A Round-up of Argyle News
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Derek Adams poured praise upon his two attacking midfielders as the game against Southend resulted in a 4-0 rout with Carey and Lameiras getting two goals apiece. Adams enthused: "I thought we started the game very well. We got ourselves in the lead with a well-taken goal. Good play in the centre of the park and then Taylor makes a great touch, and a fabulous finish from Lameiras. We just went on from there and grew in confidence, and went on to win convincingly. Both of them got two goals today, and Carey should've had a hat-trick. It's great that they're scoring goals, because they're very creative players, but there are other players in the team were there to provide the ammunition for them."
"Ryan Taylor led the line very well. He caused the two centre halves a lot of trouble, and I think they were glad to see him come off. It gave us the platform for us to go forward. I don't like my centre forwards to move much, and he certainly plays that role very well."
"Sonny Bradley did very well today. It hasn't been an easy time for them, but he played like he hadn't been away. That was really good for the whole squad. He has been key. Just unfortunately, we had to wait for the results until he could play, and we've done that. We work on it all the time. We work on one and two-touch play. We do three touches maximum in games, and that's because they're very comfortable on the ball. The more we do it, the more repetition that we work on, the better we become. I think that Southend's backroom staff said to us after the game that we played very well. It was an accomplished performance."
"Everybody was talking about Southend and what a terrific run they were on. But we knew they weren't, and we knew we would cause them trouble today. We spoke about that in the office. We knew we could get in the pockets, so to speak, and get ourselves in good areas where our technically gifted players could cause them problems. We knew that they would play in a 4-4-1-1 formation. Once Cox went higher up the pitch with Fortune, it left Fox space. When he won the ball, it became 3v2 in our favour in the middle of the park. When Carey and Lameiras then jump inside, it becomes very difficult for central midfielders after that."
"I enjoy watching it. I enjoy the fluidity through the match, the way that we move the ball from side to side, but there's a killer pass through the lines at times, which is really good. We get the creative players on the half-turn, and when you're on the half-turn against midfield players and defenders, you've got a problem. We don't play with two strikers; we play with overloads, and that's the only way you can do it. I think that Ness and Moses in midfield as well; they've got that creativity, they've got a bit of dig to win the second ball, and it allows them to go and play. It causes teams problems, because we create overloads all the time. We've got players who want to play on the big stage. Today, we had another fabulous crowd here to witness it."
"I put Joel Grant up front, and Taylor-Sinclair into midfield, Yann into midfield; it was just to do with the ones who needed a rest, It was hard to find out which ones we weren't going to give a rest. They all deserved it, and the ones who go on go and slot in. The penalty Grant won, he did really well to get in that position. He was unfortunate not to have got his shot off."
Graham Carey hailed the character of his team-mates as the Pilgrims bounced back from losing their eight-match unbeaten run with arguably their most convincing display of the season. The Irishman added: "We lost a bit last week with the result and the performance. We weren't happy with the way we played, the way we started the game. We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit with the way we started the game but we know that, when we start games brightly, it's hard to defend against. The performance was obviously bad but there wasn't that 'we're a bad team overnight' kind of thing. We had been on a hell of a run and it does take a lot out of you, physically and mentally, to come from where we have to get where we are now. You are going to have off-days. Luckily, today, we bounced back and put on a good performance for the fans. When we lost to Wigan, we bounced back with a win and we did that again. I think it just shows the character in the team. We felt this was a good game for us. With the system that Southend play, we felt that we could get a lot of room, me and Ruben coming in off the sides and doubling up. It's shown, over the last couple of seasons, especially last year with Jimmy Spencer, they don't always score 15-20 goals a season but the work they do for the team is selfless and they probably do not get enough credit for what they do. They create a lot of space, win a lot of balls, and it's up to us to get around them and get the second ball.".
Regarding his penalty miss (his 3rd in 5 games), Carey said: I've never scored a hat-trick so, when I was taking the penalty, I was thinking about that. Luckily, it didn't really matter, but I would have loved to have scored a hat-trick. I'll take the next one. I'm obviously disappointed with the miss but I back myself under a lot more pressure than I was today and I'll make sure I score. It's getting a little bit harder. We have had so many penalties this season that the 'keepers have done their research. It's a bit difficult – we never usually get this many penalties. I kind of caught it too cleanly and it took off of my boot a bit hotter than I thought it would be. I should be scoring them and I'll definitely score the next one."
Argyle produced a stunning performance and result on Good Friday with a fantastic 4-0 victory over Southend United. A goal each from Ruben Lameiras and Graham Carey (one in each half) was punctuated by a missed Graham Carey penalty that would have been his hat trick goal. Argyle climb back into the top six. Argyle: Matthews, Threlkeld, Vyner, Bradley, Sawyer, Fox(Songo'o), Makasi, Ness(Taylor-Sinclair), Carey, Lameiras, Taylor(Grant). Subs: Letheren, Paton, Sangster, Ainsworth.
Assistant-manager Craig Brewster is to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the current season. He has been at Home Park as part of manager Derek Adams' coaching staff since 2015. He is currently recuperating at home from a hip-replacement operation which he underwent in January, and will not return to the Home Park dug-out this season.
