A Round-up of Argyle News
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Greens on Screen's Daily Diary is a compilation of Argyle news, with help from these and other Argyle-related sites.
On This Day:
Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
Jani Viander has signed a one-month contract and will be eligible for tomorrow's match against Oldham. Paul Sturrock said: “I feel it is appropriate to sign him for a month, because he is a wee bit rung-rusty at the moment. He’s been training, but not playing. Wednesday was his first match of the season, but I saw enough in the game to see he was a pretty decent goalkeeper. Second, there’s the dreaded geography of the place. The two of us have agreed that one month will enable him to settle in, have a look at the place, and see whether we can prolong it.”
Over 1300 tickets have been sold for the match against QPR on November 15 and tickets for the Upper Tier of the School End are now on sale. Lower Tier tickets cannot be exchanged for Upper Tier tickets
Paul Sturrock has won the Nationwide Division Two manager of the month award after October saw Argyle move to the top of the second division, winning five and drawing one of their six fixtures. Sturrock said: "19 goals in six games is a great achievement but nothing has been won yet - this is just one month's work. We are in the right area of the league but I don't want to get carried away. You can't go through a season without some bad times and we need to be ready for them when they happen. We are on a high at the moment but there are 30 games to go and a lot of work ahead." Sturrock also wanted to share the credit for his award with his coaching staff and the players. "It's a team effort more than anything," he said. "If you keep winning the manager-of-the-month award it's because you are in the right area of the league, and that's we are going to aim for." Sturrock went for a meal with his coaching staff at a city restaurant last night to celebrate his third anniversary as Argyle manager. "It has been a difficult job and a difficult road but it has been very satisfying. When I first got here there were so many things wrong at the club off the park, never mind on it. I have been very pleased that the old chairman and the new chairman have been receptive to the ideas I have put forward to change the whole structure of the football club. Not only have I been involved in the football side, I have also had a wee insight into the internal workings of the club. What I would say is that we have had three years of good stuff, but sooner or later we are going to have a rollercoaster of a time, where we will be up and down."
Jason Bent is a major injury worry and is one of two players who will be given until the last minute to prove their fitness. Paul Sturrock said: “We have a couple of players who will have to have very late fitness tests. Jason will be one of them. Obviously we worked in training with ideas to come up with if Jason and the other player don’t make it.” Sturrock is also considering Martin Philips. “Buster’s got to be confident in his own mind,” said Sturrock. “I’ll have a chat with him and see how he’s feeling. I’ve got to weigh up all options. We have not been changed very often for the last six games. I hope we don’t have to tamper too much this time. That means even the bench.”
Paul Sturrock is in talks to sign Jani Viander. "We've talked to him about coming here, he's reasonably interested, so now we're waiting on his agent. What happens now all depends on what the agent comes back with. But he may be what we're looking for." Sturrock continued: "I'm looking for a goalkeeper who's experienced but is appreciative of the situation he's coming into. If I take an experienced goalkeeper from another football club it really means I'm forced down a road of playing him. I have mooted to this boy that he can come and compete for the place, but he wouldn't be straight away in the team. I think he appreciated that situation. One other thing is that I'm not going to break the bank. He will have to fit into our wage structure." Viander is currently without a club and thus would be able to join Argyle while FIFA's transfer window is closed. He also already has international clearance to play in England, and therefore would be able to move to another club elsewhere in Europe later in the season. Argyle are hopeful that an agreement can be reached before this weekend, so that the Finn will be eligible to play in the FA Cup tie at Northampton. However, it is very unlikely that Luke McCormick would lose his first-team place if Viander does sign for the club this week. The coaching staff have been impressed with McCormick's performances in recent weeks but Sturrock is still keen to have experienced cover for the position
Paul Sturrock is expected to make a decision tomorrow about goalkeeper Jani Viander. Sturrock was pleased with Vianders performance at Cardiff, however, he said no decision on his future would be made until tomorrow. "I thought he did okay," Sturrock said. "But I don't want to say any more until the coaches and I sit down and have a chat about him. There's no point deliberating on it now. I would like to have a think about it overnight."
Argyle's reserves won 3-0 at Cardiff City in the Combination League Cup. Martin Phillips scored twice and Hasney Aljofree once. Argyle: Viander, Connolly, Aljofree, Kangulungu, Sawyer, Phillips, Bent, Hodges, Capaldi, Lowndes, Yetton. Subs - Martin, Watkins (not used - Schofield, O'Sullivan, Trudgian). Jason Bent was taken off just after half-time with an injury, although coach Stuart Gibson said it was not serious. "He copped one on the ankle from a heavy tackle, but we just took him off as a precaution."
From next Tuesday, the Western Morning News is producing a cut-out-and-keep series of poster pages entitled '100 Years of Plymouth Argyle FC', to mark Argyle's centenary. The series will feature 100 of the Argyle's best players plus 100 great Greens' games from the last 100 years and binders will also be available to store the poster pages
Jason Bent looks likely to play in a friendly against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on November 18, three days after the game away to the Czech Republic
Argyle are giving a trial to Finnish international goalkeeper Jani Viander and he will play in the reserve-team at Cardiff City
David Worrell thinks the hours of hard work on the training ground are paying off for Argyle: He said: "We have worked hard all season with Sloop and it was just wasn't happening for us at the start. We have been sticking at it and it's nice that it has come around again. Sloop has given us a goal-a-game target over the season and it's 18 in 16 now so we are getting there. It was frustrating at the start of the season, not just for the defence and the goalkeeper but for the whole team. We do pride ourselves on not letting in many goals but this season we are banging in the goals as well, so I think it's only right the forwards and the midfielders are getting all the accolades. Wottsie and Graham have chipped in though - I think it's only me that hasn't chipped in yet. I think it's me, Luke and Romain. That's it. I don't know how long I will have to wait for a goal!"
