A Round-up of Argyle News
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Greens on Screen's Daily Diary is a compilation of Argyle news, with help from these and other Argyle-related sites.
On This Day:
Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
On This Day:
1998: Ten years and two days after first signing for Argyle, Sean McCarthy returned to the Home Park for a second spell, this time from Oldham Athletic.
1999: Centre-back Craig Taylor signed from Swindon Town.
On This Day:
1988: Leigh Cooper's testimonial - Argyle 1 (Tynan) Coventry City 2. Cooper made his first team debut in 1979, aged 18, and became one of the youngest captains in league football when he was just 22 (he led the side in the FA Cup semi-final in 1984). A few months after his testimonial game, he broke his leg and only played twice more for the club. 375 appearances for Argyle, yet his career was effectively over at just 27. Had he not suffered such a bad injury, he might have threatened Kevin Hodges' all-time appearance record.
2006: Chris Zebroski's contract was terminated after a disciplinary hearing at the club.
Ryan Lowe reacted philosophically to Argyle's first loss of the season, citing a good first half display but a disappointing loss in concentration. He said: "I thought there was only one team going to win the game in terms of football stature. In the first half, we were dominant but it was a lapse in concentration for the goal. I've said from day one that we're not the finished article, nowhere near. Newport are a different style of football and I'm just disappointed we had the ball in their half of the pitch, and then it's in our net. They are small details and if you don't get it right, you get punished, but I can't criticise my lads and my team. We came up against a different type in Newport today, with balls into the box. We were outstanding for 80 minutes until they scored. I've said to the boys that if you can't win the game, then don't lose the game. It's three points lost and we need to bounce back quickly. I've learnt a lot about the lads since I came in, from pre-season and the three wins. I've learnt a lot more about the true characters we have in our team and also learnt that you can't give silly free-kicks away, silly fouls, silly offsides. You always learn from a loss and we will analyse it on the way home, and put it to bed on Monday morning.
"We created some decent chances but sometimes we failed to put the ball in the right areas. The two front lads were decent in the first half but it was more of a fight in the second half. We wanted balls down the sides of their centre-halves and we didn't quite do that. Without being disrespectful to Newport, they are quite different. They go from back to front quickly, with power and pace. We withstood all of that but I'm disappointed to concede on 81 minutes. We could deal with several situations before they scored and a long ball has gone into the box for the big lad, fair play to them. We're disappointed to not come away with a draw. There were one or two, maybe three or four who weren't quite at it today, and you can't have that. They were loads of positives, just needed a little bit more in the final third. We've had one loss, at a tough place, so we look forward to Tuesday night at home to Salford."
Lowe also went on to add that Argyle's summer business may not yet be done with the chance of a striker to come. Lowe hinted: "We're looking for one more player and we're in discussions. As I always say, there are other clubs involved, it's not just Plymouth Argyle looking for players. We're making good progress and we're looking for one more attacking player. We feel we're quite comfortable now with the midfield and the back lads. We've got plenty of cover at the back, so it will be an attacking player. Joel is on his recovery and not far away, he's doing quite well. We left Byron Moore at home for the Newport game because we felt he had a tight hamstring and I'm very cautious that I don't want to risk anyone for a long time if there's some sort of niggle. We will see where he is on Monday morning."
Scott Wootton had a similar outlook on the game, maintaining his belief that it will be a successful season for Argyle whilst admitting his disappointment at the loss of the clean sheet consistency. Wootton said: "We had a good start to the season, six points from six before Saturday. We said at half-time, minimum is a clean sheet. We feel that we should be winning these games, but if you can't win, don't lose. We're gutted to not win again. I thought first-half we controlled most of the game, they didn't really create that many chances. We had a couple cleared off the line, Joe Riley had a great strike and if they go in it's a completely different game. Second-half, I don't think we played anywhere near our best, and ultimately that's cost us today. Long throw, second-phase, a good ball in and the lad's attacked it well. We've had three clean sheets so far, we wanted to get another one, and we're disappointed about it but we've got a big home game on Tuesday that we want to put right and go and get three points. I think we controlled early on in the game. Teams are going to do that, the way we play and the quality of players we have, we're going to take control of games and teams are going to change to try and stop us do that.