New director Cubbon is looking forward to using her new role to broaden the appeal of the club and to help people become more involved in sport. She said: "The opportunity to do those roles over the years showed me the disastrous impact that bad health has on you and your ability to do things that you want to do. I have seen the raw end of people who are unfit and what it can do to you. Knowing the importance of that reinforces the attraction to me about what the Argyle Board are trying to do in really getting the community to be an important part of the football club. The motivation for me joining the Board was to be able to help support the club in continuing to strive to get to a place where Plymouth Argyle is a really strong club within its community, as well as being a strong football club outside its immediate community. I have a passion about people getting involved directly and indirectly in sport. The benefits of sport are not always about taking part directly and much can be gained for individuals being involved in other ways. I do a lot of work with Plymouth Magistrates and I know there are huge opportunities to be gained by bringing the community and Plymouth Argyle together, enabling more people to be a part of sport"
"I'm a bit of a sport nut, whether it is football or rugby," she said. "I follow it all. That stems back to early childhood days, when I took part in lots of sport. I ran the 800m, mainly. When I first started running, at that time, girls couldn't run 1500m. As I got into my late teens, they suddenly allowed femalesto run the 1500m– perhaps they realised we were not too delicate! – so I did extend into the 1500m when I could. Since that time, I haven't been doing anything like that on a competitive level, but do still enjoy running."
"Running an organisation that supports strong values and behaviours, and exemplifies those values, is important – and hard. There are times when you are asked to make a decision which wouldn't support the values and you have to be strong enough as a Board to say: 'No'. Leadership of the values for any organisations must be led by the Board. That's the way you build up confidence and reputation, as well as belief. I know that from working at Taunton Hospital. I spent a long time working with staff, working out what our values are and what did they mean? That paid dividends because then you get people who are engaged and have a belief which makes the staff do all sorts of amazing things. However, when people doubt and aren't sure and don't have confidence in a business, then they won't go that extra mile and they won't do amazing things. Being a great football club is all about having amazing staff and fans."
Loanee goalkeeper Remi Matthews believes youngster Michael Cooper is one to watch out for in future years, based on his performances in training and youth games. Matthews said of Cooper: "In my opinion, I think he has got hell of a chance. Attitude wise, the way he trains, the way he is a person - he has got every attribute there. He has just got to keep his head down, keep working hard and, when he gets a chance, he has taken it. He's got to keep impressing the right people and he has a real chance, 100%. What helps is he has been around the likes of Luke and Kyle, and myself to an extent - more senior experienced 'keepers - and Reece, so he has been in that environment. At one stage, it was just me and him training, and that did him the world of good. He had more attention so he can work on it. I speak to him and he will speak to me and that's what you need as a goalkeeper. You need to give people advice from your experiences and go from there. I definitely will be keeping an eye out for him as he has a great chance."
Matthews also looked ahead philosophically to the end of Argyle's season, saying that whatever is achieved now will be way beyond initial expectations: "To see where we are now, to where we were, I think we are in a win-win whether we make the play-offs or not. At the end of the day, the main thing for us was to stay in the league. Of course, we want to make the play-offs. It's looking there are probably two places available and five or six teams fighting for them. We want to get into one of those spots, but either way I think we can all look at this season as being a positive. The main thing for us was to stay in the league and we have done that. I think Southend was always going to be a pressure game. You see the previous results for them. Southend, however they are in the league, they are always a tough team to play. If anything, the result last Saturday could benefit us and make us realise we can't just go into games and think we are going to win every one because that's not how it works in football. We know it's going to be a tough game against Southend and we have got to prepare right for it."
Finally, Matthews detailed his ambitions for next season, making no secret of the fact that he wants to fight it out at parent club Norwich but would be prepared to go elsewhere for first team football if needed. He said: "I'm here, I'm a Plymouth player and all I want to do is play for Plymouth at the moment. I want to play as many games as possible and just go from there really. Obviously, at the end of the season I will sit down with certain people and we will talk about the plan for next season. Again next season, all I want to do – wherever it is – is to play games. I'm 24 now and I just need to keep playing games at as high a standard as possible. Every loan I have been on I have enjoyed it but I think this one has been the most positive for me. Don't get me wrong, I feel I did well in Scotland last season and we stayed in the league, which was the main thing. But most of the teams I have been at we have been fighting against relegation, which we were doing here at Argyle. Now we are fighting for a play-off place, which feels similar to an extent because you are playing for something. This has definitely been a kick-on season for me. Just to get 20-plus games in the space of four or five months is massive. I'm hoping that will make a difference for potentially next season, wherever it may be. That was my plan. I wanted to come here and play games and, ideally, go back and fight for the number one spot at Norwich. But we all know how football works and how things change. I have just got to keep myself ready and see what happens. It's never nice to sit on the bench, wherever it is," he said. "I'm someone who enjoys playing games. There are one or two people out there who I have seen down the line who would quite happily sit down on the bench all their career. People make a career from it, fair play, but I want to play games. There is nothing worse than sitting on a bench on a Saturday. That's key for me, just playing as many games as possible. If next season it means going elsewhere then that's what I might have to do, but my aim is to go back to my parent club and potentially be fighting for the number one shirt."
Following his appearance off the bench against Charlton, Derek Adams assessed the first season of Alex Fletcher as a professional footballer, detailing the self-improvements that Fletcher is enacting: "He's only 19 years of age and he's still growing. He's in the gym Mondays, Tuesday and Thursdays, and in his own time as well. He will develop as the years go on. "He has had a good number of starts and made a lot of sub appearances for the first team this season. At that age, I think he has had very good exposure. We have had the likes Cooper, Law and Sangster that we have tried to push on into the first team. For one reason or the other we have had to do it and, also, from some good form by them they have been able to get themselves into the squad."
Finally, Adams confirmed that Luke McCormick and Gary Miller have both returned to full fitness following injuries whilst Robert te Loeke and Simon Church remaining in recovery.