Paul Sturrock is warning that Saturday's match against Oldham will be another tough test. He said: "Like Blackpool, Oldham will have done their homework on us and want to stop us playing - and scoring. Besides Oldham have been scoring a few themselves of late. I think teams are obviously going to look at our recent record and make it hard for us at home. Our job is to be patient and break teams down. Patience is the key word from now on."
Tickets for the FA Cup tie at Northampton tickets will go on sale from Thursday 30th October. 1250 tickets are available. They will consist of 850 behind the goal, Adults £14 and Concessions £9.50 - and 400 in the family stand, Adults £15, Senior/Students £8, Children £4. Tickets will initially be available to Green members and then to Tangerine members from 1st November, White members from 4th November and then to the general public from 5th November
Jason Bent is likely to be called up to play for Canada in a friendly against the Czech Republic on November 15th and will probably miss the game at Queens Park Rangers on the same day
Marino Keith has praised his team-mates for overcoming their tiredness on Saturday. He said: "It's been an unbelievable few games but I think the good thing now is that we have got a couple of days off to recharge the batteries because it has been a really hard three weeks. Not only was the Sheffield Wednesday game a day later in the week than we are used to, which meant a day's less rest for Saturday, the size of the pitch at Hillsborough was incredible. Everybody put in a lot of effort that night but Mickey and myself, especially, were so tired after the game it was frightening. To come back home and get three points was vital and we managed to do that so we are delighted. It was great character from the boys because everybody was really tired out there. The important thing was that we got the goal just before half-time and it settled us down. It was the perfect time to score."
The Argyle squad have been rewarded for their recent form with some time off. Paul Sturrock said: "A lot of players are heavy-legged. What we are doing now is closing the club down until Wednesday for the ones that have played. I just feel rest and recovery is important. The boys who haven't been playing are going to do a hard running session and then we are going to give them until Tuesday morning. They will come in and train on Tuesday before the reserve game on Wednesday."
Following yesterday's game Paul Sturrock said: “Winning’s winning, the disappointing thing for me was that our crossing was poor, our final pass was poor, and I just think it was ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’, the week we’ve had. It was a difficult game today. Blackpool came with a very organised and very tight formation and it was always going to be problem to break them down. I was a wee bit disappointed with the way we performed when Blackpool went down to ten men – we’re normally much better than that – but Stevie Adams and four or five others were just so leggy in the last 25 minutes. We had nothing left in the tanks. I’m just happy in the end to come out with a victory. A lot of players are heavy-legged in there. What we are doing now is closing the club down until Wednesday for those who have played. I feel that rest and recovery is important.” Sturrock was also relieved that Argyle did not let down the large crowd. “A good crowd comes along and we normally let them down – today, they have got a performance. Hopefully now they realise we’ve got a game next Saturday and they will come along again. It was a bit worrying when it was 1-0 and they were down to ten men – how many times have you seen it? Football kicks you in the teeth. Thankfully, it didn’t today.”
Argyle are drawn away to Northampton Town in the first round of the FA Cup
Argyle beat Blackpool 1-0 with a goal from Marino Keith in the 42nd minute. Argyle: McCormick, Worrell, Wotton, Coughlan, Gilbert, Norris, Adams, Friio, Stonebridge, Evans, Keith. Subs - Bent, Lowndes, Capaldi (not used - Sturrock, Aljofree). Attendance - 12,372.
Argyle's under 19's win 3-1 at home to Bristol Rovers.
Argyle have won the Scottish Life International Performance of the Week for the victory at Port Vale. The award will be presented to Paul Wotton today. It is the first time Argyle have won the award, a splendid crystal football, under its most recent sponsorship. Paul Sturrock said: "This recognises a fine achievement. I’m especially delighted because it rewards team effort."
Tickets are now available for Argyle's LDV Vans tie against Wycombe. Ticket Prices are: In Advance, £10 Adults, £5 Concessions, £1 Children. 1 full paying adult can purchase 1 free child ticket. On the day, £12 Adult, £7 Concession, £3 Child. Tickets for the away match at QPR are also now on sale. The match is all ticket and there are only 3000 tickets available in the School End - initially Lower Tier tickets are available and once sold out then Upper Tier tickets will be sold. Prices are: Adults £20, Concessions £10. The sale program is: Green Memberships only until 5pm Monday October 27, Tangerine Memberships from Tuesday October 28, White Membership from Friday October 31 and then general sale from Saturday November 1st
Paul Sturrock was proud of his team last night as Argyle went to the top of the Second Division. "I was delighted to carry on from the last two or three games with that kind of standard," he said. "The first half was near enough the best we've played, football-wise, since the start of the season. There was some excellent stuff. I thought my front two were excellent and linked us and kept the ball and took us in the right areas. In the second half Wednesday had four forwards and it was going to be end-to-end stuff. Who was going to get the next goal was going to win the game and I was very pleased we got it. There's no point in me going along the road of praising individual players. We're a squad rather than a team. We're just very pleased to be in the position we are. We're a hard-working play-with-attitude team, and when we get it right we're a decent side. But I was a wee bit disappointed that we took our foot off the pedal in the last ten minutes or so. We can't do that at this sort of standard. If we're top of the table at the end of the season I'll be quite happy, but the essence of it all now is just to continue our form and keep doing the things we're good at. Long may it continue. We're in the right area of the league, where we want to be. I'm delighted we're getting a bit of recognition. We are perhaps regarded as country cousins and maybe we'll get a wee bit more applause now."
David Friio admitted: "I think I'm going to score in every game," after taking his seasons tally to 8 against Sheffield Wednesday. "I hope I can keep this rhythm going, but it's going to be difficult," he said. "I'm so confident at the moment I think I can score in every game. What's good is that we are getting results with good football. We have played well in the last four games and we have got our reward. All the team are working well. We all want the ball and we are very confident. Now we have to be focused on the next two games at home. We are top of the league and we want to stay there." Friio also paid tribute to Argyles support. "It's amazing to have so many fans, especially with the Champions League on TV and it being a Wednesday night. I have said it before, but we have definitely got the best away support. They pushed us on. I only heard the Green Army all game. If we can get 15,000 on Saturday, when we play Blackpool at home, it will be great for everybody."