"They obviously changed the shape, and it's up to us to break them down. We can't cry and say 'oh they changed the shape', we've got to be good enough and clever enough to break them down and get through it and we weren't Obviously, Ryan Lowe is gutted that we didn't win, just like everyone. He's very passionate. He just said that we will dissect it, analyse it, learn from it, talk about the good things we did and things we need to get better at. We'll go again on Tuesday, it's a big game and it's pleasing that we can try and send the fans home happy. If we turn up and play to the levels we know we can on Tuesday night against Salford and take the three points, we won't be worried about the Newport game. There's so many games coming thick and fast, so you have always got a chance around the corner to put things right."
Wootton did however speak with warmth about his development so far this season under Ryan Lowe due to the belief the manager has shown in him: "I wouldn't say I learned anything last season on the pitch, I've learned a lot more already this season Picking up the injury was the start of it, really. I was in the team until I picked up the injury at Charlton away and then I didn't get a chance after that, which was frustrating. That's the biggest thing, keep believing in yourself. Just because you're not playing doesn't mean that it's necessarily the right thing.
"He has been fantastic from the second he came into the building. It was probably difficult taking over a relegated side, but I think, just the way he is, he's so positive. Things were black and white straight away, there was no grey areas with him, and that's what you want as a player. You know what he wants, on the pitch and off the pitch. It's down to the lads then. You get a platform and a structure to show what you're about and what you can do, and then it's up to the players. If you buy into, you'll be a part of it, if not, you won't. That's all you can ask for as players."
"I'm enjoying the formation. I've played it a couple of times in my career, at two different clubs. I personally think that if you get it right, it's the best formation. There's men everywhere, triangles all over the pitch. It's a really good formation and one that I like to play in. It's great, I'm obviously thankful to the manager for that, but obviously I've got to play well to earn that. Last season was horrible, my worst season by a mile in my career. I came back, worked hard in the off-season, got fit and so far so good, personally. I've got to keep going, though, we've got 43 league games to go and my mentality is that I want to play every game."
"I don't think it'll be a problem, but I think it will be a common theme. I think we have enough good players, guile and creativity to get through that. Teams are going to sit deep, especially at home, they're going to sit off us, but we've got to be good enough to break them down and score goals. Once we get up in games it'll be a different story. Plymouth Argyle in League Two is a big outfit, and teams will respect us, especially with the start we've had. We've just got to be good enough to break that down. Gutted, really. Three games, three clean sheets so far. Ten minutes away from a fourth. I don't think they had that much, really. As a team, I think we defended well, if we carry that on throughout the season it will give our attacking players the license and freedom to go and do the goods at the other end. As defenders, it's our job to keep the back door shut and supply the quality to the attacking players to do their stuff."
On This Day:
1988: At 20 years old, Sean McCarthy joined Argyle from Swansea City for £50,000.
2001: Lee Hodges made his debut as a signed-up Argyle player, having appeared eight times on loan from Spurs seven years earlier. The game was a 0-0 draw at Hull, with Argyle gaining the first of a record 102 points that season.
Argyle's perfect start to the season came to an end at Rodney Parade with a late 1-0 defeat to Newport. A game of two halves saw Argyle dominate the first half and Newport dominate the second before an 82nd minute headed goal gave them the win. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards(Baxter), Riley, Mayor, Sarcevic(C Grant), McFadzean, Telford(Lolos), Taylor. Subs: Cooper, T Moore, J Grant, Randell.
Argyle and forward Calum Dyson have agreed to cancel his contract by mutual consent with immediate effect. 22-year-old Dyson made two substitute appearances for Argyle in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Ryan Law's loan to Truro City has been extended until January. The 19 year-old defender, who is in his second year as a professional at Home Park, signed on an initial 28-day youth loan in July.
