A Round-up of Argyle News
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Karl Duguid felt hard done by to lose yesterday, despite the nine men of Argyle facing Oldham’s 11 for nearly an hour. Bondz N'Gala and Kari Arnason were both sent off in the first half, and Duguid said: "We're disappointed we haven't won the game. We are gutted we lost. There is no more we could have done today to try to win the game. We went down to nine men and hit them on the attack in the right way and at the right time. We picked and chose our time to attack and Oldham were getting a bit nervy because they could have gone 3-1 down. If we'd hit that third, you would have seen a few of their fans go home because they were getting the hump. I don't think Oldham knew which way to attack us. They didn't know whether to get down the sides or play angled balls, and they didn't do one or the other. That was good for us. I felt we dealt with everything so well. It was just a shame there was four minutes of injury-time." Despite the defeat, Duguid believes the team can take heart from their effort. He said: "It just shows our togetherness and what a great spirit we've got amongst the lads and, throughout the season, that's going to count massively. I don't think our fans can go away thinking 'That's a disgrace'. I think they'll be happy with the attitude and effort the lads put in."
Karl Duguid refused to condemn Bondz N'Gala and Kari Arnsaon after their red cards in the defeat at Oldham. Peter Reid laid the blame for the defeat at the feet of the pair, but Duguid said: "You don't feel that, as players. You just get on with the game. At the end of the day, they are your team-mates. People make mistakes in a game. It happens. It's a squad game. You're all pals. You've got to get on with it. It's disappointing, but Arnie's been great for us this season, Bondz has been great, so I'm not going to make anything of it. They are good friends and good players for the team. We've tried to help them and get a result for them because they got sent off, but it wasn't to be. I'll be honest, I thought the first one was a penalty, he pulled him, but I think Reda was back. It's one of those where does the referee give the penalty and book Bondz and that's it? The second one, I was behind Arnie so I didn't know if put an arm up, but I saw the lad get up and he had a bloody nose."
Argyle lost 4-2 at Oldham Athletic, the goals scored by Craig Noone after 7 minutes and Bradley Wright-Phillips (48). Argyle: Button, Duguid, N’Gala, Johnson, Bhasera, Noone, Arnason, Clifford, Bolasie, Wright-Phillips, Fallon. Subs - Patterson, Nelson (not used – Larrieu, Molyneux, Parrett, Mason, Stephens). Attendance - 4,080.
Argyle's dressing room has been a happy place this week, according to Kari Arnason. He said: "Notts County was without a doubt our worst game of the season, so things have picked up since then. We were a little bit down after that game, but it was a decent performance against Huddersfield even though, with Rory up top, we tend to play more long balls. Still, it was effective, and we created chances." With Fallon's help, Bradley Wright-Phillips scored twice against Huddersfield to take his tally this term to seven goals in eight games. "Bradley is doing very well," Arnason added, "and so is Noone. With those two playing as they are, the rest of the team will follow. It suits Bradley to play with Rory, as well." After playing in central defence against Notts County, Arnason reverted to central midfield last weekend. He said: "I was happy to be back in midfield. I felt last season that I was going to be a defender for the rest of my career here, but, after getting a taste of playing in midfield again, it is more fun. I hope the gaffer will use me in midfield for the rest of the season. I think it benefits the team. I can bring physical attributes to the team, and I try to pass the ball as well. I think I have been doing all right." The absence of injured Carl Fletcher last weekend meant that Arnason had debutant Conor Clifford alongside him and he was impressed by the Irish teenager. "He has a bright future, and there's a reason why he plays for Chelsea," he said. "He did well, and I thought we had a good combination." Arnason now wants to help Argyle push themselves into the top half of League One. "I've always thought we should be near the top of the table, and we're only four points off the play-offs," he said. "I'm not going to make a judgement on what's going to happen, but there's still hope. I think we have a good enough team to be up there."
David Button has spoken of his surprise at being recalled for the game against Huddersfield Town last Saturday, after six weeks out because of an ankle ligament injury. He said: "It was a bit of a surprise that I started against Huddersfield, to be honest. But, obviously, I was pleased the manager had the confidence in me after being out for six weeks to put me straight back in. I have got to thank him for that. It was a great performance by the team, capped off with a good three points." Button was injured when falling heavily on his ankle during the draw at Colchester United on September 11th. He said: "I tried to carry on playing and, initially, I was hoping it wasn't going to be too bad, but after the swelling and the bruising came up I knew it was quite serious. I got told I would be out for four weeks, but the first scan showed the ligament was more damaged than had been thought. I was then told I would be out for six to eight weeks. So I was quite pleased to be back training in five weeks, and playing so soon after that. It's not ideal missing games, but I'm just glad to be back now." Button carried out his rehabilitation at Spurs, and said: "That's the way it works with loan players because, long-term, the physios need to know what injuries you have had. They did a good job rehabbing me, and I came back to Plymouth for the odd-few days to show my face and see the players. I watched all of the home games while I was out." Button trained without any hitches at Tottenham last week and, as a result, returned to Plymouth in time for the game. He said: "The manager told me on Friday he was thinking about starting me and to get myself prepared. But I wasn't totally sure until I came in on Saturday." Both of Argyle's goals against Huddersfield came when long clearances from Button were flicked on by Rory Fallon for Bradley Wright-Phillips to finish off. Button was modest about his assists, however. He said: "I had a little hand in the goals but, obviously, Rory Fallon is very good in the air and Bradley Wright-Phillips can't stop scoring at the minute. He's a great finisher, I have known that from my first day at training. It's good he's now in the team and getting a little run together. He's a quality player, especially at League One level, and, hopefully, he's going to score loads of goals for us." Button made a crucial late save as Argyle held on to beat Huddersfield. He added: "Thankfully, I didn't have too much to do in the game because we defended quite well. But, in the last minute, I needed to be on my toes and pull off a save."
Peter Reid has argued a lack of consistency, not a lack of talent, has stopped Argyle from being more successful this season. He said: "This league is a very difficult one to fathom out. We are three points off relegation and four points off the play-offs. It's ridiculous after 13 games, but that is the nature of the league. On a given day, anybody can beat anybody else." Argyle have not won successive games since last December, so the game against Oldham presents them with a chance to end that sequence. Reid said: "That's a stat I was aware of, and I think therein lies the problem." Rory Fallon could have an important part to play for Argyle now he has recovered from a hernia, according to Reid. He said: "I know some people will say Rory Fallon hasn't got this and he hasn't got that, but I firmly believe he can be a very effective player for us at this level. Wright-Phillips is scoring goals, we have got two good young centre-backs, as well as Bhasera at left-back." Wingers Yannick Bolasie and Craig Noone have also featured prominently in recent times. Reid added: "Bolasie scored a fantastic goal against Charlton the other week, and Noone has been outstanding for us. And we haven't seen the best of Parrett yet. So we have got that quality in the squad. It's just getting it out of them consistently." Oldham are unbeaten at Boundary Park in the league this season and Reid said: "I know they have had a decent start. Boundary Park is a difficult place to go to, but I tend to concentrate on what my side are going to do. We can go there and be positive and play well." Reid is hoping for a much-improved display from the last away game, a 2-0 defeat at Notts County. "Seven or eight of my players didn't turn up in our last away game," he said. "It's that word consistency, again. Hopefully, we can string a couple of decent performances together."
Argyle are set to be without injured Carl Fletcher for their next two games. He has definitely been ruled out of the trip to Oldham Athletic tomorrow and Peter Reid is not optimistic about Fletcher playing in the home game against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday. "It's a really bad haematoma and he's nowhere near it, to be perfectly honest," said Reid. "I wouldn't bet on him playing next Tuesday either." Argyle put in one of their better performances of the season against Huddersfield, but Reid would not commit to starting with the same team for the game with Oldham. He said: "I wouldn't say it's a simple team selection. Obviously, I was pleased with getting the three points against a good side, and you are always loath to change a winning team. But I haven't still got in my mind, 100 per cent, which way I'm going to go. It will be basically the same side. If anything, there might be one change."
Onismor Bhasera has shown a willingness to play where his manager needs him, featuring regularly in left-midfield recently, but a return to left-back for last weekend's win over Huddersfield saw Bhasera at his most comfortable and he is likely to stay there for Saturday's trip to Oldham. This will be a concern for Lee Molyneux, whose Argyle career has gone off the boil after a strong start and has his contract up for renewal in January. "Predominantly, Bhasera is a left-back who has done a job for us up-top," said Peter Reid. "Lee started really well and he's got to get back to that level because he dipped, and that's why he's out of the team. It is a crucial couple of months for him."
Peter Reid has targeted a strengthening programme after watching the Argyle youth team exit the FA Youth Cup after losing 3-1 to Southampton. Reid felt the youngsters were slightly out muscled in the game, and said: "They were a very good side, particularly going forward. Rickard did well for us and Nelson did ok. Physically, they were stronger than us and it's something we need to look at. You can be beaten by teams with strength, so we need to have a look at strengthening."