Argyle vice-chairman Peter Jones has been appointed to one of Sport England's regional boards. Sport England distributes Lottery funding to sports clubs and organisations and Jones will join former England rugby union captain Phil de Glanville on the South West regional board, one of eight such committees set up around the country to give the regions a voice in the organisation's headquarters in the capital
Argyle go top of the Second Division with a 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday. The goals are scored by David Friio in the 22nd and 63rd minutes and a Paul Wotton penalty in the 61st minute. Argyle :McCormick, Worrell, Wotton, Coughlan, Gilbert, Norris, Friio, Adams, Stonebridge, Evans, Keith. Subs - Bent, Capaldi (not used - Aljofree, Lowndes, Sturrock). Attendance - 20,090. The usual excellent coverage will soon be found on Greens On Screen. Following the game Paul Sturrock said: "18 goals in four games is a great achievement but nothing has been won yet - this is just one week's work. We are in the right area of the league but I don't want to get carried away. You can't go through a season without some bad times and we need to be ready for them when they happen. We are on a high tonight but there are 31 games to go and a lot of work ahead."
Argyle are to re-launch the club lottery. The Pilgrims' Lottery, which starts next month will cost just £1 a week to play. Results will be displayed on a daily basis on the internet and in local shops that sell the lottery tickets. All prizes will be automatically sent to all winners approximately 14 days after the draw-date. You can play by direct debit or by cheque in advance. It will also be available through round-collectors. It is also hoped that newsagents throughout Devon and Cornwall will become agents so that fans can pay alongside their newspaper bill. The first draw will take place on November 28, 2003. If you would like to become a member of the draw or would like information on being a lottery-builder or collector, please contact the Pilgrims' Lottery team on 01752 569957
Mickey Evans believes that Argyle's present team is the best he has seen during his long service with the club. "The quality of the squad is a lot higher than any time I've been at the club," he said. "There's a lot of competition for near enough every position in the team and it keeps us on our toes." He also believes the team can flourish without a prolific striker. "It would be nice to have a 20-goal a season striker - and someone might get 20 this season, you don't know - but at the end of the day it's doesn't really matter as long as everybody in the team is chipping in. I'd much rather be in a team where everyone is scoring rather than in a side where you have to rely on one player to get the goals."
Paul Sturrock is concerned about fans expectations ahead of tomorrow's game at Sheffield Wednesday. "We have got ourselves into a key area of the league and everybody will have that expectation level," he said. "But you've got to remember that we were second in the table last year round about the same time and we've got some hard games coming up. The problem I have is the usual management problem of 'do we change it, or do we not change it'? If we had hindsight, it would be a great job this one. Have we got the legs in the team still, or do we need to freshen it up? And if I were to freshen it up and lose, people would say 'why did he change the team?' And if the team looks very leggy, they'll say 'he should have freshened it up'. So I know one thing about this game, I'm on a hiding to nothing. I've just got to make the decision of what we're going to do. They (Sheffield Wednesday) have changed systems in the last two games, which could influence my selection. So you have all that kind of scenario to mull over in your mind. The 18 which travelled last Saturday will travel again."
Argyles reserves won 5-0 at Tavistock with two goals from Andy Watkins and a goal apiece for Paul Connolly, Wayne O'Sullivan and Martin Phillips. Phillips and Kangulungu both completed the 90 minutes. Argyle: Schofield, Connolly, Villis, Kangulungu, Sawyer, O'Sullivan, Entwisle, Martin, Phillips, Watkins, Bulley. Subs - Nute, Yetton (not used - Routledge)
Andreas Lipa has unreservedly apologised to Jason Bent, to who he directed a racist remark during Saturday’s game. Port Vale have also apologised to Argyle and fined Lipa a week’s wages which will be paid directly to anti-racist organisations, including Argyle Against Racism. Vale released a statement after Argyle had earlier said they were “disappointed and saddened” about the incident, which came towards the end of the 5-1 victory at Vale Park. “Andreas himself has written to Jason expressing his profound regret for the comment he made during Saturday’s match, said in the heat of the moment and regretted immediately afterwards. In the light of the unfortunate incident, the club has fined Andreas Lipa one week’s wages which will be donated to the charity ‘Kick It Out!’ and Argyle Against Racism. As stated above, he has sent a written apology to Jason Bent. Jason himself has confirmed that, in light of that action, he accepts the apology and does not wish to take the matter any further.”
Argyles on-line store is now back in full working order. There are still some items to be added but the bulk of the goods can now be ordered. The new shop address is www.pafcshop.com
Jason Bent was the victim of racist abuse after Saturdays game at Port Vale. Vale's former Austrian international, Andreas Lipa, made the comments as all of the players shook hands. Bent had to be physically restrained because he was so angry, and Argyle are believed to have made an official complaint. David Friio admitted it had taken the shine off what was an otherwise memorable day. He said: "When the referee blew the final whistle I was buzzing because we won 5-1 and I scored two goals. Then I heard what happened with Jay. There are things more important than football. It's a shame because we came on to the pitch with a special t-shirt against racism. I'm gutted this happened and he (Lipa) should be banned from football." Argyle officials are also believed to be unhappy that referee Lee Probert did not take any immediate action against Lipa, because he was very close to the incident." Argyle have released a statement which reads: "Everyone at this football club condemns racist behaviour, on or off the field, and we are disappointed and saddened by what happened to Jason Bent at the end of Saturday's game. Port Vale have been made aware of what happened and about our feelings relating to the incident. It is now for them to decide how they wish to respond."