Derek Adams believes his Argyle squad have reacted well to the disappointment of last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Charlton and are now raring to go, saying of next opponents Southend: "They have picked themselves up, got themselves out of the relegation zone and are pushing forward. They have got 24 points to play for - the same as us. They have a good home record and won their last home game 2-0 against Rotherham. They will be in good spirits going into the game. They have won one of their last five games, with that one coming on Saturday, having drawn three and lost one. From our point of view, we have done exceptionally well at home and it gives us an opportunity to try and get three points and move forward.They have won ten games at home this season; they've won three away but lost ten, so they will be looking to come here and open up. We had a difficult afternoon at Charlton. The players have come in, picked themselves up and are ready to go with the two games coming up over the Easter period. The players are in very good spirits. They can all perform, we have seen it in training so many times, we have got a talented group of players. They continue to work hard; they worked hard this morning and some of their play at times was sublime. The only pressure put on us is the pressure from ourselves. There is no outside pressure because we have been able to get ourselves in a very good position. The pressure is with eight games to go is to get into those play off positions and that is a fantastic pressure to have. If you look throughout the season seeing the amount of goalkeepers we have had and the sendings off, we have had a lot to deal with. But the players have got a tremendous togetherness and a will to succeed to be able to fight all these problems. We have got a home game on Friday then we travel to Scunthorpe on the Monday. They are difficult matches we have two teams that have changed their manager in recent times. One team that is just inside the play off positions and one team that is still trying to push into the play offs."
Derek Adams was magnanimous in defeat as Argyle were turned over 2-0 by play-off rivals Charlton Athletic, admitting that the hosts deserved to win the game. Adams said: "I can't be too cross about it because we weren't good enough. I could go through a number of complaints but I won't, because that would be wrong of me. Over the 90 minutes, Charlton deserved to win the match. We didn't create enough opportunities throughout the 90 minutes. It's not like us. We usually create umpteen chances. We didn't even look like we were going to score today. We've always had that cutting edge and we've always had that bit of play in and around the 18-yard area where we look like we're going to score, but it didn't happen today. We didn't deserve to win the game. There's no doubt about that. We didn't do enough throughout the 90 minutes to deserve that. I just felt that if we had got a goal back, we might be able to get a draw."
"Charlton started the better team. Credit to them: I thought they started on the front foot, won the second ball, and completed good passes into forward areas that caused us trouble. They deserved to get the goal when they did, and it was a fantastic strike from outside the area, and that gave them a lot of confidence – it gave the stadium confidence – and they moved forward from there. Not long after that, they get the second goal and make it 2-0. It gave them massive confidence to go 2-0 up and they were able to see out the win. We knew it was going to be a difficult afternoon in that period. We didn't start as well as we could have, and to go 1-0 down gave their fans a lift – and it gave their players a lift – with the problems they've been having. From my point of view, we didn't really create enough chances in the game. It would've been interesting to see if we got a goal at 2-0, either before half-time or just after."
"We're just delighted to be in the position that we're in," he said. "We've got to be turning cartwheels. We've got 57 points after getting promoted last year, and we've just dropped out of the play-off places. We're really delighted with the season we're having. They were fantastic, and they created a very good atmosphere," said Derek. "When you go to any away game and take as many supporters as we did, and not create enough opportunities, they're obviously going to go home disappointed. They've got to remember the tremendous run we've been on. Last year, we set a club record of 13 away wins, and this year we've gone on and done really well away from home."
"We didn't deal well with the cross but we didn't deal with a number of situations, especially in the first half. Our spacing wasn't correct and that was causing us problems. That's not taking anything away from Charlton. I thought they ran forward and created chances. Our two number 10s didn't deal well with Forster-Caskey, and that caused us a problem. That's why we had to make a change – Graham Carey and Ruben didn't do their defensive job at that stage in the game, and that allowed Forster-Caskey to get on the ball.
"We played a different formation to try and stop them. Forster-Caskey got through, who I thought was very good at times for them, and we had two strikers up front in the second half, who didn't get much change from their two centre-halves. I thought that Jamie Ness, David Fox and Moses Makasi did well in midfield as a three, and it was a hard shift for them. I thought that they were the three that stood out for me."
Argyle's unbeaten run is finally at an end with a 2-0 loss to Charlton Athletic, with both goals coming in the first 20 minutes of the game. The greens battled and battled but could not find a way back in in spite of a change of formation and Argyle succumbed to only their second loss of 2018. Argyle: Matthews, Threlkeld, Vyner, Songo'o(Fletcher), Sawyer, Fox(Paton), Ness, Makasi, Carey, Lameiras(Taylor-Sinclair), Taylor.
Ruben Lameiras believes Argyle will thrive in the big game atmosphere as they face Charlton Athletic in a potentially play-off deciding game tomorrow, saying: "It's a big game. They'll be a good side and we know we need to go there mentally and physical prepared. We can go there and get the job done. A lot of family and friends are going to be there on Saturday so hopefully three points and a goal. I prefer playing with the in front of more people; the more that come the better. Any side you come up against like that, if you go there thinking that way (negatively) you will be under the cosh. We just need to go there and take the game as it comes, but be aggressive and start the game on the front foot by taking the game to them."
"The fans have have always been good. We can feel the support especially at Home Park but away they have been fantastic, so it will be a good game. The London boys are excited for it too so there is a lot on the line and we want to do a good job."
Ruben Lameiras believes there is a buzz around Home Park at the moment following the thrilling comeback win against Bristol Rovers last week in front of a bumper Home Park crowd. He said: "It was good. We showed great character coming from behind twice. We knew what the game plan was and it had to be adjusted quickly. I think the boys carried it out really well. We never gave up; we always looked to try and create more chances and score. As soon as we went 3-2 up we were ahead of the game and it makes it very difficult for teams to come back. As individuals we all know our jobs in the team. Going 1-0 down we needed to raise the tempo a little bit and try to create more opportunities more quickly. We did that, we had quite a few chances and it went our way and we are happy."