Joe Riley is enjoying his new role as a wing-back and spoke of being in a 'happy place' as Argyle's perfect start to the season continued. He said: "It's been a happy place ever since the gaffer has walked in the building to be honest," said Joe. "Winning brings a feel good factor around the place and we're just looking to continue that. Since the gaffer and his staff have come in, it has been a breath of fresh air, which is not common when you get relegated. It's been great for everyone and that has transpired into results now. Anyone who knows me knows that I like to get forward. The way we play, it gives me an opportunity to get forward and create chances. That's what I've always been known for throughout my career is an attacking full-back who likes to get forward, so wing-back suits me. I played there before for a couple of other clubs and always enjoyed it. To be honest, the way we played last year never really enabled full-backs to get into advanced positions. This year has been a breath of fresh air for me personally with the new role."
On the injury to Joel Grant that kept him out of Tuesday's win against Orient, Ryan Lowe revealed: "He's just under a grade two, a minor tear in his hamstring, so we are hoping he's not going to be too long. Possibly 10 days maybe, which is good for Joel. He's feeling better every day. I think we have got him off at the right time because he said if we hadn't done that he would have carried on. We got him off the pitch straight away, so I think it's a blessing we did that. Rather than him missing four to six weeks, we are probably going to miss him for two. I'm gutted we are missing because he has been flying in pre-season. He scored against Crewe and he was doing very well against Colchester but we have got other lads in there now who can step up and get an opportunity. I'm sure Joel will be back with us in the next few weeks. The lads out the team at the moment are pushing really hard to get in it. But they are not only pushing really hard to get in, they are pushing the lads in front of them and they are helping them as well. I always feel you should help your mate whether it's your position or not because we are all wanting the same thing, and that's points on the board."
Lowe also hinted he was looking at loaning out a couple of players currently on the verge of the first team, saying: : "You are looking at Ryan Law and Luke Jephcott now, they are getting rave reviews so brilliant. They have done what I have asked them to do. There are certain lads who have been asked to move on as well and get some game-time. Whether they stay or go, they won't be treated any different. It's up to them. But if I'm one of them I'm looking at Jephcott scoring goals and Ryan Law playing and scoring goals. They will be giving me selection headaches pretty soon because I can call them back at any opportunity. If there is any sort of injuries I can call them back.
"We will have a look at one or two more and see if they feel they want to go out because I'm not pushing anyone out, it's up to them. I'm not going to say 'You have got to do this, you have got to do that' because it's their call. I would want to be playing games. I know their agents are onto it, trying to get them out to get some game-time. If the right club comes along for them to go to, then great. If they come to us and say 'Look, I want to go here and play some games' and we are happy with the solution, then great. As for an in, if we are going to do anything it will only be one more. Maybe we could have that before the weekend, maybe not."
Ryan Lowe declared himself delighted with the win over Orient, coming as it did with many players being rested from the team. Lowe said: "I'm happy especially with the lads who came in I made a couple of changes and I'm pleased I know that they can do what they've done tonight. I'm pleased for them because sometimes it's not easy when you're left out of the starting eleven for the first week or two, but the application of the boys was fantastic. In football, you know what's coming, you know what's around the corner and you know when you're on top. When their manager says to you, 'you're a fantastic outfit' I love that - when opposition managers say how good you are, but we play it down, we're not there yet. Three games in, three wins and three clean sheets fantastic, I couldn't have asked for a better start, but we know there's going to be bumps in the road."
"We know Dom, we know what he's about, what he does and what he gives us. That burst of pace there he needs to be a bit more selfish now, because there are a lot of strikers who are selfish, and that's how you score between 10 and 20 goals a season, by being selfish. If you want be nice and pretty and set your mates up you ain't going to score. They've come up from non-league last season and with all due respect they've got to find their feet a little bit and obviously with the circumstances of what happened. They've got some fantastic coaches there and I'm sure they'll do well. Whatever happens they've got some good players and style of play but we always felt, if we are on it, we are a match for anyone."