Following yesterday's game Paul Sturrock said: “Everybody wants to score goals. If more people go on the pitch saying to themselves ‘I’m going to score today’, you’re going to have more opportunities because people are going to be keyed up to be in the box and take chances. Long may it last, but I don’t think we’ll see Stevie Adams hit things like that with his left foot again – and get David’s fifth – but, to be fair, we also scrapped a few in there as well. The first was very scrappy but the strikers are there to put the ball in the net, and the essence of the game is, if you put crosses in the box, and people are on the move, you are going to score goals. We have that knack at the moment where people appreciate that crosses are coming in and they are trying to on the end of them. I’m very pleased we’ve got three points on the board because three of the next five games are against teams that were above us and, if we are to do anything this year, we have got to start taking points away from home. It was a debate whether we went with Stonebridge wide left because, although it had been successful at home, we were a wee bit worried it might leave us a bit too open, but he’s proved us wrong – he’s done very well in that position. I thought he did well when he moved to centre-forward, as well. I think the rest we gave Mickey in the week definitely benefited him. He is an influence to the team, everything sticks to him and nothing comes back, which makes it easier – everyone can key off him and get in the right positions to pick up the ball and attack teams. He’s led from the front this year and has probably been our most influential player. David Friio had an influence as far as taking the ball, being confident, and spraying the passes - to me, I think Norris was the key to it all, the way the system that Port Vale play; he got a lot of the ball in that area and was influential for the whole 90 minutes - but David has given us that goal-threat again from midfield: delayed runs into the box are probably the hardest to defend. As I mentioned to my players today, nobody merited not playing in the 11, never mind sitting on the bench or not being stripped. It’s an unfortunate scenario when you’ve had the two previous results we’ve had, everyone’s playing at the top of their form, that someone doesn’t get stripped. I had a wee chat with Lee Hodges and he was okay about it. The worrying aspect was that he was nominated as our cover goalie, but Mickey had volunteered his services, so that was okay. It made that decision easier
Argyle win 5-1 at PortVale with goals from Marino Keith in the 35th minute, David Friio (38 and 73), Steve Adams (44) and Paul Wotton (47). Argyle: McCormick, Worrell, Wotton, Coughlan, Gilbert, Norris, Adams, Friio, Stonebridge, Evans, Keith. Subs - Capaldi, Bent, Aljofree (not used - Lowndes, Sturrock). Attendance - 5,786.
Argyle are drawn at home to Wycombe Wanderers in the second round of the LDV Vans Trophy
Martin Phillips has been given the all clear to continue his comeback from a groin problem having been sent for a check-up. Paul Sturrock said: "The comment with Buster was that he gets on with it. He's bringing himself back gently now and is desperate for a couple of reserve games to get a run-out."
Argyle have arranged a second-team fixture against Tavistock Town on Monday. Kick-off at Langsford Meadow is 7.30pm. Martin Phillips and Eugene Kangulungu are both expected to play
Argyle's Football in the Community coaches will stage courses at five different venues from October 27 to 31. The courses are for boys and girls, aged from seven to 14, and are staffed by Argyle's fully-qualified FA coaches. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance, and competition prizes will be up for grabs. Dates, venues and contacts are: October 27 and 28 - Tavistock FC, contact Derek Pethick on 01822 613563. October 29 and 30 - Mount Boys FC in Bodmin, contact Kevin Marshall on 01208 269210. October 30 - Ivybridge Community College, contact Nick Gillon on 01752 698315. October 31 - Mithian School (near St Agnes), contact Paul Parkinson on 01872 552711. October 27 to 31 - Stoke Damerel Community College, contact Home Park on 01752 562561 ext 7
David Norris has returned to training after recovering from illness and has added to Paul Sturrocks selection difficulties. Sturrock said: "It's probably the first time this season that the sleepless nights are with selection headaches, rather than on who is going to be fit. We have 17 boys who merit being selected and one of those players is going to get kicked in the teeth a wee bit tomorrow when I have to name the 16. It will not be due to his performances. It will be due to circumstance, and what I need on the bench to cover the 11 that play. We have two games in five days and it might be that we will have to call upon several players over that period to get us through it. It's important that I put out 11, who I feel are a fresh 11. That's probably the deliberation I have got to make. The next game is always the important one. You don't deliberate to try and cover yourself for the Wednesday game. We are going hell for leather for this one. This is the important one. Wednesday takes care of itself after that."
Argyle are releasing a special limited edition double game video of the Tranmere Rovers and Bristol City (LDV) games. The video will have only slight editing, to fit the two games onto a 180 minute VHS tape, and will cost only £9.99 (plus p&p). They are currently being produced but are available on pre-order by calling the club shop on 01752 558292 or e-mailing email@example.com
Luke McCormick is refusing to get carried away by the success he has enjoyed since taking over from Romain Larrieu. "I do feel more confident with every game I play," he said. "The nerves have gone now really. It's just a case of me trying to keep concentrating because I don't want to get ahead of myself. I'm trying to keep my feet on the ground and am working hard at my game. Hopefully, if I'm still in the team the clean sheets will keep coming. I haven't seen a lot of Romain but when I do he's full of encouragement and says 'well done' and 'enjoy it,' which is great. It's the same with the rest of the lads. They are always talking to me. I'm feeling very comfortable compared to the Luton game, when I first went into the side. I was a little bit edgy but now I'm a lot more confident. I'm really enjoying it and we are getting some good results as well, which is even better."
Paul Sturrock has revealed that two goalkeepers had opted not to join Argyle. He said “The two avenues I was hoping to go down have proved negative. One of them has a young family and didn’t want to do the travelling and the other one feels he wants to stay and compete for a place. The managers were very positive about the whole scenario and would have agreed but it’s no good forcing a player to come. The problem is that Luke’s done very well and is now pressurising me to appreciate his performances. Which means, how can you bring an experienced goalkeeper in, who is looking for games, to sit on the bench. It’s a bit of a dampener to the weekend because I was very confident of one of those players saying yes. It just shows how difficult it is to get people to move to this sort of area. One was from the Premiership and one was from the Football League, both were very experienced. So the search goes on.”