"It's always good when the team is doing well. There is a buzz around the place, we are just trying to keep the momentum going and we are not going to let anyone slack off it. In training and in games everyone is still putting their bodies on the line. That is the thing we have to keep doing: keep our standards high and drag everyone else with us, then that will contribute to the winning mentality and generates the buzz around the place. You've got to enjoy it, even when things aren't going well you have got think good. It is great; I am enjoying it and I'm playing with a lot of freedom. I'm still not at my best and I think I have a lot more to come and I think that will come with more experience and matches I play."
Derek Adams spoke about the contract status of out-on-loan attackers Gregg Wylde and Nathan Blissett, revealing which of the two was under contract for next season. He said: "Gregg Wylde is one that will be here next season.Nathan Blissett is coming to end of his contract and he will be signing for Macclesfield. So I'm keeping an eye on Gregg's progress, and Nathan to a certain extent. Gregg is playing week in week out and Jim Bentley is very happy with him. Jim feels that Gregg could have scored a few more goals than he has but he has been a big part of their team."
On the race for the play-offs, Adams added: "It looks like there are two places up for grabs now, which makes it interesting. It looked like there was a point where there was only going to be one place up for grabs. It's very tight and you only need to have a run like we have had. We have got a lot of difficult games to come but we have put ourselves in a really good position with nine games to go."
In spite of his return to training, there is to be no return to first team action just yet for Argyle centre-back Sonny Bradley who still needs to see a consultant. Adams explained: "He's training with the physiotherapist, doing light work, and he's not available for Saturday. Until he sees the consultant we don't have an idea when he will be back."
Argyle have announced the double appointment of Jane Chafer and Jo Cubbon to the board as non-executive directors. Chafer is the Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs at the University of Exeter, where she heads a team of 200 people and said: "I am honoured and delighted to be joining the PAFC board and such an important time in its history and I look forward to playing my part in the future of the club."
Cubbon is the former Chief Executive Officer of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust who recently retired after a long career as a health professional who said: I am so proud to be part of the Board of Plymouth Argyle to support the club in its continuing quest in becoming one of the very best community football clubs in the country."
Jamie Ness stated his opinion that Argyle's comeback against Bristol Rovers began in the dressing room at half-time with a frank assessment of the first half performance. He explained: "We said at half time if we get the next goal we will win this game. Everyone knew we hadn't been at our best, we felt we have done too much hard work to get to this point and too throw it away like we did in the first half. I felt the second half we came out and managed to get on the front foot. We got the penalty and unfortunately missed that, but we kept going and the fans were brilliant for us again; they kind of sucked us in at that end. Once we got the second goal we felt only one team was going to win it. They set up well and they had a game plan that worked for them in the first half. We did things a little differently in the second half and went more direct to Ryan Taylor, who was excellent for us again. We were able to play off the seconds then and they couldn't live with us in the second half with the tempo we played at."
"It's always nice to play in a derby game so we treated it that way, especially when you win them. We knew Bristol were only four points behind us as well, so we were looking more from that point of view that we wanted to put a bit of distance between ourselves and them. It was good to do that and put ourselves back into the top six." I should have maybe grabbed it for my hat-trick! If we were a couple more goals up I might have. It was a massive penalty and he showed that composure to do it again. He has been a massive player for us this season. G is full of confidence in the way he plays, he tries things that others may not try. If they don't come off he doesn't let his head get down. So there is no one else you want to take that penalty with five minutes to go. The games can't come quick enough at the moment. We have the Charlton game next week and it is another massive game for us, but they are all massive at this stage of the season. We have got confidence that if we keep doing what we are doing and working hard we will manage to get somewhere. These are the games you want to be involved in at the end of the season. We don't want to be playing with nothing to play for or scrapping at the bottom end of the table. I think how far we have come from everyone at the football club deserves huge credit. If we can continue it will be a hell of a story by the end of the season."
Derek Adams claimed it was the little things that were responsible for what could prove to be a defining win in Argyle's season. He spoke of the small but necessary tweaks in the second half that enabled the victory: "I thought it was an excellent game for League One football," said Adams. "It was two very good sides; it was end to end; we get five goals in the afternoon; we had a missed penalty kick as well; and there was a whole lot of other things going on in the game as well. We obviously gave away a free kick in the first half. We could've done better and not given away a free kick, and then with the ball going into the side of the net that it does; we could've done better with that. It was Remi's side and Remi takes full responsibility for that, but he has made a number of outstanding saves for us throughout the season. That's just what happens with a goalkeeper: they have good days and bad days. We got ourselves back into the game with a good goal, and after that they get ahead again when we have a good bit of play down the left-hand side. We give possession away and they go up the other end, bully us off the ball and score to make it 2-1."
"So we're in at half time, talking about things that we didn't really have to talk about, because there was nothing really in the game. We had controlled large spells of it and had good play, without creating many openings, and we were 2-1 down at half time. We just had to change it about in the second half. We were just talking about small things and we started the second half really well. We got that penalty and Ruben misses, and then quickly after that, Jamie Ness gets the equaliser off of a deflection. Then, Graham gets the penalty at the end. Graham is very good in these situations. He's got a very cool head. He had to wait a lot of time to take that second penalty, because Yann was on the floor after getting fouled."
