CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe has warned that Exeter’s limited resources will provide the perfect motivation to spring an upset in tonight’s Capital One Cup first-round tie (7.45pm).

Currently under a transfer embargo, the Grecians have been severely hit by injuries and boss Paul Tisdale was forced to name himself among the substitutes for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Portsmouth in League Two.

However, Howe knows from personal experience that adversity can result in a stronger unit on the field and says his players cannot afford to be complacent at St James Park.

He told the Daily Echo: “I think we have to look at it from our own experiences a few years ago, when we only had 13 or 14 players. It can breed a great spirit and a ‘them against us’ mentality and that can be very strong and very motivating.

“We thrived on it and excelled in that situation. In some senses the shackles come off and there’s freedom to really express yourself.

“So we won’t take Exeter lightly at all.”

Howe, who is expected to make a number of changes to his side, has returning duo Darryl Flahavan (thigh) and Ryan Fraser (knee) available for selection.