The Argyle youth team lost 3-1 to Southampton in the FA Youth Cup at Home Park last night, the goal scored by Matt Rickard. Kevin Hodges said: "Going into a game like this you want to give yourself a chance and it was disappointing that we gave away two soft goals. We didn't react as positively as I would have hoped. The first one has gone down the side of us too easily and then the second one was another silly goal so early in the game. The positive thing was the way the players responded and after the goals we dominated the first-half, and thoroughly deserved the goal that came before half-time from Matt Rickard. Matt played superbly well and he deserved that because he was working extremely hard, and it was a good goal. I told them at half-time that we deserved to be back in the game and whilst it was 2-1, I felt we had a chance to go on and get the equaliser. It was a shame to concede the third and it wasn't a good goal to concede from a defensive point of view, and that is where we have room for improvement. That is what youth football is all about. The challenge is to learn from the mistakes and try to improve. We gave everything and there were some good passages of play. On another day, if the ball had bounced for us at certain times and in certain areas, we may have scored a couple more but you do have to defend better, and that was my message to the players. We had a go toward the end and tried to force our way back into the game. It was a learning curve for the boys and they know they gave a good account of themselves." Argyle: Varazinskis, Stephens, Sawyer, Richards, Pearce, Nelson, Harper-Penman, Young, Clifford, Baker, Rickard. Subs – Copp, Hart (not used -Ord, Berry, Coombes).
Peter Reid knows just what it means to the Argyle youngsters who will play in the FA Youth Cup tie against Southampton tonight. He said: "I can remember my first game at Burnden Park for the youth team at Bolton and it was absolutely fantastic. You know what I think about the youths. You look at the bench on Saturday against Huddersfield and, with great respect, take Romain out and it's a fairly young one. I dare bet there hasn't been many younger benches than that. I'm a great believer in them and Hodgy will be taking all his lot and preparing them for the game. I think that's important. It's a great opportunity, a big stadium, lovely pitch, and I bet you they're all looking forward to it. I'm certainly looking forward to watching them so I'm sure they're looking forward to playing."
Peter Reid expects Bondz N'Gala to be fit for Argyle's visit to Oldham Athletic on Saturday. N'Gala was substituted near the end of the victory over Huddersfield because of an ankle injury. Reid would not be drawn however, on whether Carl Fletcher would recover from a dead leg in time for the trip. He said: "I don't know. Let's wait and see." Jim Paterson and Luke Summerfield remain sidelined. Reid added: "They are still with the physio and not in full training, but improving all the time." Reid admits the physical demands of League 1 football are catching up with his players. He said: "The games come thick and fast in this league so it's about managing the fitness. The lads who are carrying knocks, like Rory Fallon, with his groin, Wright-Phillips with his knee, will be taking it easy. Nooney's been carrying a few knocks."
Peter Reid has outlined what areas of his game Anton Peterlin must improve on. Peterlin started four of Argyle's first six games, and played as a substitute in another, but has not been involved since then. Reid said: "He's a strong boy, and he will get stronger, but he needs to quicken up around his feet and stand up to the physical side of it." Reid thought Peterlin had been suited to the style of football during the pre-season tour to the Netherlands. "Hey, don't get me wrong, I think it's great going abroad because it gets your fitness levels up, in terms of your cardiovascular work, but it's a different type of football," he said. "Reda Johnson has played in France and they play in front of you all the time. They don't knock it down the sides early, so he's learning all the time, and Anton has got to do the same."
Argyle under-18s face Southampton in the FA Youth Cup first round at Home Park tonight with Kevin Hodges the acting youth team coach. He took on the role after Adam Sadler stepped up to coaching duties with the senior squad, and Hodges said: "It's very special for me. Nelson and Stephens have broken into the first team recently, and I have had little bits of involvement with them along the way, but not too much. But it gives me a lot of satisfaction to see young players being given the opportunity because that's how I started, and players before me. People like Gary Megson started here, broke into the first team and went on to have really good careers at the highest level. So for any young player to be given that opportunity at this club, I just look at it as a really positive thing. And, let's face it, the two boys who have been given their opportunities recently haven't wasted them." In addition to his long playing service for the club, Hodges managed Argyle from June 1998 to October 2000. He said: "I'm not sure they know that much detail about me, but I think they are aware of the fact I have had a long association with the club, and how I feel about the club. I keep stressing to them they couldn't be at the club at a better time. Peter Reid seems to be giving young players an opportunity if he feels he can rely upon them. That's what they, as young players, have to aspire to. They have to do well enough and prove to the manager they have got what is required to play in the first team. I think the two boys who have been given that opportunity have done themselves a lot of good." Nelson and Stephens are both now training regularly with the senior squad, but Reid was keen for them to be involved in the Youth Cup game. Hodges said: "I have to say I was a little surprised they were going to be made available to us. It's a good education for them, the fact they have had experience of the first team and are training with them on a regular basis, although they do have the odd session with me from time to time. Now they are stepping down to play at their own level, but it's a good game to be involved in. It's on the main pitch and it's against some very good opposition, so it's going to be challenging for them, and all the team."
Conor Clifford hopes his loan spell at Argyle will be extended beyond the initial one-month period and wants to repay Peter Reid for giving him the opportunity. He said: "Realistically, I'm not going to play for Chelsea so I need to push on my career by getting some games in proper men's football. I would love to stay here, but it's up to Plymouth and my performances on the pitch. We will see what happens. After winning the Youth Cup last season, my goal was to get out on loan as quick as I could. But I wasn't really expecting it to be this quick. I thought it would have been after Christmas, so this is a bonus for me. I'm grateful to Peter Reid for giving me the chance." Clifford has played regularly for the Republic of Ireland under-21s after making his debut for them in October 2009. Their last game in Turkey saw Clifford replaced by Joe Mason in the closing stages of the match. "I know Joe well from playing with him in the Irish team and he's a good lad," he said. Reid thought Clifford played an important part in what was only Argyle’s second home win this season. He said: "He was at Chelsea on Thursday and found out on Friday he was coming down here. I think his performance was very good in terms of shutting the ball down. He was our leader in there. And, in the other side of it, he showed a lot of composure when he had the ball. There were a couple of times where he held it and let us get up the pitch through good passing. Having said that, I think Arnie was strong in certain areas. He gave protection to the centre-backs more than anything. He got in front of Alan Lee, who is a good player at this level, so he did his part. But, I have got to say, I thought the young man had a decent day." Argyle also have Dean Parrett on a season-long loan, and Reid believes he has yet to perform to his full potential. He said: "Dean has still got a lot to offer. I don't think we have seen the best of him. Maybe another lad coming in who he has played against and he knows could help him."
Peter Reid is ready to continue playing two wingers in Yannick Bolasie and Craig Noone and insisted he would not be afraid to play both in away games, starting against Oldham Athletic this weekend. He said: "Both of them have got strengths going forward, obviously, but they have also shown they can defend. I played with wingers at Manchester City and Sunderland, and they are not going to win tackles for you. All I want is for them to do their job, by making it difficult and getting people to pass the ball square or back. I'm not asking them to go and win tackles. I'm asking them to play to their strengths. And I would not be afraid to play them away from home. The one thing I would say about both of them is they need to learn to manage the game." Reid pointed to two examples from the closing minutes of the game against Huddersfield. "Yala, instead of playing a nice little ball, gave it away and they were at us," he said. "And then, in the last minute, Nooney cuts inside trying to get another goal when he should have gone over to the corner flag. These things are how you win football matches."
Peter Reid is excited about the prospect of Argyle's FA Cup first round tie against Swindon Town next month. Argyle won 3-2 at Swindon on September 28th, after a last-gasp goal from Bradley Wright-Phillips. Reid said: "That was an exceptional game at their place in the league. Swindon have got an excellent manager in Danny Wilson and an excellent team. I think it all adds up to a tremendous game. All you can ask is for a home draw – mind you, that's after us winning one at home! If you get home draws in cup competitions, I will take them all day long. It's up to us to go out there and perform. It's as simple as that."
Curtis Nelson and Jack Stephens will be in the Argyle squad for the FA Youth Cup first round tie against Southampton at Home Park tomorrow. Nelson and Stephens trained with the rest of the under-18s' squad yesterday, under the supervision of former Argyle manager Kevin Hodges, who is now the acting youth team coach. Reid said: "It's a great opportunity for all of the young lads. It's a big stadium with a lovely pitch and I bet you they are looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to watching them." The reserves' home game against Forest Green today has been postponed because of the FA Youth Cup tie.
Peter Reid is demanding that Bradley Wright-Phillips does not let his standards slip. Reid said: "He's a threat, and I think he has got a bit of confidence about him now. I was moaning about not getting goals earlier in the season, and now we have got a lad who is sticking them in. But it's important he keeps on doing it, and keeps on working hard. There will be times when he goes a couple of games without a goal. That's understandable. But it's important he keeps working hard, and we need to get goals from elsewhere as well."
The return of David Button from injury may have been a positive for Peter Reid, but with Romain Larrieu back among the substitutes, Reid is wary of his ‘keeper wanting first-team football. Reid said: "I'd prefer to have two 'keepers. I think it's important to have two quality ones. It's important you manage players. At Romain's time of life, I can understand if he comes into me, and if there was an opportunity and somebody was interested, I'd have to go out and get another one."