Paul Sturrock believes Tony Capaldi has the ability to play at senior level for Northern Ireland. He said: "I do believe Tony has got a chance to make the step-up into the senior squad. Technically, he's a very gifted player. He has played at left-back for their under-21s but wide left for us. It's really up to him now to develop his game. I do believe he has got great potential but he still has to overcome the reserve team mentality to playing football."
Paul Sturrock has dismissed speculation linking him with the managerial vacancy's at Livingston and Millwall. Sturrock today insisted his future was at Home Park, where he is close to completing three years as manager. "I know nothing about it. I think you will find when things like this come up, my name is mentioned. It's very flattering, of course, but I have no debate on this. I have got a job to do here, getting a team ready for Saturday."
Argyle's youth team lost 4-2 at Bristol City to go out of the FA Youth cup. Bristol took the lead early in the second half from the penalty spot and were then awarded another penalty, which Kenny Schofield saved. Argyle equalised in the closing minutes from a Luke Summerfield penalty and then took the lead in extra time through Tom Entwisle but a tiring Argyle side conceded three times in the final 10 minutes. Argyle: Schofield, Parrish, Routledge, Nute, Dickson, Fadida, Summerfield, Entwisle, Robotham, Hoyles, Evans. Subs -Harding, Gibbons, Skinner (not used - Chapman, Reski)
Paul Sturrock was delighted with last night's win: "The attitude of the players was excellent, they passed the ball really well, we asked them to do that over the last couple of games. I did feel, before the last couple of games, we didn't have enough people comfortable taking the ball all over the pitch, but they all looked for the ball today and I'm very pleased with the goals and general play. Jason, Hasney and Nathan did very, very well. As I've said, we've got a squad, not a team. I think that was proved tonight. We never got disjointed in any way with the substitutions and we still rested some experienced players for Port Vale, but the boys continued on from Saturday and put a very good performance together. Nathan's attitude was excellent. He's had a disjointed time of it because the other strikers have played well and kept him out of the scene, and I think he would be the first to agree he's not put up sterling performances in the reserve's to really push himself. I've always known he's a really good player, that's why he got the length of contract he did, the problem is convincing Nathan to do the simple things. Tonight, he did the simple things: he held it up, he passed it and he's got his two goals. We have never been a cup team and it was a very difficult game against the holders, who have very good tradition in this competition, but we've jumped that hurdle. Hopefully, we'll get another home tie and see how far we can go."
Argyle beat Bristol City 4-0 in the LDV Vans Trophy with goals from Marino Keith after 9 minutes, Nathan Lowndes (45 and 85)and Peter Gilbert (54). Argyle: McCormick, Worrell, Friio, Aljofree, Wotton, Adams, Bent, Gilbert, Keith, Stonebridge, Lowndes. Subs - Capaldi, Hodges, Sturrock (not used - Evans, Coughlan). Attendance - 4,927
David Norris has been suffering from a virus and will miss tonight's game. Paul Sturrock said: "He complained about it before the Tranmere game but, to be fair, he got through it. He wasn't in for training yesterday and he will not play tonight. I would rather we make sure he's okay for Saturday. There is a lot to weigh up when it comes to team selection tonight. I have got to debate whether I leave Jason and Tony until Saturday with all the travelling they have done. I have got a decision to make on David Friio, whether training the whole week or playing a good hour in this game would be a better benefit to him and it's the same with Stevie Adams." Hasney Aljofree is definitely playing tonight, but Eugene Kangulungu misses out as Sturrock does not feel he is yet ready: "I watched him in the reserves against Torquay and, although there was an improvement, he still has a problem playing the game in a back four. I have explained that to the player and, at this minute, if we had a problem with one of our two centre-halves Hasney is the automatic choice." Sturrock also said: "Since I have been at the club we have been very ordinary, to say the least, in cup competitions. It's always nice to have a good run in the league and one of the cups at the same time. It keeps an edge to players." Of the goalkeeping situation he said there was a chance of a deal being struck today, but Luke McCormick will be between the posts tonight. "I wouldn't want to put a goalie into a situation where he plays with the defenders without any training," said Sturrock. "And anyway, Luke has grabbed his opportunity so far, so I'm not totally convinced I'm going to take him out of the team straight away."
Paul Sturrock heaped praise on Peter Gilbert after Saturdays win. "That was probably the best performance I have seen from a left-back since I came here," he said. "It was awesome to watch. He was up to the pace of the game. He nipped everything, he got himself forward and played great with Stoney. The boy did everything right. I think people can now appreciate the reasons why we have tied him up to the end of the season. I guarantee one thing, he is going to make mistakes and maybe cost us a goal from now to the end of the season, but young lads do these things. But, to be fair, he should take a lot of confidence from that performance." Gilbert said: "I didn't think I had anything to prove to anyone. I think it just got blown out of all proportion, to be honest. They've got their opinions, but it was not the whole stand. I've had a few good luck cards and apologies and things like that, but to be honest, it did not bother me one little bit. I did not even know about it until the next day when I read the paper. I just totally forgot about it, I did not let it bother me. I can handle things like that. As long as I'm pleased with my performance and I'm in the team the next week then I'm not bothered. The whole team was happy and they helped me a lot because everyone was playing well and everyone's confidence was sky high. Everyone was really pleased and I was particularly pleased with my performance."
Paul Sturrock was delighted to have David Friio and Steve Adams back from injury yesterday. "David has a special style," he said. "He's very suited to the way we play. He's very dominant and wants to pass the ball, wants to lead the midfield. I thought he and Stevie Adams were awesome in there. There was a freshness again. The two have had a wee rest, but they've come back in and showed a freshness. Ian Stonebridge has been out of the team lately and he also came back in and showed a freshness. With David it was a case of do we give him the LDV Vans game or bring him back for this. In the end he convinced the medical staff and me that he was okay. We took him off as a precaution with 25 minutes to go because we felt if he stayed on he might pull something again." Friio himself said: "I'm very glad to be playing again as it's been a long time, nearly four weeks. I did not train at all and so I was worried about my general fitness, but it is always like this on the first game. You play on adrenalin. I just trained on Friday and from there the manager decided to bring me in. But I did not know until an hour before the game when the gaffer came in the dressing room. I was really glad to be back and really glad with the win. We needed the win. It was even better that we came back with a clean sheet and six goals."