Lowe had particularly positive words for two of the youngsters starting for Argyle in the shape of Josh Grant and our very own Michael Cooper. Lowe said, first of Grant: "He didn't look out of place, he's barely watched us, but he knows what we are about from training and the game on Saturday, where he watched from the side. Josh has been on our radar for some time when we get calls about players who are highly recommended from other players, Josh is a fantastic kid and he couldn't wait to get here.
Cooper is solid, he passed the ball well and he's getting used to our style. He's threading balls through, perfect, that's the way we want to play. He hasn't put a foot wrong; he's been fantastic." He's my 'keeper, he's one of two 'keepers, he's a 'keeper I know I can rely on at any time. No-one's guaranteed a place in the starting eleven.".
Argyle will play their Carabao Cup second round clash with Sky Bet Championship side Reading on Tuesday, August 27, at 7:45pm. Ryan Lowe said of the draw: "It's a win-win game for us. They are going to come here, and, whether they are going to change the team, I'm not sure, but we'll stick to what we're doing. Our main priority is the league but we'll never disrespect any cup competition when you've got a squad like ours, and it's probably got the makings of an entertaining game. We're never going to win the Carabao Cup because, when the big-hitters start coming in, then you're out, but it's always nice to get through. Especially the first round."
Dom Telford got off the mark for Argyle last night and revealed his opening goal was just as he visualised it being. He explained: "I am a bit of a visual person. So, this morning and last night, that is what I wanted to happen, and scoring down that end is unbelievable. I hope it's not the last one. I picked the ball up I think it was off one of their mistakes I saw a little gap, and drove with it, and it opened up. I've always been taught to strike across the 'keeper, hard and low and just to see it hit the back of the net was some feeling it never gets old. I'm delighted and hopefully it's the first of many. The bigger the game, the better," he said. "It a chance for us to impress against a top team. That's why we looked for the win. We'll crack on and try to do our best against a good side."
"I told the gaffer I'll get twenty goals. I'll have to live up to that. Personally, I'll crack on and score as many as I can. I wont put a limit on it but I set targets each month. I'm quite visual with what I want to achieve. I believe, if I'm dong my job, then it'll help the team get to where we want to get to."
Argyle have marched on into the second round of the League Cup with a fairly routine 2-0 victory over Leyton Orient at Home Park. Argyle kept 6 of the same team going into the game but mixed things up a little, including a first start of the season for goalkeeper Michael Cooper. Wing-back Callum McFadzean and striker Dom Telford got the goals to see Argyle draw another home tie in the next round: this time against Championship side Reading. Argyle: Cooper, J Grant, Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards(Baxter), Riley, C Grant, Mayor(Randell), McFadzean, Telford, Taylor(B Moore). Subs: Palmer, Wootton, Sarcevic, Lolos.
Ryan Lowe turned his focus to the upcoming cup game with Leyton Orient, insisting that he will play the game to win and get through to the lucrative next round. Lowe said: "We know they are going be at it, they're not coming here to roll over no team will, but we have to worry about us, and we have to make sure that we are on point and doing what we were are trying to achieve. We want to play the way we play, we want to excite people and, first and foremost, win games of football. The next round the Premier League clubs come in, who wouldn't want to go through. Every competition, every game we play, me and my staff, and my players want to win. I'm not saying we are going to beat Leyton Orient and go through to the next round, but we want to go as far as possible and that's our aim."
Lowe also said that striker Dom Telford is operating only at partial fitness currently but will doubtless have a big part to play this coming season, adding: ""Dom is looking sharper. He looked a lot sharper on Saturday and he's looking a lot sharper in training. Dom will score goals, we know that, but he had a little niggle and we have got him back in the right frame of mind now. He's probably 70 per cent, but when you need a goal he's there to do it. Taylor and Telford have got a little bit of catch-up but I want all my strikers to score goals and they know that."
