James Beattie can’t wait for this afternoon’s game with Exeter City and the chance to test himself against a man who in different circumstances might have been his manager.

The Stanley boss has revealed that he travelled to Devon in January to discuss joining the Grecians when his initial short term deal with the Reds – and learned a lot about visiting manager Paul Tisdale in the process.

“I always look forward to the games,” said Beattie. “It’s another tough game for us, Exeter are a very good side, especially away from home, and I know their manager pretty well.

“I actually went down to speak to him last January because of the logistics of my family living on the south coast and me living up here. I think the only choice for me to make was to stand by Leam (Richardson) and help us out of the trouble we were in at that time.

“Paul Tisdale seemed a very switched on guy and he’s got his team playing some very good football.

“I remember being straight up with Leam and seeing I was going to speak to them and he knew the situation with the family and told me to go and speak to them.

“I didn’t feel that I could leave the lads and the club in the lurch. I felt that I’d become part of something and had to see it through.”

Now, almost 12 months later Beattie and Tisdale meet as touchline adversaries and the Stanley man is looking forward to facing a visiting side looking for a first win in nine.

“That’s another angle to the story!” he said. “It’s been a fast transition for me from playing to being a manager and one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed even though I do miss playing.

“This afternoon I’ll be standing opposite Paul in the dugout pitting my wits against a very experienced manager who runs his club, as he explained to me, very well and very efficiently.

“I think he’ll be much the same as I was; he’ll stick to his guns, his principles and his football philosophy and just be waiting for his players to click. They certainly know how to win games but hopefully our performance will see us through.”