Conor Clifford put in a fine performance on his debut for Argyle, despite only arriving in Plymouth late on Friday afternoon. He only met the squad for the first time shortly before kick-off, the one exception being Craig Noone, who had collected him from Plymouth railway station on Friday. Clifford admitted it had been a whirlwind experience for him, but an enjoyable one. He said: "Craig Noone picked me up from the train station and I stayed with him last night. So, basically, I went into the dressing room, put on the kit and went out and played. I didn't know anyone's name, but the lads were good to me. They looked after me on the pitch and helped me through it. It was strange sitting down in the dressing room, with no-one knowing who you are. It did feel a bit awkward that I was starting, and other lads who had been training all week weren't. But I'm here to play football and it was brilliant Peter Reid threw me in. I wasn't expecting that at all, but he showed great faith in me. He told me to relax, to go out there and express myself, and not to be nervous." Reid made his move for Clifford after seeing him in action for Chelsea reserves when they won 5-4 at West Bromwich Albion last week. Clifford said: "I played well in that game and I got a call from Frank Arnesen that night. He told me Peter Reid had been in contact with him, and it happened really quickly from there." Clifford thought Argyle were good value for their victory over Huddersfield. He said: "It's very different to what I'm used to. Back at Chelsea there is a lot of tippy-tappy, nice football, but this is proper men's football. I thought the lads dug in and we all worked well for each other. It's a brilliant result." Clifford was impressed with Bradley Wright-Phillips, who scored both of his goals after the ball was flicked on by Rory Fallon. "They were great finishes," said Clifford. "Every time Brad got a chance it looked like he was going to score." Having broken into the team so soon, Clifford is now determined to try and stay in it. He said: "I'm still learning the game, and it's all good experience for me playing in front of big crowds and with these lads. I just want to keep myself in the team and keep playing well for Plymouth." David Button and Dean Parrett are both on season-long loans from Tottenham Hotspur, and Clifford added: "Not a lot of managers would take the risk with young players, but Peter Reid seems to really have trust in us. I know Dean really well from playing against him up at Tottenham. He helped me a lot as well."
A possible future involvement in Argyle for former Leeds United and Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale has been ruled out. Ridsdale was a guest of the board of directors for the win against Huddersfield Town on Saturday but Keith Todd denied Ridsdale would be coming on board. He said: "He is down in the West Country on holiday and asked if he could come along to the game. There is nothing more to it than that."
Peter Reid heaped praise on Rory Fallon after Argyle's victory over Huddersfield and thought he was unfortunate not to score. Fallon headed home a cross from Craig Noone in the 54th minute, but referee Mick Russell disallowed the goal, deciding that Fallon had pushed Huddersfield centre-back Antony Kay. Reid said: "It's difficult to single out people because they all played well, but I thought Fallon, who isn't everybody's cup of tea in the stadium, was fantastic. I don't criticise referees, but I disagree with his decision on the goal. It was a fantastic leap and a fantastic goal, and I thought he was really unlucky to get that one chalked off." Reid was asked why he thought Fallon was not 'everybody's cup of tea'. He replied: "I think some big lads, like Crouch, look a bit ungainly every now and then because of their stature. People should go on their strengths, more than on their supposed weaknesses." Meanwhile, there was a return to first team action for Karl Duguid, who took over the right-back role from Marcel Seip. Reid said: "I thought he could have got a little bit tighter a little bit earlier because Carey was a threat, but, all in all, he did smashing." Right-back has been a problem position for Argyle for some time, and they signed Stephane Zubar as a free agent at the end of August as a possible solution, but the French defender has still to receive international clearance to play for the club. His former club, Vaslui in Romania, are claiming Zubar is not a free agent, and FIFA have yet to resolve the issue. Reid has become increasingly frustrated about the delay, while Zubar has continued training with Argyle without any immediate prospect of playing games. "He's still here," said Reid. "I feel sorry for the boy and I don't know what FIFA are doing."
Argyle have been drawn to play Swindon Town at Home Park in the first round of the FA Cup. The match will be played on the weekend of November 6th and 7th.
After almost two months out following a hernia operation, Rory Fallon dominated the aerial battle yesterday to provide both goals for Bradley Wright-Phillips in the win over Huddersfield Town. "Big man and little man is tried and tested," he said. "We have a good relationship and BWP did a lot of running for me today, and I'm thankful for that. The groin feels very stiff but I got through it, and it's all about getting that match-fitness. It would have been nice to score as well but it wasn't to be. I think everybody in the stadium disagreed with the referee. There was only person who didn't think it was a goal and that was the most important person. I even thought the one in first-half was a goal as well. The way we played today was unbelievable. We were all at it and everyone was snapping at people's ankles. We are a hardworking team and that's the way we want to play when people come to our ground. The mentality of every game has to be helping each other and we'll be up there."
Conor Clifford had to have his new team-mates' names written down for him before he made his debut in the win over Huddersfield. Peter Reid made the decision to start Clifford after speaking to him on Friday. "It was a bit of a brave decision," said Reid, "It was just his enthusiasm. I spoke to the boy yesterday and I said 'Do you want to play?' He said 'I'd love to', so I thought 'Right, I'm sticking you in.' I've seen him a couple of times on the TV and I saw him play at West Brom reserves on Wednesday afternoon for Chelsea and he played like he did out there - plenty of energy, composure on. We wrote the names up on the board for him. I think he ran out of steam, which is understandable, he got a whack, but I think he can be pleased with that debut." Conor has a near namesake in the Argyle youth team, Connor Clifford, which caused confusion when he was signed on Friday. Reid said: "I rang my secretary on Friday, telling her the basis of the deal. She started laughing. She thought I was taking the Mick because we've got a young lad called the same in the juniors, which I didn't know about. I wondered 'Why is she laughing?' and I rang her up again. I said 'why are you laughing?' She said 'You're taking the Mick'. I said: 'No, he's from Chelsea'."
Peter Reid was full of praise for David Button after his return from injury yesterday. Reid managed to convince Harry Redknapp to part with his ‘keeper, who has been nursing an ankle injury back in North London. Reid said: "It was a phone call to Harry Redknapp when he had a bottle of red wine in him and I persuaded him on the Friday to let Button come down. He just said the medical people wanted him to have another week and then we had a chat for two minutes and he left it with 'yeah, I'll get him over here', so I’m delighted for Harry, who's done us a favour. Top man." Reid rates Button highly, and didn't hesitate over putting him back into the team. He said: "Dave got down here last night about nine o'clock. Romain's done brilliant while the kid's been injured, but I felt it was necessary to put him in if there was a chance. He's made a great save at the end. He's a young boy, he's learning the game and I thought he was very good today. I think he's got a chance, the kid."
Argyle beat Huddersfield Town 2-1 at Home Park, the goals scored by Bradley Wright-Phillips after 16 and 66 minutes. Argyle: Button, Duguid, N’Gala, Johnson, Bhasera, Noone, Arnason, Clifford, Bolasie, Wright-Phillips, Fallon. Subs - Patterson, Nelson (not used – Larrieu, Molyneux, Parrett, Mason, Stephens). Attendance - 7,048.
Even if Carl Fletcher is passed fit for today's home game against Huddersfield Town, Kari Arnason may also be picked to start in midfield. Last Saturday, at Notts County, Arnason was moved back into defence and things did not go to plan. Argyle were vulnerable in both midfield and in defence throughout the 2-0 defeat. Peter Reid said: "You go with your gut feeling, and it didn't work out. Arnie and Fletch had been solid in there, and we gave it away and got caught in the middle of the park last weekend. But you win games as a team and you lose them as a team, and conceding a goal from a corner wasn't the midfield's fault." If Fletcher fails to recover it is likely that Arnason will play alongside either Anton Peterlin, Chris Clark, Dean Parrett or newcomer Conor Clifford. Peter Reid was pleased to announce that Reda Johnson is now fit for selection. "Reda trained on Thursday and looked smashing, so that's a big bonus," he said. Reid has options up front, with Rory Fallon and Rory Patterson available, although neither made a pressing case for inclusion when they took part in Tuesday's reserve-team defeat at Torquay United. Fallon is working his way back to full fitness after a hernia operation, and Patterson did not do himself total justice at Torquay. Reid added: "The reports weren't the greatest, to tell you the truth, but he trained well on Thursday," Reid was dismayed with his teams display last weekend and, when he was asked how his squad had responded to his words of admonishment, he replied: "It's always difficult. You don't find out how they've responded until match-day. They can look great on the training pitch, but the acid test will be how they react against a good Huddersfield side. We'll find out soon enough, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm quietly confident we'll go out there and give a good performance."
Argyle today signed young Chelsea midfielder Conor Clifford on loan until November 19th. Peter Reid was delighted to sign the player, and said: "I've had him watched and he can see a pass, and he was very enthusiastic to come and play here. The Chelsea management team of Carlo Ancelotti and Ray Wilkins have helped greatly and I'm delighted to have him here. I will decide whether he starts tomorrow but he has a good chance."
Rory Fallon is set to continue his rehabilitation from a hernia operation and take part in the game with Huddersfield Town. Peter Reid said: "Obviously he's been building up his strength and fitness. He had a spell on the pitch with New Zealand and against Notts County last weekend, and he got another 45 minutes under his belt against Torquay on Tuesday, so hopefully, he's fit and raring to go. He is available and he'll be a part of it. If he starts or not I don't know, but he'll be involved."
After months in the job as Argyle manager Peter Reid has already experienced the full range of emotions. When asked his biggest frustration so far, Reid replied: "It's the silly goals we've conceded, individual mistakes and goals from dead-ball situations because that's where we work hardest on the training pitch. Most goals, as the stats will show, have come from them and when you do concede from them it's disappointing. I've got to say the players do work extremely hard. It's just silly mistakes and when you talk about home form, it's just trying to relax them and get them confident in their home form. Swindon and Sheffield Wednesday are two of the strongest teams in the league, and we give good performances. The Sheff Wed game with ten men, the fans were brilliant, they galvanised the players and that was a great performance. Consistent players in consistent sides are good sides, and at the moment we're not consistent, and we need to get that into our play."