Ryan Lowe gave a happy assessment of his first home match as Argyle manager, with praise for players from all over the pitch. He said: "It was excellent I keep saying, we know the fan base, we know the football club, we know what it is. The fans are getting behind us and sticking with us like they have done, and we know they will, it's massive. When you come out and see the fans, all singing you get goose bumps, it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but I knew that and that's why I'm here. The defence was solid. You see Scotty Wootton, Gaz Sawyer and Niall Canavan are forming their little relationship and when you've got a 'keeper like Alex Palmer who just comes and collects balls from the sky, it always helps. The wing-backs did their defensive duties perfect and Joe Edwards mopping up. It's always nice to keep clean sheets, especially for the lads who are on clean sheet bonuses. I'm praising the defenders, but we start from the front, first half before Joel Grant went off injured, I thought he and Byron Moore were working solidly and tirelessly hard up front. Defensively, out of possession we were fine; attacking play, we're nearly there. We're two weeks into the season, we will keep building and keep working my standards are high, I'll always want more. I told him I want goals from my two outside midfielders. Two wins and two clean sheets I couldn't have asked for a better start. As long as the season goes on, we're not going to get carried away. There are some parts we need to work on, but we are getting in the right areas and creating chances, which is always good. The season is not won in August, it's not won in September or January. We'll see where we are come the end of the season."
Sarcevic took on board his manager's words about goalscoring and was delighted to get off the mark so early in the season. He reflected: "Its something that I've not shied away from, it has always been in my game, I just need to get it back out again, which is frustrating because it has always been there. It's nice of the gaffer to give me that licence. He has given me a target to get and I have to get it. In my first taste of the Football League, with Fleetwood, I got 15. The manager has helped me. He has come in with a breath of fresh air and enthusiasm. We are excited for what's to come and we hope everyone else is as well."
"Even today he wasn't happy with parts of the game. From the outside it is exciting but there is still a lot more to come. The lads who were already here before the gaffer came in haven't played in the system, so he used a large part of pre-season drilling that into us, and he still is. We are two games in, our feet are on the ground and we are going to try and keep going. It was one of those games, it was a bit frustrating. It was a good strike, I was saying previously that Dom teed me up, at first I didn't think he was going to give it to me. It was ages before he gave it to me but it was nice to see it hit the net."
On the injury that forced the substitution of striker Joel Grant, Lowe said: "I think Sarce has played a cross-field pass and Joel has sprinted for it. I'm hoping he has come off at the right time and we have just got it. I have told all the players 'Any sort of niggles, feel anything, you are getting off the pitch.' You can't risk it. We had a great record at Bury last season of fitness players, 97 per cent available ratio, and we want that again, if not more. John Lucas, Paul Atkinson and all my staff will make sure we get that. We will address Joel tomorrow morning and take it from there. He just said he felt something so I'm hoping it's not major because we have got him off the pitch. t's too early to observe it now really. We will let it die down, get it compressed and strapped up and then we will take it from there. He has made a big impression. It would be cruel for him if he was out for whatever, but I'm hoping he's not. I'm hoping we have caught it. Joel knows where he's at and potentially it gives someone else an opportunity. But it won't be cruel for Joel. He's a big part of our plans and we will assess him and we will get it right, and we will make sure he comes back fit."
Antoni Sarcevic scored his first goal since January to ensure he was the difference between the two sides as Argyle made it the perfect start to their home campaign with a 1-0 victory over Colchester United. Argyle lost Joel Grant to injury in the first half but his replacement Dom Telford put the ball on a plate for Sarcevic to slot home. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards(Baxter), Riley, Sarcevic, Mayor, McFadzean, JV Grant(Telford), Moore(Taylor). Subs: Cooper, J Grant, Randell, C Grant.