Paul Sturrock spoke of his delight after today's win: "It was nothing to do with me, it was the players. Everything fell for us today. The boys were superb and we actually got the goals we deserved. It might sound strange, but their keeper was outstanding and on any other day might have been walking away as man-of-the-match." Sturrock had particular praise for Peter Gilbert. "Peter was outstanding. He's only 20 but that was the best performance I've seen by a left-back since I've been here."
Argyle beat Tranmere Rovers 6-0 at Home Park with goals from Friio in the 7th minute, Wotton (38), Gilbert (45), Keith (49), Evans (56) and Norris (79). Argyle: McCormick, Worrell, Wotton, Coughlan, Gilbert, Norris, Adams, Friio, Stonebridge, Evans, Keith. Subs - Hodges, Sturrock, Lowndes (not used - Aljofree, Connolly). Attendance - 7,610. and Ian De Lar's match report is here
Tony Capaldi played at left-back in his final game for Northern Ireland's under-21 side last night as they won 1-0 in Greece. Jason Bent played for Canada as they lost 3-2 in Finland
Steve Adams and David Friio will undergo fitness tests today but Paul Sturrock has said that even if they failed it he would give them longer to recover. "Obviously with the situation they will be given every opportunity," said Sturrock. "Even if they don't come through today we'd have a go again on Saturday. They are both up and running at full pace, but with David it's all about kicking and changing direction with his calf strain and Stevie's problem will also be kicking the ball. You could end up playing them and they end up walking off the pitch after 10-15 minutes. Stevie's injury is not as severe a problem because it is only bruising, but the problem with David is that if you play him he could do it again and be out for four or five weeks again." Sturrock only has 17 players in his squad at the moment and four of them - Adams, Friio, Martin Phillips and Blair Sturrock - are injury doubts for tomorrow. Brian McGlinchey and David Beresford are out on loan, Tony Capaldi and Jason Bent are on international duty, Romain Larrieu is a long-term injury and Eugene Kangulungu has had to return to Congo because of a family illness
Argyle schoolboy Scott Laird has been selected for Scotlands under-16 side to play in a three-team tournament in Switzerland next week
Paul Sturrock has ruled out bringing in a loan player stating 'we go with what we've got'. Better news over the condition of Steve Adams, Hasney Aljofree, David Friio and forward Nathan Lowndes' has given hope that at least one will be available for Saturday. "They are improving, but how quickly they improve over the next couple of days will tell me whether they'll be fit for Saturday. Hasney trained, so he's okay, and Nathan, Steve and David all did light running so we'll see how they are later and see if we can build them up," he said. Martin Phillips will not be available as his recovery from injury is still causing concern and Blair Sturrock is in a similar position. "We're hoping to get a second opinion on Buster's problem tomorrow and Blair is going to see a specialist next Wednesday. We want to get to the bottom of Busters problem very quickly, he's still having effects. He's had two or three reserves games, but he has not been confident. There's no good pushing the lad, so he's definitely a no-no for Saturday. Blair is an option at the minute, but only for 20 minutes or so, which he's very good at. This is an important season for him because he promised so much last year, but he's had injuries which have denied him the opportunity of showing what he can do.'' Sturrock seems more upbeat of solving his goalkeeping dilemma. "I'm still talking to managers and although nothing will happen before Saturday, I'm very hopeful that something might happen maybe early next week. I've had some favourable conversations with managers, so we'll have to wait and see."
Argyle's new online store is now available to view. Items cannot yet be purchased through the site due to problems out of the club's control but orders can be phoned through to the club shop on 01752 558292. The new address for the shop is: www.pafcshop.com
Argyle have agreed to let Brian McGlinchey extend his loan to Torquay for a second month. League rules allow for the player to be recalled at anytime during the month if he is required, something not allowed during the first month on loan
Argyle are launching a video today featuring Billy Rafferty and Paul Mariner. The video, appropriately named, Mariner and Rafferty, The Dream Season - The Story of Plymouth Argyle's 1974-75 Promotion, costs £12.99 and is currently only available from the club shop
Paul Sturrock took in a game last night to check a couple of possible loan signings, although he insists a loan would only be the last resort and is still hopeful that Steve Adams and David Friio will be fit in time to face Tranmere. Adams' injury is not as bad as first feared, but like Friio, he is still racing against time for Saturday. "It's severe bruising," said Sturrock. "We're confident there is no fracture in there so it's how quickly the swelling comes out. He was jogging yesterday, as were David and Nathan so hopefully a few of the injured players will be available for Saturday." Sturrock said the game he went to last night had several players who would be available to loan if needed for Saturday. "That option can be left until Friday and be done over the phone but it will only be if we are really short or someone excites me who is available to move out of their club. I won't take someone just for cover unless it's a real emergency."
Paul Sturrock may be forced to bring in a loan player to offset a possible injury crisis ahead of the game with Tranmere. Sturrock said: "The real worry is if Steve Adams and David Friio don't make it'll be a midfield that nobody has ever seen before. So yes, a loan signing is a possibility. We might be forced down that road by Thursday to bring somebody in. But I'm a great believer in that any boys I do bring in on loan I have the possibility of signing. That's my worry about the loan system at this minute in time, but beggars can't be choosers and we might be forced down the road of playing somebody that we've got absolutely no chance of signing. Again after Saturday, we'll have most of our midfield players back again. So, do we take a loan, for the sake of a loan and finish up playing him for one game? Or do you, obviously, give a head to your squad? The only player who fits the bill at the moment is Marcus Martin, but he's been off for two weeks with a viral problem." Sturrock is unable to bring back Brian McGlinchey from Torquay United: "There's only a recall after a month," he said. "Once he enters the second month, then there is a 24-hour recall." Sturrock also said that he was no closer to signing a goalkeeper on loan to replace Romain Larrieu. "No movement either on goalkeepers - it's the same scenario, the same problems."
