go out and play football.
"We know they are a good team and they had a respectable result against Sunderland in the League Cup."