Carl Fletcher is rated extremely doubtful for tomorrow's game with Huddersfield Town at Home Park. Fletcher suffered a haematoma during last Saturday's defeat at Notts County and Peter Reid said: "It's a blow for us, no doubt about it. The injury happened during the game and Carl could hardly feel his leg last Saturday. In the same evening, his right leg, the injury is in the area around the knee and thigh area, was swollen. The haematoma is still swollen even now. So, if I was a betting man, I'd bet against him making it tomorrow." Reid said he expected Kari Arnason to resume his role in midfield in the absence of Fletcher. He added: "We have options because Arnason can go back in there and I've got the likes of Clark, Nelson, Peterlin and Dean Parrett too." Reid has received some better news in that David Button has returned to full-time training with Spurs. He said: "David is still up at Tottenham, but he's in full training and we're expecting him back next week. I'm going to speak to Harry this morning or later this afternoon."
Peter Reid admitted he has a 'couple of irons in the fire' following his scouting trip in the north of England. He was cagey on the identity of targets but admitted the positions he wanted to strengthen were hardly a secret. "Yes, I've been scouting. You'll not get any names out of me, but I don't think it's rocket science what I'm looking for," said Reid, who indicated a forward was on his wish-list. "Yes, that's right, but we're also conceding too many goals as well. So, it's one or two positions I'm looking for and it was also good to get out and see a few games as well. When you're at Plymouth, it's difficult in some ways to get away and they were interesting games I watched, to say the least."
Rory Fallon believes a renewed sense of self-belief and spirit can help end Argyle's recent lean spell. Fallon also admitted it is doubly frustrating watching the team struggle while he is sidelined. He said: "It is early in the season yet, but you can't keep losing. There are winning habits and then there are losing habits and we seem to have picked up the latter one. We need to break that habit and try and get on a run. But we'll only be able to do that if we pull together as a team, no-one can hide and we've got to accept we win or lose as a team." Fallon said the spirit within the camp was good. "I think there's a frustration among the players, because the lads know we're good enough to be on top of this league," he said. "It's just trying to get the happy medium of everybody pulling together. But it's not happening at the moment. Right now, one week we'll do well, like winning up at Swindon and then the next we struggle at home to Hartlepool. Hopefully, we can turn that corner, because we have more than enough quality, but it does need to happen soon." Fallon feels he is a 'way-off' achieving full fitness and is not liking it one bit. "It's been difficult re-adjusting. Now I'm just trying to get my fitness back now," he added. "My hernia felt okay when I came on against Notts County last Saturday. It didn't react too badly at all. But I had a hard session training on Monday and it felt a bit sore on Tuesday after the reserves match. I'm nowhere near 100 per cent fit, so I need to get more fitness work done and hopefully, it'll come right. It's early days in terms of my recovery, but it was quite good to be out there in midweek. But it's not great when you're trying to play and not fully fit. It's frustrating, because you know what you're capable of, but you can't do it. It's more frustrating as I want to get fit in a day, if you like, and pull my weight help the team out. But all I can do really is play 20 minutes or so, because I'm just nowhere near 90 minutes."
Paul Mariner has labelled the home game with Huddersfield Town as absolutely 'massive'. He said: "It's going to be a big game, massive, as Huddersfield are going well and are a strong unit. So, we need a result." With Peter Reid on a scouting mission up north, Mariner was in charge of the reserves yesterday, a match which provided a run-out for Rory Fallon. However, he erred on the side of caution when it came to predicting if Fallon would be fit to play against Huddersfield. "We'll probably have to wait and see what he is like tomorrow," said Mariner. "But at this moment in time, he's unlikely to play against Huddersfield. As for Joe Mason, in the first half in particular, I thought he impressed. The beauty about Joe is that we played him in three different positions overall and he showed that he's certainly got a lot of quality." Mariner is expecting Reid back tomorrow following the scouting missions which included a return to Goodison Park last weekend. "Peter was at the Liverpool derby on Sunday and the Blackburn game on Monday night and he'll have been at a reserve game last night, too," said Mariner. "We've got to act with due diligence but we've also got to be on top of everything, if and when something was able to happen."
Argyle reserves lost 3-2 to Torquay United at Plainmoor yesterday, the goals scored by Sam Sawyer and Ryan Leonard. Paul Mariner said: "It was disappointing to lose but this game was all about development and fitness. Although we had a few pros out there, they were all at different levels of fitness and Torquay were packed with experienced professionals. Just playing out on a field in competition is much better than just training, so in that sense it was meaningful. And it was planned to bring off Rory Fallon at half-time, after I'd spoken to manager Peter Reid and the medical team. His hernia was a bit sore, so we didn't want to give him any more time than that." Argyle: Chenoweth, Leonard, Stephens Nelson, Richards, Mason, Peterlin, Young, Baker, Patterson, Fallon. Subs – Sawyer, Clifford, Rickard (not used - Ord, Harper-Penman).
Yannick Bolasie is backing Argyle to pull away from the relegation zone, and cannot wait to help the team do it. "We've got so much quality in the squad it's only a matter of time before we starting putting some results together," he said. "It's so frustrating both to watch and to play, because I honestly believe we're not that far off. What we've not been able to do is get the two wins on the bounce that would see our league position improve. It's been kind of stop-start with us drawing instead of getting the three points from the games we should have easily won. So, I believe it's that bit of confidence and luck that is lacking at the moment. Once we do get that back, I believe we'll be up the end of the table along with Huddersfield, Sheffield Wednesday and Carlisle. Personally, I can't wait to get stuck into the campaign, if it's been frustrating for the lads at their lack of consistency this season, it has also been so for me. At the moment, I don't think I'd be able to do myself and the team justice if I started. But, if the gaffer asked me to start on Saturday then, I'd work my socks off in order to be able to do my best. But I honestly believe we're not that far away from there being a time when we are able to compete at the right end of this league."
Peter Reid admitted Argyle were second best all over the pitch as they lost at Notts County on Saturday. Reid could only come up with two positives to take from the match, Curtis Nelson making his league debut Argyle as a 53rd minute substitute, and Rory Fallon returning to action after a hernia operation. Reid said: "It's what we deserved because we were very, very poor all over the pitch. The drug-testing people were here and at half-time I asked them to do all 11 of the players. It was that bad. All over the park we didn't win any second balls, we didn't win any tackles and we didn't pass the ball. We got beaten by a side who wanted it more than us, which disappoints me greatly. I don't like getting beaten, but you can take it if your team goes out there and works for you and has a go. I don't think we did, and that really disappoints me." County took the lead in the 35th minute when Argyle failed to clear a corner and then doubled their advantage six minutes after half-time with a goal from John Spicer. He raced past centre-back Kari Arnason before sliding the ball past the onrushing Romain Larrieu. Reid said: "I thought they were very poor goals from our point of view, but it was typical of the performance. It was a bad afternoon." Arnason played at centre-back, instead of midfield, because Reda Johnson was ruled out by a knee injury. Reid opted to put Arnason there, rather than move Marcel Seip from right-back. "Arnason played at centre-half against Southampton when we won there, and with Reda Johnson not being fit I needed someone to go in there," said Reid. Chris Clark took over from Arnason in midfield but was ineffective and was substituted early in the second half. "I put Parrett in the hole, hoping he would get on the ball, but it didn't work," said Reid. "But it's not about formations. It's about 11 players competing against 11 others and we got outcompeted. It's as simple as that. When your team goes out there and are second best all over the park it really disappoints me. I pride myself on getting them ready for games, and it looked as though I hadn't coached the team the way they played." Parrett made his first league start for Argyle since the draw at Colchester United on September 11th. He had a chance to put Argyle level at the start of the second half when latching onto a pass from Wright-Phillips, but, instead of shooting, he tried to square the ball to Onismor Bhasera and it was cleared it for a corner. Reid said: "I thought he should have hit it. It was 1-0 then. He decided to pick someone out, but when you are through in the inside-right position take a chance and hit the target. It was the wrong decision."
Argyle are just outside the relegation zone after 12 games and, although it is still early days, Peter Reid is not playing down the situation. "You have got to be realistic - we're in a battle," he said. "We need to get points. When you are bottom of the league, it's always hard. We need to get some points on the board, and quickly." Reid is still hoping to add to his squad before next month's closure of the loan transfer window, although that is not top of his agenda. He said: "I'd like to try and get some more players; I've made no secret of that - I think that's a possibility - but these players should be good enough to win games. It's my job to get a better performance out of them and I'll be concentrating on that. If I can bring anybody in, I'll be working on that, as well." He promised that the visit of Huddersfield to Home Park next weekend will see an improved display from his team. "I can guarantee we will be better than today. That's a guarantee, because today' performance wasn't acceptable. It's what we deserved because we were very, very poor all over the pitch. We didn't win any second balls, we didn't win any tackles and we didn't pass the ball and we got beat by a side who wanted it more than us. We got out-competed today, it's as simple as that and that disappoints me."
Argyle lost 2-0 at Notts County. Argyle: Larrieu, N’Gala, Arnason, Seip, Bhasera, Clark, Fletcher, Noone, Molyneux, Parrett, Wright-Phillips. Subs - Fallon, Bolasie, Nelson (not used – Chenoweth, Duguid, MacLean, Mason, Stephens). Attendance - 6,333.
Malcolm Allison, who twice served as manager of Argyle, died yesterday aged 83.
Liam Head has joined Forest Green Rovers in a one-month loan deal. Head had been on trial with the Blue Square Premier League side and impressed in a reserve team game against Swansea on Monday
Argyle schoolboy Danny Barrow played as a substitute for Wales against England in their 4-0 Victory Shield win last night. Barrow, who is 15 on November 16th, has made four appearances at under-17 level, and five for the under-16's.