"Today, Jamie Ness was man of the match by a country mile. He was the best player on the park by a mile. He was good and what we did today, which was win second balls and keeping possession. He only trained on Thursday. He had a slight problem with his calf, but you couldn't tell. His performance levels were excellent. Some of the football that we played was good at times, especially in the first half. But in the second half we played on the counter attack as well, and found space that wasn't there in the first half, because Bristol Rovers defended deep. It probably typified their performance; they wanted to negate the dangers that we had. It was great to see, and I think that our supporters have gone home happy tonight. There was a great atmosphere in the game, and that was credit to both sets of supporters. To take over 12,000 supporters to the game: it shows you that they're with us and they're enjoying winning games.
"I think that they've shown that, throughout the season, they have got very good character in the dressing room. They don't allow disappointment to affect them. Many times this season, that could've happened, but we're used to dealing with adversity. We've had to do it so many times this season for so many reasons, and we've always found a way of winning football matches. I thought that the energy levels of the players were very good, and the disappointment of going behind twice in the game didn't affect them. I remember first coming to the football club two-and-a-half years ago and they said the team couldn't come from behind to win a game. You have to change the mentality of your squad. You have to work on things to get the better of the opposition, and we've certainly got that now."
"I wasn't surprised in Harrison's performance, because Ellis Harrison is a striker that, as Darrell Clarke knows, I've tried to sign a couple of times from him," said Derek, "and haven't been able to do it. Ellis is a good striker; a young Welsh international and always played on the shoulders. When a striker plays on the shoulders of a defender, he's always got a chance."
"I think that the players have got that bit between their teeth. They're showing that they want to continue winning football matches. We've got nine games to go. We knew that the results at half time were going our way and that, if we could get a win, it would put us in a good position tonight. We're moving forward. With nine games to go, we're catching the teams above us. The teams below us have obviously dropped points today. It's tight squad that we have. We've got a whole host of problems that we've had to overcome, but we keep on overcoming them. We lose players week in, week out, but someone else comes in and does a job, we get a win and keep moving forward. They did very well. At home, when there's a big crowd here, they stuck to the task and came from behind twice."
Argyle have returned to the League One play-off zone in style with a thrilling win over Bristol Rovers. The away side took an early lead following a free-kick sneaking into the bottom corner but Argyle equalised soon after through Jamie Ness. Rovers took the lead again not long after though and went into the second half in the lead. Argyle missed a penalty from Ruben Lameiras just after the restart but pegged Rovers back again immediately after from Jamie Ness again. The game was won for Argyle with 5 minutes to go following another penalty, this time from Graham Carey. Argyle: Matthews, Threlkeld, Vyner, Songo'o, Sawyer, Fox, Makasi(Paton), Ness, Lameiras(Taylor-Sinclair), Taylor. Subs: Letheren, Sangster, Ainsworth, Grant, Fletcher.
Zak Vyner admitted that he is relishing the prospect of facing Bristol Rovers considering his background with the red side of Bristol. He spoke of his history with the two clubs: "As youth-team players, we never play against them," he said. "It's the first time. I've never played them in the Under-23s or anything. I'm looking forward to it. A few people here are saying it's a derby for Argyle, and few people saying 'It can't be a derby; Bristol's a couple of hours away.' For me, it's definitely a derby. I'm going to take it as just another game but also I'll have it in the back of my head that it's a derby."
"I remember going to a cup game and Jay Emanuel-Thomas rocketed one in from about 30 yards, and I was sat behind the goal when Joe Bryan scored the winner. There were crazy scenes there and I can remember the atmosphere. Obviously, it's not going to be the same on Saturday – there's not going to be that much tension – but it's still a big game for me. Once it comes to game-day, it will be a bit tasty, hopefully."
"I'm looking forward to the game as much as anybody," he said. "As much stick as I'll get from Rovers' fans, I'll get love from the Plymouth fans. If I can score in any game this season, this would be the one."
Additionally, Vyner spoke of hius confidence that the back four is starting to gel, following his experiences of playing with both Yann Songo'o and Sonny Bradley so far. He said: "We're all team-mates. We're not going to not gel. Obviously, you are going to have to get used to playing with certain people, but I get on really well with Yann, so it's not like I'm playing with a complete stranger. We fit really well. Yann has come in and is comfortable. Like me, he is trying to play because he's naturally a midfielder, and he's done really well. I've played with Sonny and I've played with Yann - I've been lucky."
"It is giving you the confidence to play and, if you have an iffy game, you get another chance to make it right. That's the main thing that young players everywhere need. Obviously, it's maybe difficult when you're at your parent club. He encourages me to play my game, get on the ball. That's my game so, say, for instance, when we're playing against one striker and Sonny or Yann's got the ball, he can play it to me and I can drive out; or, the other way round, if I play it to Sonny or Yann, he can drive out with it. He encourages that. It gives an extra player to the attack. I try to get on the ball as much as I can and impose myself on the game as much as I can, give the ball to players who can do a bit more with it than I can do. I like to get on the ball and maybe some people will think 'Give it to a midfielder'. I just think 'I can do that pass, I'll do it from where I am.' It might take the other team by surprise."
"I'm preferring centre-half at the moment because I'm playing there a lot more; I'm getting used to it; I'm learning tricks of the trade; and I feel I'm becoming more of a dominant figure in the team now. I'm really enjoying it. I'm playing games and that's what I wanted, that's what came here to do. It's a big turnaround. We are not just a team to 'be here' – we want to try and push for it. Because it's so close for us now – we're only a couple of points off the play-offs – we want to push; take every game as it comes; and try to get the results to get us up into the Championship. I don't see why not."
Derek Adams looked ahead to the Rovers game as well as giving an update on Argyle's worrisome injury list, adding: "Rovers bring a good number of threats; they have got a lot of talented players in their side. They run forward, play off the cuff quite a bit. They play with one or two strikers at times; they have changed their formation, sometimes they play with three at the back - but they are a very good team. I'd be surprised if there isn't 12,000 here on Saturday as it's a big game and Bristol Rovers are taking 1,500 with them so we are sure to have many following us on Saturday. They have been magnificent in supporting us. The atmosphere from the Devonport end has really vamped up as the season has gone on. It looks like there has been a group of a couple of hundred have got together and have accelerated the chanting throughout the match and that has helped the players.