Reserve team coach Stuart Gibson said he was pleased with the display at Torquay yesterday. "The team played very well and put out a good performance," he said. "I thought we were always well in control of things and the game was competitive without ever being dirty. Our endeavours have had more than a bit of substance to them. However, I still don't think we created enough chances given all the possession we enjoyed. But to keep another clean sheet is very pleasing and Kangalungu along with Matt Villis, was steady at the back. Stewart Yetton led the line well and is gaining his just rewards for working hard at his game. Aljofree and Hodges had a decent game. They knew the gaffer had given them a chance to impress. Hasney took a nasty whack on the foot, but otherwise came through the match unscathed. Buster had a quiet match by his standards, but did some good stuff in the first half. Ian Stonebridge also looked quite lively in midfield. Overall, I was satisfied with the display and the outcome."
Martin Phillips continued his comeback from injury on Monday afternoon, when Argyle played a friendly at Torquay United. Phillips lined up in a four-man midfield that also included fellow first-teamers Lee Hodges, Hasney Aljofree and Ian Stonebridge. Nathan Lowndes missed the game due to a groin problem. Argyle won 2-0 thanks to a penalty from Aljofree and a headed goal from Stewart Yetton. Argyle: Schofield, Connolly, Villis, Kangulungu, Sawyer, Phillips, Hodges, Aljofree, Stonebridge, Trudgian, Yetton. Subs - O'Sullivan, Watkins, Entwisle
Paul Sturrock has decided against signing goalkeeper Stephane Gillet following his trial last week. Gillet, a free agent after being released by Paris St Germain, was prepared to sign a one-month contract but, under FIFA's regulations, that would prevent him from playing anywhere other than England for the next 12 months. Sturrock said: "I'm not prepared to commit a player to a month's contract, knowing that he could be stuck in this country with no work for 11 months. It's maybe a bit strange for a manager to say that. I could be very selfish and benefit Argyle but I do feel I'm not that type. I wouldn't want to have that sitting on us, that somebody is unemployed when we maybe find out that he's not good enough for us. Plus, you have got Romain coming back again and you clutter yourself up with too many goalkeepers."
Paul Sturrock could face a selection crisis for the game with Tranmere Rovers. "We've got a big problem next weekend," he said. "Stevie Adams' foot is about twice it's normal size at the moment, with all the bruising. The doctor will look at it on Tuesday and we'll make a decision on what the next step is. He is a doubt for Saturday. Jason Bent and Tony Capaldi are away on international duty, so the pack will be shuffled. We're very hopeful David Friio will come back on Saturday, because we are definitely missing his influence with his possession of the ball in midfield. He was never at the races to be ready for Wycombe. He has upped his training but is still not close to being involved with the rest of the players"
Argyle have reduced their concessionary prices for the LDV Vans tie against Bristol City. Students and OAP's will now be charged £7 if they do not buy their tickets in advance, while admission for children and the disabled is £3. Both prices are £2 cheaper than originally publicised. Prices are lower if tickets are bought before the ticket office closes on Monday: £10 for adults, £5 for students or oaps, £2 for the disabled; and £1 for children - although each adult will be allowed to bring in one child free
Following yesterdays game Paul Sturrock said: "The point was as much as we could have expected with that performance. Wycombe played well and stuck to their gameplan but I'm disappointed that this was all we could muster. The general play wasn't good enough and I wasn't satisfied with the way our players used the ball. Too many of our players were below the standards we expect. We will have to get back onto the training ground this week before we meet Tranmere. We've also lost Steve Adams to injury and Jason Bent and Tony Capaldi will be on international duty so that will create problems, but hopefully Friio will be back and we are missing his influence at the moment. We need that bite in midfield."
Graham Coughlan almost missed yesterdays match because of tendonitis, Matt Villis travelling with the squad as extra defensive cover in case Coughlan was sidelined. Paul Sturrock said: "Graham had a slight tendonitis in the knee that we were worried about. We took a chance on him and he has come through the game very well - he was close to not making the game. He's very stiff now but should be OK for Saturday. We had to cover ourselves as far as that was concerned so that's why Matt Villis came up with us."
Argyle draw 0-0 at Wycombe. Argyle: McCormick, Worrell, Wotton, Coughlan, Gilbert, Norris, Bent, Adams, Capaldi, Keith, Evans. Subs - Hodges, Stonebridge (not used - Sturrock, O'Sullivan, Aljofree). Attendance - 5,708. The usual excellent coverage will soon be on Greens On Screen
Argyle's under 19's lose 4-0 at home to Bournemouth. Youth tables and results will be updated here
Argyle are cutting admission prices for the LDV Vans Trophy match against Bristol City on October 14. Ticket prices before the day of the game are £10 for adults, £5 for senior citizens and students and only £1 for under-16s and as a special offer, every paying adult will get a free child's ticket. On the night, the prices will increase to £12 for adults, £9 for senior citizens and students and £5 for under-16s
Torquay United may try to extend the loan of Brian McGlinchey for a second month. His initial one-month loan ends next weekend and Leroy Rosenior is expected to want to renew it. However, a permanent move is unlikely because United are already up to budget. Paul Sturrock has again insisted that McGlinchey could still have a part to play in his future plans but he also hinted he would be ready to let him stay on loan for a second month. He said: "Brian has played four very competent games for Torquay so it will benefit him and us. I have got to hear what Brian has to say about the situation and what Torquay have to say before I make any decision. The good thing about Brian going for a second month would be there is a call-back system, but that is still all to be weighed up. I have not written him out of my thoughts."