Argyle will be able to move forward financially when the majority of the playing squad are out of contract next summer, according to Keith Todd. He said: "Some of the cost anomalies which we have got in terms of the budget, not all of them, but the vast majority, will be behind us then and we can move forward. Peter has demonstrated in the time I have worked with him to be very shrewd and very clear about where pay structure should be. As we well know, just because somebody historically earned a lot of money, it doesn't mean to say they are going to be a great player. So, from a business point of view, our cost base issues get resolved at the end of the season. Whether we get promoted or not, we are in a much better financial position going into next season. So get through this season and we will be in a more normal situation going forward. And it will give Peter greater flexibility to be able to bring in people." Todd has been hugely impressed with the way Peter Reid has slotted into his role at Home Park. "We are so lucky to have Peter Reid," said Todd. "He brings experience, clarity of thought and discipline. I'm absolutely confident he will sort it out."
Keith Todd has admitted he is keen for Argyle to develop a 'strong partnership' with UCP Marjon, where the squad trained daily throughout pre-season. They have since resumed using Harper's Park and Todd said: "There's a very high probability we are going to do the pre-season again at Marjon next year. I know Peter likes it, and it worked extremely well. The challenge during the year is the number and quality of the pitches and the drainage, so we have got a bit of work to do with them. But we have got a great relationship with Marjon and there will definitely be, in my opinion, a strong partnership between us going forward. Whether it's full-time or not, it's not clear. Long term, we do need to address the issue of where the training facilities are. Our intention here, as part of the masterplan, is that Harper's Park would be handed back to the community. A 3G or artificial surface would be put on part of it so we can get more usage on that facility. But we don't have to do that for next summer. We have just got to get a rational right answer for it." Other possible sites for a new training ground have been looked into, but Todd said: "They all have different challenges. It was quite windy at one of the ones in Cornwall, which makes football training a little bit tricky. I think Marjon is a great asset to the city, and to this football club, with the sports science capability they have got there and the facilities."
Craig Noone is expected to overcome a knee injury and play against Notts County tomorrow. However, Reda Johnson is a doubt for the trip after he pulled out of training yesterday. Peter Reid said: "Noone had a whack on his knee last Saturday but he stayed on for us. He showed a bit of grit and determination, which is typical of the boy. I think he has been our most consistent player recently – that is with the ball and without it. We know he's excellent at going past people and getting in crosses and shots. But I think, in general, his all-round play has been great. He's working hard for the team and he's in a real good vein of form." Noone has started the last seven matches for Argyle, either on the left or right of midfield. Before that, however, he had been in and out of the team as he struggled to impress Reid. "I think he has worked on his game and has got some confidence in himself," said Reid. "We had a couple of little chats – discussions, arguments, whatever – but he's a boy who is full of character. He's good to have around the place because he's so chirpy." Johnson had returned to training yesterday but Reid said: "He had to pull out, so I'm not sure whether that's going to be right. Seip has played there and he can play at right-back as well, so I have a few permutations. I know what Karl can do and he's a real good pro. It might be time to rest Stephens but he looked lively yesterday. He did get a bit exposed at right-back but I wouldn't be afraid to push him further up. He's had a busy time, mentally and physically." Onismor Bhasera, Rory Fallon and Rory Patterson are all set to be available after returning from international duty, but only Bhasera was back in time to take part in training yesterday.
Yasuaki Kagami has not injected any funds into the club for 15 months, Keith Todd has revealed in an interview published today. When asked whether Kagami had come up with any cash for Argyle this season, Todd said: "They have been extremely good in making some introductions to some of their wider relationships." When pressed further on the issue of funding, he added: "Certainly since I have been involved we have not seen any." Todd made it clear the board were open to investment from other sources. "We have always said we don't want to be dependent on one mega-millionaire," he said. "My personal opinion is that's the wrong answer. You are better, to use a trading term, to spread bet and to have access to a number of investors." Todd believes ambitious plans for the redevelopment of Home Park as part of Plymouth's bid to be a host city for the World Cup, and a wider commercial and leisure blueprint for Central Park, will tempt further investors. He said: "It's very easy to be an armchair critic from the outside as to what people should do with their money. I would welcome any of those who have been very vocal to come and join us if they have got something practical and constructive to add to the financing of the club going forward." When asked why Argyle had faced two winding-up petitions from HMRC this year, Todd said: "It's no secret we got relegated and lost the best part of £3 million of income from TV rights. We have also got a squad size that is very large, and has been for some time. And, as I have commented before, one thing about the football business is it's a fixed-cost base and a variable income stream. So that puts lots of pressures onto the financial position of any club. It certainly has been challenging for us, and it doesn't help particularly that we haven't had a great start to the season. As a result of which, there have been additional pressures. But over the last 15 months since we have been involved, we have had to go through a lot of challenges and we have addressed them. We have continuously done that. We have put in place a range of different funding over the last 15 months, and we are working on further funding now. Administration is the furthest thing from my thoughts. I do not believe that is the right way to go. Some have said that other clubs have used it as an escape door. I disagree with the process. The reality is that in any business – moving away from football – if you get into a situation where you have to take action, then it has to be taken. But this board and the shareholders are committed to finding the appropriate funding to deliver a successful football club, as well as the vision for Home Park." When questioned as to how committed Yasuaki Kagami and George Synan are to the club, Todd replied: "I actually speak to George multiple times every day, but I have less voice contact with Kagami-san whose English is not as good. I believe they are committed to the club, but there are certainly some things we would have liked to have seen. We would have liked to have seen some more proactive participation in some of the recent funding rounds. I understand everybody has some issues but in no way, so far, has it inhibited us from being able to obtain the funding we need. I don't know where you journalists get some of your information from, but there were some reports in January about a £1m funding that was coming from Kagami-san. That didn't happen."
Rory Fallon has an outside chance of being involved at Notts County on Saturday. Peter Reid ruled out the possibility of the striker starting at Meadow Lane but could have a place on the bench. "Rory Fallon is due back today," said Reid. "I will have a chat with him and see how he feels after the journey, and if everything's ok, I'll put him in the squad. It would be a bit too much to ask to start, with the travelling and coming back from an operation. I would be delighted with just having him on the bench. Bhasera's trained and Rory Patterson is due in today. Patterson had a bit of difficulty getting out of Belfast and I'll have a chat with him as well."
Peter Reid is looking for Steve MacLean to continue working hard on improving his fitness. "He did alright against Charlton but I would like him to have more strikes on goal," said Reid. "I can remember a dead-ball where he pulled off the defender, and possibly should have scored, but he did hit the target. His hold-up play was ok and he could get a bit fitter, but that's because he hasn't had games. He has given me everything he's got but there is still room for improvement."
Yannick Bolasie is enjoying his chance to make an impact as a substitute while he continues to recover from injury. Despite his goal against Charlton, he does not expect to start against Notts County on Saturday. "I'm still in the process of recovering from injury, so being used as an impact player off the bench is probably the best for me," he said. "I've been out since the start of the season, so it is just a case of continuing to build up my match fitness in the reserves and off the bench until I am back up to 100 per cent. I'm not sure how far away I am from being at 100%, but I'd probably say around two or three weeks away and a few more games under my belt. Obviously getting the goal against Charlton gave me a confidence boost and I am hoping to help the side as much as I can when called upon."
Peter Reid gave Dean Parrett the chance to state his case for a recall this week, but is not prepared to promise that he will be part of his team at Notts County on Saturday. Parrett was played in-between the midfield and striker Joe Mason during the reserve’s win over Exeter City and did his best to influence the contest with his passing. There was room for improvement, however, according to Reid. He said: "I think he's a forward player, I think he broke really well on a couple of occasions, he linked up well with Mason once or twice, but I just thought the final ball was not there. I thought he was a bit unlucky with a couple of offside decisions." Reid does not seem totally satisfied with the jobs done by any of the players he has asked to play alongside, or in behind, Bradley Wright-Phillips in recent matches. When he was asked if Parrett had become a contender for that role, he replied: "Everyone comes into contention. I'm still looking for my best XI, if truth be known."
Argyle reserves beat Exeter City 2-0 at Home Park yesterday, the goals scored by Joe Mason and Yannick Bolasie. French midfielder Benjamin Laurant had been set to play for Argyle but was injured in the warm-up before kick-off, and Peter Reid said: "Apparently, he's hurt his thigh muscle, so I won't be pursuing that one. If he's not fit, he's no good to me. I thought the senior professionals out there did all right, so it was a useful exercise, but fitness-wise I thought the young lads struggled. I thought it was a good performance, but you can't play football unless you're fit. I've just told the young lads that they need to get their fitness levels up." Argyle: Chenoweth, Duguid, Timar, Nelson, Richards, Leonard, Clark, Peterlin, Bolasie, Parrett, Mason. Subs – Clifford, Young, Rickard (not used - Varazinskis).
Rory Patterson was an unused substitute as Northern Ireland drew 1-1 away to the Faroe Islands yesterday.
Reda Johnson could be fit for Argyle's trip to Notts County on Saturday. At first it was feared the centre-back had suffered a serious knee injury, but Peter Reid said: "From what I have been told by the medical staff he might have a chance for Saturday. He's walking about alright. I'm hoping to get him on the training pitch on Thursday, so he's still got another day's rehab. I was in the gym with him today and he looked ok."
Out-of-contract French midfielder Benjamin Laurant is set to play for Argyle reserves against Exeter City at Home Park today. Laurant has previously played for Le Havre, as well as having a loan spell with Amiens in the 2008/09 season, when one of his team-mates was Reda Johnson. Reid has selected a strong side for the game, including Karl Duguid, Krisztian Timar, Chris Clark and Joe Mason.