"We have had light numbers for training, at this stage of the season it can be a good thing or a bad thing. So, we had Cameron Sangster and Ryan Law on the bench last week and it is likely to be a similar scenario this week. They have done well for the under 18's and pushed on. The injury situation allows them to have that opportunity. Sonny Bradley has got an illness and has been in hospital for a week. He's out of hospital now and he has further tests to see what the problem is. He'll be out until we find out what the problem is. Antoni Sarcevic had an operation two weeks ago, he will be out for up to 3-4 weeks from now. Robert te Loeke is still coming back from his back injury. He should be back in training at the beginning of April. Luke McCormick should be back in full training next week. Then we are hopeful of getting a Peninsula game for him in April to start his progress as he has missed the last thirty games. Jordan Bentley is recovering well from his operation; he has had the pin inserted into his leg and is recovering well, but still a long way off. Jamie Ness has got a calf injury and is doubtful for Saturday's match. Gary Miller has got a hamstring injury and he is out of Saturday's match. Simon Church has got a hip injury and he is out of Saturday's match as well. Ryan Edwards is obviously still out, he has had his last dose of chemotherapy and we are hopeful he comes back in with us around the middle of April."
Derek Adams has given the seal of approval to new signing Paul Paton who has joined Argyle as a free agent this week. He said: "He gives us another midfield player in the ranks. He is one I have known for many years and it gives us experience and it gives us cover in that are where we are a little short now because of injuries. I have known him for a good number of years, and seeing him progress from Queens Park to Partick Thistle to Dundee United then to St Johnstone. He is ready to go; he hasn't got much of a choice really. That Is the situation we are in at this moment in time. He will be fine; he has been training away and he will be ready to go. He started off as a right back and found his way into central midfield. He can pass the ball as well but he does compete. We have been able to get him in until the end of the season for the next ten games to try and pick up as many points as we can. He is of good pedigree. He will be fine. He has been training in that period that he has been without a club and he will be fine. He's an internationalist with Northern Ireland as well and it is good for us to have in our ranks. He can play as well, he can make a tackle, he is competitive and from that point of view he does add something different to the squad. He is a winner and with ten games to go it is a good move for him. At this stage of the season you need winners in your team, and he will want to come here and do well looking towards next season."
Adams also paid tribute to outgoing CEO Martyn Starnes who it has been revealed this week is leaving the club, hailing: "I enjoyed working with Martyn. He has been here since I came into the football club and he has been very helpful to me. I'm disappointed that he is leaving and going to pastures new. It's very important, the manager and CEO have got to help each other. Martyn and myself had a good working relationship in that way. It is now important that we replace Martyn with someone who gets along well with the manager, has the same beliefs as the manager, and of the football club as the whole. I've helped him and he has helped me along the way. He has been very successful turning the financial crisis of the football club around."
Argyle have signed experienced Scottish midfielder Paul Paton who is a free agent having been released by St Johnstone at the end of the January transfer window. Paton will wear number 30 and go straight into the squad for the game against Bristol Rovers on Saturday. Paton said upon his arrival: "I've been in numerous squads, but I only have five caps right now. I have been in World Cup squads so I have good experience there. It was disappointing to miss out on this squad, but I couldn't have expected to be in the Northern Ireland squad what I have not really played since the end of January. I have come here to help the boys and get back in. I have come down here to work hard, I like to make tackles, keep things simple and let the good players play. I know some of the boys. I know Graham Carey and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair; I have played with them up in Scotland. It makes it easy to come into the dressing room and get to know everyone quite quickly. It has been a really successful season for Plymouth; the manager has just won Manager of the Month as well. There is a really good buzz about the place and it is good to be here. I know Derek from Scottish football, the club maybe has a few injuries. He phoned me a couple of days ago and said there was a bit of interest there and would I be happy to come down. To be fair I was more than delighted to come down here. I know he is a hard taskmaster. I have just come here to work hard. I am 30-years-old so I want to focus on the next two months to do my best for Plymouth Argyle. Derek has told me all about it. He said there may be 12,000 here on Saturday, so obviously it is a big game. With the club doing so well there will be that bit of added interest and I'm really looking forward too it."
Derek Adams spoke about the appearance of apprentices Ryan Law and Cameron Sangster on the bench against Fleetwood on Saturday following a spate of substitute appearances. He said: "It's a learning process. I said that to him before the game, and Cameron Sangster. I told them 'It's not under-18 football now, it's men's football and we are playing for points, and you are playing for your living. They will get that point the more they work with the first team."
Experienced midfielder David Fox hinted that he could be prepared to stay at Argyle past the remainder of this season, saying that he still has a lot of football left in him. Fox said: "To be honest, I have not really thought too much about it. I would have to sit and have a long chat with lots of different people. The club have not spoken to me about anything. It's not something I'm thinking about, I'm just enjoying how things are at the minute. I think the way that we work down here helps me and keeps me going. It's training hard every day. The way the manager sets his team out suits me as well. I would like to think there is still another couple of years left in me at least."
Argyle had a spite of injuries and illnesses for Saturday's game against Fleetwood, meaning two apprentices had to feature on the bench. Additionally, Jamie Ness was substituted off with a recurring injury during the match. It has been confirmed that Antoni Sarcevic and Sonny Bradley missed the game through groin injuries and illnesses respectively. Gary Miller and Simon Church also missed the game with thigh and hamstring complaints. Adams further confirmed Sarcevic will be undergoing surgery, saying: "He has had it for a wee while now," said Adams. "I'm not going to go into it. It's something that I'm not too pleased about. He's going in for an operation and I would rather not speak about it."