Argyle could play Torquay in a behind-closed-doors reserve team friendly at Plainmoor on Monday afternoon, but the game has not been confirmed
Scott Laird scored from a free-kick as Scotland beat Wales 2-1 in last nights Victory Shield international
David Friio is set to miss his fourth successive match tomorrow because of his calf injury although Martin Phillips will be among the substitutes at Wycombe after David Beresfords move yesterday. Phillips has played three reserve games after recovering from a long-term groin injury. "The problem with Buster is that he's still having reactions in that area but it's getting better very slowly," said Paul Sturrock. "The specialists have said that he's to push on now and if he can play for 60, 70, 80 minutes for the reserves, as he has done, I don't think him being on the bench should be a problem."
Argyle defender Scott Laird is in the Scotland under-16 squad for their Victory Shield game against Wales at Merthyr Tydfil tonight. Laird's father, Craig, who is coach of Argyle's under-15 team, was born in Glasgow. Argyle director of youth Stuart Gibson said: "Hopefully, what Scott has learned with us at our centre of excellence will stand him in good stead tonight."
The goalkeeper who has trained with Argyle for the last two days has left Home Park without signing a contract with the club. Paul Sturrock is still refusing to identify the keeper, while he makes a decision on whether to offer him a deal. However, Sturrock admitted FIFA's transfer window regulations meant he was unlikely to be signed. "The player has gone back for international duty with his country," he said. "There is a problem with moving from one country to another, which his agent and I are trying to sort out, but it doesn't look good. He trained with us on Wednesday and Thursday and he looked a very competent goalkeeper, but I think the rulings will hamper any decision making on him, long or short term."
Argyle's home reserve game against Bristol Rovers next Wednesday has been postponed. It will now take place on Tuesday, December 16, with a 7pm kick-off
Graham Coughlan will make his 100th league appearance for Argyle tomorrow and Paul Sturrock said "He has been a stalwart in the defence and has done very well. His general fitness has also been very good. To get to 100 league games in the time he has been here is excellent. There have been wee spells, like any footballer has, where I think Graham would be the first to admit that he hasn't played to the standards he would expect, but there have been very few blips. He's a good pro and plays the game properly. He makes sure he puts presence on people but he's not a rash tackler. He has still got a lot to work on, like everybody at the football club, but he's very keen to learn, so I think there is more to come from him. We have had some good signings here, but he has been very consistent in his performances and has got to be one of the best."
Argyle have not reached a decision about signing the un-named trialist goalkeeper who has been at Home Park this week. He is a free agent, having been released by a French club in the summer, and can join an English club outside the transfer windows, but other cross- border transfer regulations are proving a hindrance. The player has now left Britain to join his international squad
David Beresford has joined Macclesfield Town on a month’s loan. Argyle manager Paul Sturrock said: “I sat down with Bezzie and we had a good chat, and we both decided that he would benefit from a fresh start. Sometimes in football, things don’t work out as you hope, and it’s time to draw a line under them. It’ll do Bezzie good to get himself playing first-team football and put himself in the shop-window.”
Argyle won 1-0 at Clyst Rovers last night. Martin Phillips and new loan signing Eugene Kangulungu featured in the match and both players performed well, coach Stuart Gibson said. Phillips played for 55 minutes before being substituted, while Kangulungu, who suffered a thigh injury last week, played the whole match. Argyle now play Ilfracombe Town in the next round of the Devon St Luke's College Challenge Bowl. Argyle: Schofield, O'Sullivan, Villis, Kangulungu, Sawyer, Phillips, Entwisle, Steward, Guppy, Lowndes, Watkins. Subs - Yetton (not used - Chapman, Parish, Nute, Hoyles)
Paul Sturrock mounted a vigorous defence of Peter Gilbert after the young full-back was abused by a section of fans. “I was totally disgruntled with a section of the fanbase on the reaction to Gilbert coming off the pitch,” he said. “It’s something I have never experienced in my life before, with any football club I’ve been in. There was a cheer when he was substituted, which I think is absolutely disgraceful. I think it’s a scandal that fans should give a reaction like that to one of our players. It’s a minority, obviously, but, to have a reaction like that does not help the team. All the players hear it and might feel there is going to be a reaction every time somebody has a bad game – you can’t tolerate that. Whether they believe it’s the right substitution or not, they should give their appreciation to the player – whether he’s good, bad or indifferent. I think people have a set idea of this laddie, because of what club he has come from, that his standards should be above what he is – he’s a 20-year-old laddie, at the same development level as Paul Connolly, and should be treated that way. Yes, he was involved in the goal, but he will learn from that; yes, he had a bad five minutes which, through his naivety and nervousness, affected him. But I believe, potentially, he is going to be a very exciting player and, now that we’ve got him for a whole year, we will be able to mould him much, much better. He never looked out of sorts defensively, apart from his slip-up with the goal. Two minutes later, an identical situation arose and he dealt with it, so he has a learning span. He’s receptive to situations and responded to his mistake and made sure he rectified it. I can remember the boy Connolly, in the same situation, costing us a goal against Brighton, playing for the next hour tentatively and nervously, because he is a young laddie, and getting standing ovation coming off the pitch. I’m not castigating the whole fanbase, don’t get me wrong. It might be frustrations, but I would like to think they would be more supportive than that.”
Argyle will play away to Clyst Rovers in the first round of the Devon St Luke's College Challenge Bowl tonight (7.30pm). Martin Phillips will continue his comeback from long-term injury and Eugene Kangulungu will also be in the starting line-up
Argyle are giving a trial to an international goalkeeper. Paul Sturrock has given no details about the unnamed player, who has been based in France and is now a free agent. “As normal, I’m making no comment about him until we decide what we are going to do with him. He’s in training with the players, and obviously he’ll train tomorrow morning. No decision will be made until I’ve seen him train.”
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