Argyle have been drawn against Southampton in the first round of this season's FA Youth Cup. The match will take place at Home Park before November 6th.
Peter Reid hopes to be able to call on Rory Fallon for the game at Notts County on Saturday. Fallon made his first international appearance since the World Cup as a 79th minute substitute in the 2-0 home defeat by Paraguay today, his first taste of action since a hernia operation last month. Reid said: "The proviso of him going out there was to keep his rehab work up and the bonus would've been him getting 15-20 minutes, so that's smashing. Hopefully we'll see him later on in the week and he can come with us at the weekend - that's what we planned. We're in touch with the New Zealand FA and we got a favourable report back from their physio, so it looks like he'll be able to join us.
Argyle drew 2-2 with Charlton Athletic on Saturday despite twice taking the lead and Peter Reid was disappointed Yannick Bolasie's spectacular goal did not end up securing the points. He said: "It was a great goal. I would love to be saying it was a great goal to win a football match. That's what people pay their money for, to see goals like that, but I'm not too sure about the other three from a defensive point of view." Argyle opened the scoring in only the fourth minute, when Bradley Wright-Phillips was on target. Reid said: "I thought we started well. We got the lead early and their 'keeper made a couple of really good saves. Steve MacLean also missed a chance, but it was going okay. They hadn't really bothered us until a big punt down the middle off the 'keeper and it was very, very poor defending. When you analyse goals you can always say what went wrong. But a big boot down the middle and the ball bouncing in our box and then ending up in the goal is Dog and Duck football. You can't afford to do that. We work on defending things like that, but we let ourselves down." Reid admitted Charlton had been the better side in the second half. "I thought the 'keeper made a couple of good saves for us," he said. "We defended desperately at times, and changed the formation once or twice. We got a great goal and I thought 'can we see it out?' but we weren't good enough. To be fair to them, they went for it. Big Doherty was at the back stick and headed it across, and the lad Benson stuck it in the net. It was a game where I thought we were the better side in the first half, and they were the better side in the second half." Wright-Phillips put Argyle 1-0 up after a long throw from Kari Arnason. Reid said: "He stuck it in well and he looks a threat. But it's always difficult if you don't get a second goal when you are on top, and we didn't get it. You can't afford to concede like we did and it was an uphill battle after that. I keep saying the same things, but we work on defensive situations and trying to be tight. It's a lack of concentration which is costing us at the moment. The players have worked hard, but we have just got to cut out the silly mistakes." Former Argyle loanee Lee Martin was a half-time substitute for Charlton, and played on the right-side of midfield, with Kyel Reid on the left. That led to Bolasie being sent on as a 66th minute substitute for Argyle. Reid said: "Martin and Reid got at us, and that's why I decided to go with two wingers. I thought 'we might as well have a go', and it was fairly end to end stuff. They certainly turned the game. There were too many crosses coming into our box. All credit to Charlton, they put us under a lot of pressure. It's another point on the board, but when you get a goal like that with eight minutes to go, you want your side to see it through. We didn't see it through."
Rory Fallon was an unused substitute for New Zealand as they drew 1-1 at home to Honduras in their friendly in Auckland. Onismor Bhasera, meanwhile, played the full 90 minutes as Zimbabwe drew 0-0 against the Cape Verde Islands on Sunday.
Peter Reid is excited about the prospect of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie with Exeter City. There is a possibility the tie could be chosen for live TV coverage by Sky Sports, so, until a decision is taken on that Argyle will not announce a date for the fixture. Reid said: "I think it's a fantastic draw for the area. It's a derby game and it should be a lively evening. I'm looking forward to it, but there are a few more games before that one."
Peter Reid is hopeful the injury sustained by Reda Johnson against Charlton will not be as serious as first feared. Johnson was stretchered off, but Reid said: "When somebody comes off on a stretcher, you always fear the worst, but we'll have to get it diagnosed tomorrow or Monday. I think he's just rocked his knee. We don't think it's as bad as someone coming off on a stretcher suggests, because you're always really concerned about that."
Although the result was probably fair, Romain Larrieu felt Argyle could have beaten Charlton with a fine first-half performance yesterday. He said: "We did really well in the first-half and to walk in 1-1 was ever so disappointing because the equaliser came from nothing. It should have been cleared early doors and then I get caught in no-man's-land because I was expecting it to be cleared." The visitors came out hard after the break and Larrieu admitted it was a surprise when Yala Bolasie restored the lead. "What a goal - there is no way the goalie could have saved that," said Larrieu, "and he had a few shots on Tuesday night against Cheltenham, as well. He finds himself this kind of distance from goal and he needs to have a go, and he's not the only one - Dean Parrett can have a go as well from there because he has an unbelievable shot. I am so happy for Yala because he is only just coming back from injury and it's nice to have a little boost. He had another shot after that, which was blocked. He has been away for six to eight weeks, which is a long time, and I think it is the first time he has been injured. It is something you need to learn as a young player. He showed patience and, if he carries on listening to the gaffer, he has a lot more to give." Before Bolasie's goal, Argyle survived a bizarre Kari Arnason knee on to his own post and a sensational Larrieu save from an effort by former loanee Lee Martin. "Arnie doesn't even know what happened," said Larrieu. "He saw the ball and then it hit the post. It came at me after and I just flicked it straight to Arnie. I didn't know it was Martin at the time, but he told me at the end. He did everything right and I was happy to get a hand to it, especially when Yala scored, but it wasn't to be." The last-minute equaliser left Larrieu and his team-mates distraught, and it was poor defending again. "I need to see it again but it is a very good ball over the top," he said. "When he heads it back, I turned round and saw four red shirts. If the one who scored missed, there were another two behind him. It is sickening but what can you do? It is football and you could ask the same question to the Swindon manager last week."
Argyle’s youth team drew 2-2 with Cheltenham Town at Haye Road yesterday, the goals scored by Luke Young and Matt Rickard. Argyle: Varazinskis, Hart, Sawyer, Richards, Clifford, Young, Harper-Penman, Nelson, Rickard, Sims, Baker. Subs - Berry, Vassell, Copp. The under-18's are not now in action again until they meet Swindon Town at Millbay Park on November 6. They had been expected to be involved in a second round Youth Alliance Cup tie on October 30th, but it has transpired that their defeat by Torquay United in their final first round group match was more costly than originally thought. In the southern section of the competition the clubs are divided into six groups, four of which contains five clubs, and two with six clubs. The top three clubs in each group go through to round two, plus the fourth-placed team in the six-club groups with the best record. In the event, the defeat by the Gulls meant that Argyle missed out.
Argyle drew 2-2 with Charlton Athletic at Home Park, the goals scored by Bradley Wright-Phillips after 4 minutes and Yannick Bolasie (82). Argyle: Larrieu, N’Gala, Johnson.R, Arnason, Seip, Stephens, Fletcher, Noone, Molyneux, Wright-Phillips, MacLean. Subs - Parrett, Bolasie, Duguid (not used – Chenoweth, Clark, Peterlin, Mason). Attendance - 7,738.
Argyle have been drawn at home to Exeter City in the Southern Area quarter-final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. The game will take place in the week beginning November 8th.
Curtis Nelson has signed a professional contract that will last until the end of next season. Peter Reid said: "He's a good player and everyone knows what I like with players. He is a young player who has got a chance, and he has all the attributes to be a good footballer. It's important for the club to bring through young players. As much as possible, the youngsters train next to the first-team, so that I can have a look at them. The majority of the youngsters have trained with us once or twice this season. Curtis is a good footballer and his attitude is terrific. He's a good trainer and he just needs to keep improving, and having that desire to go all the way." Teenagers Jack Stephens, Joe Mason, Dean Parrett and Ollie Chenoweth have also all featured in the first team squad, and others may join them in the coming months. "There's one or two that I've got my eye on," added Reid.
Rory Patterson was an unused substitute for Northern Ireland in their 0-0 Euro 2012 qualifier draw with Italy last night.
The saga over Argyle's attempts to secure international clearance for Stephane Zubar has still not been resolved. He is continuing to train with the club in the meantime and is on a month-to-month contract while the wait for clearance drags on.
Carl Fletcher has prepared on his own for Argyle’s game with Charlton Athletic tomorrow because he has been on jury service. Peter Reid has no concerns about him not being up-to-speed for the game however. He said: “He’s an experienced player and knows how to look after his body. We have had a chat about it. He didn’t train with us yesterday, but he did something later on. Games keep you fit so it’s just a matter of him ticking over.” The Argyle squad trained on the Home Park pitch yesterday in the latest attempt by Reid to resolve their dismal home form. He said: “I feel as though I’m repeating myself but we were terrific away from home, even though it wasn’t in the league. It was still an excellent performance, where we created lots of chances and played good football. I’m just hoping we bring that to Home Park tomorrow. We trained at Home Park yesterday because I’m trying everything to get the players relaxed out there. We have got to play with consistency, and show our home fans what we are capable of. We decided to train on the pitch and had a good session. Hopefully, it will put us in good stead for a difficult game against Charlton. Charlton are eighth in League One after losing to Brentford last Saturday, but bounced back from that with a victory at MK Dons in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday. Reid said: “It was a terrific result for them, but I’m looking at it that if we play well I know we can give anyone a game. We have just got to get out there, express ourselves and not play with any apprehension. Like us, they have been inconsistent. But, with their resources, they will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.” Argyle have won only one of their six home games this season, and Reid wants them to start repaying the fans. He said: “I think the home fans have been great. They haven’t seen the best of us, we know that, and it’s up to us to give them something. If they get behind us tomorrow, like they have been doing, hopefully, we can get a home win.”