THE Plymouth Argyle Board of Directors has today received notice from Martyn Starnes that he intends to stand down as the club's Chief Executive Officer. The Board is engaging recruitment consultants to aid the search for the successor. Meanwhile, Starnes will continue in his role during his notice period.
Argyle have released full details of the season ticket passage for the 2018/19 season, which can be found on the club's official website.
Derek Adams has settled gladly for a draw at relegation scrappers Fleetwood Town, declaring himself happy with the performance. He said: ""I said I was happy with a point before the game. We went for the three points but, when you have gone six wins on the trot and you come away from home and take a point, under the circumstances, I am delighted. We've got 54 points – we're happy with that – and we're 16 points ahead of fourth-bottom place, which is Fleetwood, sitting in sixth position. We've done alright today because we've come away with a point and teams round about us have lost. We have had a tremendous season and I'm delighted to be, with ten games to go, sitting in sixth position. You couldn't ask for any more. Every Plymouth Argyle fan sitting at home, or at the game today, will be delighted with the position we're in." It wasn't going to be an easy game for us: we're away from home; we're against a team that is in the bottom four; they've changed their manager – their manager is an ex-Argyle manager."
:It was too open and we probably contributed to that, because of the way we played. We played with a freedom – we were going to attack one end and were not really worried if Fleetwood were going to attack the other end. Both goalkeepers didn't really have many saves to make in the whole game but there was plenty of action from both sides. It was an open game, probably too open from the way we play but that was because our full-backs were pushing forward and their wide players were cheating a bit – staying up the park and not following the full-back backwards."
Also, the gaffer declared himself delighted with debutant and goalscorer Moses Makasi who put the away side into an early lead on his first ever professional start. Adams said: "He has waited his time," said Argyle manager Derek Adams. "That's because the players who have played in his position have done well. He's come in and has been able to score the goal that has got us a point. It was nothing more we deserved at that moment in time in the game. We were pushing forward, full-backs on both sides causing Fleetwood problems because their wingers didn't want to track back, and it allowed us to overload on the outsides. It is important that, when you make your debut for any club, you are given time to think about it. We worked on it. He can score left foot and right foot. He's a talented individual. He's only a youngster, but he can finish like that."
Finally, Adams explained the bizarre incident that saw defender Yann Songo'o appear to duck in the lead up to Fleetwood's equalising goal: "Gary Sawyer shouted to Yann. Yann ducked and Madden got in behind him. That's how it came about."
Makasi himself spoke with delight of his dream debut, declaring: "It was a great feeling. When Rubes got the ball I thought it was my chance to burst into space and when I got the ball there was only one thing on my mind, and that was to make sure I finished it. It's a great feeling. I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I thought 'this is an opportunity, and I can't let it slip'. I would have liked a win, but a goal and a draw on my debut is not bad. I thought before I came that I would get a bit more game time, but I just had to get my head down, knuckle down and keep patient. My time came, and I think I took it. There's still a lot more to come from me, and I hope I can show the Argyle fans what I have got. It was hectic. The first 25 minutes the lads did well. Once we conceded we knew we had to just stick in there. We know they are in a relegation battle, and in the end we dug out what is a good point. We are looking for promotion, so we'll take the point and move on to Bristol Rovers next week. This league is really hard. Every team has got good players. They have some players from big academies. They have just been on a bad run. That can happen in this league."
Argyle have maintained their unbeaten record but lost their winning one with a 1-1 draw at Fleetwood Town, managed by John Sheridan and with Toumani Diagouraga on their bench. Argyle went 1-0 up through debutant Moses Makasi in the 16th minute. Fleetwood equalised following a defensive mix-up shortly into the second half. Argyle: Matthews, Threlkeld, Vyner, Songo'o, Sawyer(Taylor-Sinclair), Fox, Makasi (Grant), Ness(Ainsworth), Carey, Taylor, Lameiras. Subs: Letheren, Law, Sangster, Fletcher.
Derek Adams has been named the League One manager of the month for February after a flawless month of 6 wins out of 6 games, two of which were against high-flyers Shrewsbury and Blackburn. Adams said of the achievement: "It's important that you win awards, as it shows the success you are having at the football club. We try and break records and be successful. Part of that success is picking up the manager of the month award. We have been unlucky not to win it in previous months as we are on a fabulous run. It's a great testament to the players and the staff that we have won it."
Derek Adams has paid tribute to Ruben Lameiras who was a runner-up in the player of the month awards after being told he was free to talk to other clubs as recently as December. The gaffer said: "To be fair to Ruben he didn't have a first chance. He was in and out of the side and didn't really have the opportunity on a consistent basis to show the talents that he has. I think that he has had a very good month with a couple of goals and a couple of assists. He is in a position where it has been very difficult for opposition defenders to pick him up. There was a reason why he went to Oldham and it worked out well for us. I think that there is a reason why players go to certain places at a certain time. He's come back and realised what a good football club this is. He is a player that has undoubted talent, that is why I took him to the football club. He was unlucky at the start of the season not to find himself in the side, and he has has been able to be a main stay since he's been in."