Peter Reid has insisted he is not being distracted by Argyle’s financial plight. The club faced a winding up petition from HMRC in London's High Court on Wednesday, but HMRC asked for it to be dismissed, a sign the outstanding tax bill has been paid. It was the second time in the past year they had issued a winding up petition against Argyle, with the same outcome the previous occasion. Reid said: "I tend to just get on with the football side. With respect, if you want to ask about the finances, ask the financial people. My job is to prepare the team and try to get results. Obviously, everyone knows the financial situation. I knew it before I came here. I just get on with it."
Argyle face Charlton Athletic tomorrow without Onismor Bhasera, Rory Fallon and Rory Patterson, who are all away on international duty. Also missing will be the injured trio of David Button, Jim Paterson and Luke Summerfield. Peter Reid said: "David will be at the game and hopefully he will be back in full training in a week's time."
Lee Molyneux has admitted he has learned a lot from fellow left-back Jim Paterson, but with Paterson now injured, aims to become a first team regular. He said: "Jim came in after I got sent-off against Colchester and he did well. He has been a fantastic mentor. He's always talking to me, whether he's in the team or not. That's the way he is. I like him. He has been great to me, and great for the team because he's a consistent player. It's always unfortunate to get your chance through an injury, but now Jim is out I have got to try to take it. I hope I'm in the team tomorrow, but that's the manager's decision. If I am, I will give it everything and try to put in a solid performance and help the team as much as I can." Molyneux was pleased with the way it went for him, and the team, against Cheltenham. He said: "I wanted to get a steady game in because I hadn't played 90 minutes for a while. It was good for my match fitness, and we also put in a good performance as a team. Everybody did their jobs." We were solid defensively and did well on the ball, so I was glad about that." The star of the show for Argyle against Cheltenham was undoubtedly Craig Noone. Molyneux added: "Nooney has got that in him. He's a fantastic player with fantastic ability, so I don't think the players were surprised by the quality of his goal. Like some of the other players, he was unfortunate not to start the season in the team. But he has worked hard and got in the team. He has definitely been one of our most consistent performers. And he's not only interested in attacking. He works so hard for the team. I want to play against him in training if he's not in my team because you can see what he does to other full-backs. When you train against the best, you are only going to improve." Argyle's first goal against Cheltenham was a superb dipping shot from Steve MacLean and Molyneux said: "It was a great finish by Macca. He has got that ability. You can see in training the quality he has, and he proved it with that goal." Molyneux watched from the bench when Argyle were beaten by Hartlepool but following the win against Cheltenham, hopes they can build on it against Charlton. He said: "We have to try to get some consistency into our game. I know it will be tough against Charlton, but if we can put in a solid performance, something like we did on Tuesday, then I'm sure we will do okay."
Steve MacLean is in line for a starting place alongside Bradley Wright-Phillips when Argyle face Charlton Athletic tomorrow, following his goal in the win over Cheltenham. Peter Reid said: "There were a few lads that came in and did well, and MacLean got a goal, so he's in the running to start on Saturday." In contrast, Dean Parrett may have more work to do if he is to break the combination of Carl Fletcher and Kari Arnason. "Parrett played well and there was a lot more energy in his play," said Reid. "He got on the ball and looked a good attacking midfield player, which is what he is. We are strong at the moment in midfield but he is a creative player, and whether he can play behind the front two is another option. When you're winning football matches, you stick with the same team. When you're not winning, that's when a manager looks to change."
Joe Mason is to embark on a strengthening programme as part of a bid to match an improved physique with his football ability. Peter Reid said: "We are trying to get him on a diet where we build him up because he does need it. He is a lovely footballer but he just hasn't got the strength at the moment, so we're giving him all the help with a strengthening programme. When he gets his strength, he is going to be a good player. He has got ability and when he gets that strength, which he will do, we'll have a player on our hands."
Peter Reid wants Argyle to build on their solid defensive display in the defeat of Cheltenham Town on Tuesday. He said: "You don't win football matches if you don't keep clean sheets. It's pleasing getting goals, and we got a couple of good ones, but it's also pleasing when you keep a clean sheet. Besides playing some good football, I thought we did look solid defensively." Steve MacLean put Argyle into the lead in the 10th minute, and Reid added: "I thought we started well, we took the game to them and passed it well. It was a great finish by MacLean. The ball bounced up and he has hit a dipping volley." Craig Noone made it 2-0 in the 46th minute and Reid said: "Nooney was terrific. He could have had four goals. He went at them and took people on. He was positive, which is what we want him to do. They were two really good goals from our point of view, so I was delighted. We had a lot of chances. I can remember the ball zipping across their box on numerous occasions. We had people in there, but they just couldn't get on the end of them. And I can remember the 'keeper making some really good saves against us, so it was a good performance." Carl Fletcher was substituted in the second half after taking a heavy blow on the foot but Reid is confident he will be fit for the at home game with Charlton Athletic on Saturday. "He got a whack, so we will just take it easy with him," said Reid. We will see how he is, but he should be okay for the weekend."
Peter Reid thought Argyle had produced one of their best displays of the season as they won 2-0 at Cheltenham Town last night. He said: "We were excellent and I don't think I'm being unfair when I say we could have won by more. We passed the ball well and created chances. We have done a good job and now we focus on the game against Charlton. We have shown the away supporters what we can do. We have got to show them at home now." Jack Stephens made his first start for Argyle and produced an excellent performance. He played on the right-side of midfield and was heavily involved. Reid said: "It was a great performance and there were a lot of positives. I thought the kid was fantastic. He was tremendous. He handled the football and looked confident from the first minute."
Steve MacLean produced an impressive celebration after scoring last night, which he dedicated to his young son. "My boy has started playing for a team and he does a mad celebration every week, so he said to me I've got to do one as well - that was for him," he said. "The wee man has been out-scoring me recently, so I need to get my act together. There is only one MacLean in our household that's scoring the goals this season, and that's him. I've got to catch up with him. We have a fair bit of banter and he's always saying that he scores more than me. Hopefully, I can catch up. The ball dropped and I saw the goalie off his line, so I tried to strike it over him and, luckily enough, it went in. It's good to get off the mark. I've not played that many this season but the most important thing is to get through to the next round. I was happy with the result and the performance. It gave boys like me the chance to prove ourselves and, hopefully, I caught the eye."
Argyle won 2-0 at Cheltenham in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, the goals scored by Steve MacLean after 10 minutes and Craig Noone (46). Argyle: Larrieu, Stephens, N’Gala, Seip, Johnson.R, Molyneux, Bolasie, Clark, Fletcher, Parrett, Noone, MacLean. Subs - Clark, Wright-Phillips (not used – Chenoweth, Duguid, Peterlin). Attendance - 1,597.
Peter Reid has given hope to Ryan Leonard, who is continuing his recovery from the knee injury he sustained in pre-season. Reid said: "He's a strong boy - he just needs to get games under his belt, but, if he does alright, I'm not scared of putting kids in. He's fit; he's trained this morning. Like anything else, if you're not playing football matches, it's difficult to get the eye of the manager, but he's just got a fresh start. He's got to play well in the reserves and then do well in training because I'm a person who looks at training, as well; if you do well in training, you've got a chance of getting in that squad."
The severity of Jim Paterson's hamstring injury will become clear once he has had it scanned, but Peter Reid said: "You are looking at least three weeks or a month, I should imagine. He fought his way into the side and has been outstanding. A hamstring injury in the last 10 minutes is a very rare occurrence. We have just got to try to get him fit as soon as we can, and we have got people who can go in that position." Lee Molyneux will get the chance to play at left-back tonight, and against Charlton Athletic at Home Park on Saturday. That is because Onismor Bhasera is away on international duty. Reid said: "Molyneux started the season really well, but I think he gives away too many fouls pushing and pulling people. We do that as a team, although Saturday was a lot better. If you can't get to balls, you have got to be disciplined and stay on your feet, and I think Lee needs to learn that." Reid admitted Molyneux only had himself to blame for his dismissal against Colchester. First, Molyneux kicked the ball away after conceding a foul and then, in the closing minutes, he tugged the shirt of an opposing player who was about to race clear of him. Reid added: "It was silly. He lost possession of the ball and pulled the lad back. He rightly got another yellow and was sent-off."
Kari Arnason will be given a breather from first-team action tonight, with Chris Clark or Dean Parrett likely to replace him as the partner to Carl Fletcher in the centre of midfield. Bradley Wright-Phillips has been struggling with a sore knee lately and will only be a substitute against Cheltenham. With Rory Patterson away on international duty, the front two is set to be Steve MacLean and Joe Mason. Peter Reid said: "A couple of the lads have knee problems, Arnason and Wright-Phillips, and we have been nursing them. Wright-Phillips will be on the bench, but I will rest Arnason. Fletcher will play. It's a chance for the players who come into the side to stake a claim for a place. I have used everybody and I have tried to have a look at everybody, and if you play well in the team you have got a chance of keeping your place, so it's a big game in terms of that for players." Reid has been studying a couple of recent match reports on Cheltenham, to find out their strengths and weaknesses, but said: "I tend to rely on what we are going to do. I certainly want us to pass the ball better."
Peter Reid was full of praise for the performance of Jack Stephens on Saturday and has confirmed a first start for the youngster tomorrow. He said: "We've got Reda Johnson back and Stephens will make his full first-team debut. I thought he was outstanding against Hartlepool. There weren't many plusses - that was the plus. I thought he handled it tremendously well; he looks like a really outstanding prospect. He's not fully developed, as we all know, but he looks like he's got the mentality to be a player. He's a good athlete, but the best thing I like about him is he handles a football, which is tremendous."
Carl Fletcher has got his wish and will start tomorrows Johnstone's Paint Trophy match at Cheltenham. Fletcher, who looked set to miss the game after being ordered to attend jury service this week, has now been told his presence at court will not be required until Wednesday at the earliest.. "Fletcher will play," confirmed Peter Reid.
Peter Reid is keen to move on following another disappointing home performance, and the Johnstone's Paint Trophy trip to Cheltenham provides the perfect chance to get back on the winning trail. He said: "It's a chance to get that out of our system by going to Cheltenham and getting a good result. I'm quite confident they'll put on a performance, as well. If you can win football matches, you're hoping you get confidence. It's disappointing, we need to bounce back and it's a great opportunity. You have a look at the opposition all the time - you have a look at the strengths and weaknesses - but I tend to try and rely on what we're going to do, and I want us to certainly pass the ball better and get more quality in our passing." Reid believes that the knock-out competition for is good value for clubs, players and fans alike. He added: "I think last year's final was a fantastic advert, in terms of the day out and the atmosphere, so who wouldn't want to get involved in anything like that? I think players would rather play football matches, than train. It's a game and there's nothing like a game."
Argyle suffered another home defeat when they lost to Hartlepool United on Saturday, and Peter Reid had no complaints about the result, admitting the better team had won. He said: "Mick had a good gameplan and it worked extremely well. The better team won the football match. We gave away the ball on numerous occasions. They worked hard and shut us down, but we gave it away even when we weren't under pressure. I thought we played ever so well at Rochdale and Swindon, but the team were unrecognisable, for whatever reason. You can't blame the crowd. They get anxious, like everybody else. Even though Hartlepool came with a gameplan, you have still got to pass the ball and not give it away too many times. People didn't take responsibility. I think I have mentioned it before that good sides are consistent. We aren't consistent so it doesn't make us a good side." Reid had been confident Argyle would follow up the victory over Swindon by beating Hartlepool. He said: "With Hartlepool's result in midweek, and ours, I was expecting better. I think they had a nine-hour journey down here, but it looked as though my team had had the nine-hour journey. We have looked after the players in training this week, but we were lacklustre and devoid of confidence. For some reason, they are just not performing at home. We have got to try to find an answer to it." Reid could only come up with one plus-point from the game, which was the performance of Jack Stephens in only his second senior appearance. Stephens was sent on as a 38th minute substitute for Krisztian Timar and Reid explained Timar had been taken off for 'tactical' reasons. He said: "Let's call it tactical. I'll be diplomatic. The right-back was our best player. At least he passed it, he competed and he's 16. I would say that's the only positive to come out of it, because I thought Hartlepool were the better side and deserved the victory." Hartlepool have conceded only one goal in their five away games this season and proved far too resilient for Argyle. Reid added: "I told the boys at half-time they were going to get men behind the ball and defend deep. So we needed to get hold of the ball and pass it, and we didn't do it. We looked short of confidence and short of ideas. I put wide men on to get the ball and run at them and try to get pace in the side. But we didn't pass it all and we didn't look sharp. It's very, very disappointing." Craig Noone had a poor game by his recent high standards and Yannick Bolasie, sent on as a half-time substitute for Joe Mason to play behind Bradley Wright-Phillips, was equally ineffective. Reid said: "We didn't get the ball to them and they didn't look for it good enough. There was no movement. From the side, I was trying to tell the players to calm down and pass the thing. There were two or three of ours at the back who were sending it long every time. If they have got men behind the ball, pass it to feet and try to get into areas. Too many times, passes went astray under no pressure and that's a disappointment."
Peter Reid remains at a loss to explain Argyle's continuing struggles at Home Park and believes they must show some 'mental strength' to improve their fortunes at home. He said: "There is no magic wand. You have got to keep working hard and be positive on the training ground. There are some talented players out there – they proved it against Swindon. They have shown it away from home but, for some reason, they go into their shell at Home Park. We have got to have the mental strength to overcome it, as simple as that. I think for two years they have struggled here if I'm not mistaken. When you get results like we did against Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon you would think that would breed confidence, but Hartlepool were a yard sharper than us and passed the ball better than us. We looked apprehensive, like I have said before. I'm being as honest as I can. The players are better than they showed there, so we have got to work on it." Jim Paterson suffering a hamstring injury against Hartlepool and pulled up in the closing stages of the game, but Argyle had already used their three permitted substitutes so he stayed on the pitch. Hartlepool's winning goal saw Leon McSweeney smash a 25-yard shot past Romain Larrieu and Reid admitted had Paterson been fully fit he could have closed down McSweeney and prevented him from scoring. "I was trying to get it changed before they scored," said Reid. "The ball has come out and I'm sure Jim would normally have shut it down earlier. But, I have got to say, the goal came from our throw-in, and that tells you we gave away the ball cheaply again." There are fears Paterson could have torn his hamstring, which would mean a lengthy lay-off.
The Argyle youth team lost 3-1 to Torquay United at Millbay Park on Saturday, the goal scored by Jed Harper-Penman. Despite the defeat the under-18s have qualified for the knock-out stages of the Football League Youth Alliance cup. Argyle: Ord, Hart, Sawyer, Berry, Pearce, Richards, Harper-Penman, Clifford, Rickard, Sims, Baker. Subs - Young, Copp (not used - Coombes, Vassell, Bradley).
Argyle lost 1-0 to Hartlepool at Home Park. Argyle: Larrieu, Seip, N'Gala, Timar, Paterson, Noone, Fletcher, Arnason, Bhasera, Mason, Wright-Phillips. Subs - Bolasie, Stephens, Parrett (not used - Chenoweth, Molyneux, MacLean, Patterson). Attendance - 7,333.
Jim Paterson is relishing his return to favour at Argyle. Whether at left-back or in midfield, Paterson is always keen to push forward, and is now playing in a team that suits him. "The manager has got us playing attacking football," he confirmed. "In the last couple of seasons, we've spent all week working on how we're going to defend. It was all so negative. The manager has come in, and it's all about attack." Reflecting on Swindon's fight-back on Tuesday, he said: "We got pegged back the other night. In the past, when we've lost a lead like that, you'd have expected us to crumble, but there's a strength of character here now. The manager wants us to go forward and win games." Today's objective will be to take that winning approach into the home game against Hartlepool. Confidence, Paterson is sure, will be high. "Confidence is flying," he confirmed. "We feel good. We've taken seven points from our last four games, but we're disappointed we haven't taken more than that."
Chris Clark and Karl Duguid have fallen out of favour over the past month, but Peter Reid he has not shut the door on them returning to the first team. Reid talked about the recent exclusion of Clark and Duguid ahead of Argyle's game against Hartlepool United at Home Park today. He praised their professionalism, despite finding themselves out of favour. He said: "Duguid and Clark are really good pros and they have trained fantastically well. I think Paterson, Seip and Wright-Phillips are examples to them. If you get a chance you have got to take it. It's there for everybody. I would like to think I have given everybody a chance, and by the team selection you can tell I have done that," added the Pilgrims' boss.
Romain Larrieu has admitted that he was not at his best during Tuesday's dramatic victory at Swindon. Asked whether he felt Larrieu could have done better at the County Ground, Peter Reid replied: "Yes, and I didn't need to tell him. He came in after the game, and he held his hands up. That's the type of man he is. He's a top professional. He made one save off Reda Johnson which kept us in front. He made a mistake, but he also make a couple of good saves to keep them out. It's a difficult position, goalkeeper. When they make mistakes, it's glaring." Meanwhile, David Button is not yet ready to resume after injury. "He's still at Tottenham, and he's coming back before the game on Saturday," Reid revealed. "It will be too soon for him this weekend, though."
Peter Reid is hoping for more of the same when Argyle play Hartlepool United at Home Park tomorrow. Reid said: "Goals change games, and we have been shipping them in as well. So if you aren't keeping clean sheets, you have got to score goals to win games. The entertainment value has been fantastic, but it's not ideal from the manager's point of view. I will need a bottle of whisky near the dug-out if we keep on going like this!" Consistency continues to be a problem and Reid knows that must improve. "The atmosphere is strikingly lively and the players trained really well yesterday," he said. "But now we have got to do it again. I think it's fair to say we have played well in those two away games. We created chances in both of them, which we have been looking to do since I started here. The players deserve all the credit because they have taken it on board. But now we have got to do it consistently, and it starts with Hartlepool at home tomorrow." Reid added: "I thought the performance against Brighton was better than the result. There were two little incidents we got caught on. Hopefully, we can cut them out and still create the chances, and go in there nice and positive and confident."
Reid is still trying to sign another striker on loan. He said: "I think you have always got to try to improve, and it's something I'm still looking at. I'm still looking at a couple of positions, and I think a striker would be one of them. I'm asking the players here to step up to the mark, but I'm still looking."
Kari Arnason has said moving into a midfield role has given him a new lease of life. "It's been a breath of fresh air being pushed up to midfield and it feels good," he said. "I started looking at myself as a defender but it is not as fun to play that position because most of the time you're just booting the ball away. In midfield you get more time getting the ball into feet and trying to play football so it is more fun, and I've been playing better ever since. You can get stuck in football when you're down in a hole and you need something to pull you out and that was it for me." The Iceland international added: "We've had a few good results and it feels like, now we've got a bit of momentum going, we might get up there in the play-offs at the end of the season."
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