David Fox spoke of the personal side of the gamer, whereby he can only see his family and friends on rare occasions after matches but was stoic in his attitude, calling it just part of the game. Fox said: "Football side of things, I'm loving it and why wouldn't I be?" he said. "On the other side of things it can be difficult at times. But I am enjoying my work and when you come in happy it makes things easier. I enjoy playing football for this club; I enjoy the lads, the staff and I enjoy going out playing in front of 10,000 or 11,000 every other week at Home Park. I have enjoyed my football since I came here and from a football point of view it has gone as well as I would have hoped. I'll be home quite early Saturday night after Fleetwood. Seeing the Rochdale game getting rearranged for a Tuesday night means I'll be home on that Wednesday, but it is what it is. I have been doing it for 18 months and it is just part of football. When you do what you do and work away from home, lots of people do it in different walks of life. If you enjoy your job though it makes it easier. The timing of everything has been great really. Last season as well as this, even cup runs have worked out well last season. It has all sort of fallen into place from a footballing point of view, I've been very lucky coming to the club at the time I have done."
"It's great, the run we have been going on. There can't be many teams around the country that are feeling like we are and enjoying coming to work. Even though we are in the play-offs I still don't feel like there is any pressure on us at all. The lads are not talking about play offs, or thinking anything. They are just coming in working hard and seeing what the next game brings really. There really is the freedom to just go and enjoy yourself because of where we have been this season. It's nice that it's taken us to get to sixth for people to see where Plymouth is! It's bound to happen when you go from bottom to play-offs in such a short space of time like we have done people are bound to take notice. It's what happens; it's the nature of the beast and we will just get on with it and see what happens on Saturday. We will try and play with the same freedom we have the past couple of months."
Goalkeeper Michael Cooper signed his first professional contract with the club this week after an excellent performance off the bench against Blackburn Rovers earlier in the season and an excellent string of displays in Argyle's recent FA Youth Cup run. The youngster said of signing pro deal: "I am just really happy. All that hard work with the Academy over the past two years has paid off, but I have got to keep going now. I'm 18, which is still young for a 'keeper, but I want to be pushing to play first-team football as soon as I can. I've learnt a lot from Luke McCormick over the past two years, and a lot from Rhys because he has been my goalkeeping coach since I was nine. It's going to be good to continue working with those two. When you start playing football, when you are six, seven, eight, you think 'I want to be a professional footballer' but now that the day's actually come, it feels even better."
Ryan Edwards has completed a short course of chemotherapy in his fight against testicular cancer. Edwards now has up to four weeks to recover from that before a return to training with the Pilgrims could be a possibility. Derek Adams spoke of his chances of appearing in the first team in the foreseeable future: "He had his last dose of chemotherapy yesterday. He has now got between three and four weeks to recover from the sessions that he has had. I spoke to him last night and he's in very good spirits. He's fighting the battle. Hopefully, in that three or four weeks he will be back here and ready to start training again. He's a fighter and every time that I have spoken to him he has been in very good spirits. He has been to a number of our games away from home. He wants to come to the game against Fleetwood but his family and myself have advised him against that because it's probably not a time where he wants to be out and catching any infections. We are just hopeful he gets through this stage".
Adams also admitted that it was likely that he might have to make a number of changes to the team for Saturday's game at Fleetwood due to a number of injuries and illnesses around the club at the moment. He explained: "We have got a couple of injuries and illness which we are just assessing before Saturday's game. A few of them have got an illness that is going about. We are on a six-game winning run and if you look even further back I think the record is outstanding over a 20-game period."
Ahead of Saturday's game against Fleetwood, David Fox spoke about the occasion where Argyle will come up against ex manager John Sheridan and former midfielder Toumani Diagouraga. He said: "I'm sure with an experienced manager like John Sheridan they will be looking to turn things around. They have got some good players there and we know that. They brought in a lot of players in January and spent a lot more money than we have, so that's what we are up against on Saturday. It will be good. How much I come up against him I'm not sure. It will be good, but will be just like any other game. He is a good player, like every other player in this league that you come up against. There will be no different feelings or emotions from any of the boys, it will be just job on, try and get the three points. I think if you look for one [reason for the upturn in form], you won't ever find it. There has been a whole host of things that have gone our way in regards to turning it around. I am glad for a lot of people at the club that we have kicked on since Toums left, because it was unfair that some of the boys thought 'what's going to happen now?' I thought we were going to have to stop the season because things were getting that bad and panicky. I'm glad the boys have stepped up and kept on winning just to prove that it wasn't one thing that got us going."
Argyle's League One match against Rochdale has been rearranged for Tuesday, April 24. Kick-off will be at 7.45pm. The original fixture was postponed due to the extreme weather conditions that brought snow to all parts of the country. The re-arrangement means that three of the Pilgrims' last four regular season matches this season will be away from Home Park.
Argyle's game at Rochdale has been postponed due to extreme weather conditions. The match was officially postponed this morning on safety grounds and to prevent unnecessary travel for the Argyle squad and both sets of supporters. A red weather-alert, the most serious kind of weather warning that the Met Office can issue, was in place for Devon, while Greater Manchester Police are advising against all unnecessary travel.
Derek Adams confirmed that it is business as usual at Home Park in spite of sub-zero weather conditions that could see Saturday's game at Rochdale postponed. On the chance of postponement, Adams said: "We are just preparing as usual. They have got the ground sheets down at Rochdale. It just depends on what the temperature is like over the next two nights. Hopefully the game will go ahead. We will leave at 12 o'clock tomorrow but we will obviously be guided as well by the authorities if it is safe to travel or not. It might be that they decide the game is off because of that, other than the pitch.
"The pitch protection only provides cover down to I think it is about minus three degrees. So anything below that, you have got a problem and the temperature is below that. It's going to be travel arrangements as well, not just for the team for the supporters as well that is going to bring things into perspective. It might even be taken out of the EFL's hands. The police might come into play there and advise them that it's not good for people travelling because of the weather conditions."
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