Upon the arrival of Chelsea loanee Josh Grant, Ryan Lowe has said that the youngster comes highly recommended and that Argyle were keen to wait and make sure they had the right player. Lowe said: "He's had a fully fit pre-season, and comes highly recommended from good sources. I spoke to the lad on the phone, he's a good kid. I told him what I want, what we're about, and he couldn't wait to get here. He's another body who is going to challenge. We felt it was important that we got that cover," said Lowe. "He's going to challenge and make competition even harder and that's what we want. He's a right-sided centre-half who can play right wing-back. He's been highly recommended, and won quite a lot of trophies with Chelsea under-23's. He's had a spell on loan in League Two last season played a few games and then got injured. That should be it. But, we'll never say no because something might pop up. It's got to be the right fit; we're not just going to get anyone in the building."
Now the incomings seem to be done, Lowe turned his attention to the possibility of some outgoings. He set expectations for a couple of departures: "There's going to be one or two more that might start to slip out of the door on loan over the next week or two, so we've got to make sure that we are well prepared for that. What we want with the lads is to get some game-time, because they may not get much here. The under-23's doesn't start for a while, the EFL Trophy we're not in action in that for a month or two, and in all honesty I want to be as strong as possible in those competitions so there may not be an option for those type of players in these games. We spoke to them in-house, and it's only right that we keep that between us," said Ryan. "We spoke to certain individuals and said, 'go and get yourself some game time.' When you get farmed out on loan, depending on what club or status you're at, it's as if it's the end of the world for the kid, but it's not. Go and get some games, and then we will address it in January. If you haven't done what we'd expect you to do then it might be a different story, but ultimately it's up to the lads who are not in the match-day squads to go and get some game-time. Let me read and have videos of what you're doing and how you're performing, and then, if it's good enough, you'll get a chance."
Lowe also made a point of restating his adamance that he alone is not solely to thank or blame for management of the team this season, revealing the extent to which he and his staff operate as a unit. He said: "At the end of the day, it's not just me and Steven, it's Nance, Rhys, John and Jimmy. We speak on a daily basis, what we can do, how we're going to do it. We put all of our cards on the table and we'll mix it up and see what suits. Schuey is my number two, we go back a long way, and he's just as important as me. All of my staff are just as important as me. I am the manager, I make the final decisions, but, ultimately we're a team. We're quite open with each other. We challenge each other every day, we're a quite relaxed group," Lowe continued. "If there's a small disagreement on stuff, we'll make sure we put it right. The relationship with the team is very good. We prepare like there's no end. We're on the phone Saturday and Sunday, off Monday, and then start talking about Colchester, their result, looking at what they did and how they did it. We have someone at every game, we had someone at Colchester, Leyton Orient, we'll have someone at Newport. And then we get all the DVD footage, break it down into areas looking at what we want and where we think we can get something out of them."
Niall Canavan has praised a feel good factor around Home Park at the moment by fans and players alike as the greens gear up for their Home Park opener against Colchester United on Saturday. Canavan said: "Obviously, nobody wanted to get relegated last year, but you've got to make the best out of each situation. If our best case is that we go up this year and that leads on to better things for the club, then that's what we've got to go for. This big stand behind me is coming close to being finished. It just ties in together that we are building something. You ask anyone, when that is full and ready to go do you want to go play in front of 18,000?"
"I think we all know we've had some bad starts in the recent years, but it's a nice feeling to tick off the first three points and a clean sheet. As away performances go, you can't ask for much more. I enjoy three at the back. It's a system that needs work, but we've had that, and we've had to play with direction. I think if you ask any of the boys, they are very clear on their role and what their job is. I've never had a pre-season game delayed for crowd congestion. Ever. That just shows the support we've got, and the lads are very aware of the support we've had. The new boys are a bit taken aback by it at times. It's looking like it's going to be a good atmosphere on Saturday. Hopefully, we can get the right result and send everybody home happy."
Having been a striker himself, Ryan Lowe revealed a 'tough love' approach to ensuring that Argyle's young forwards develop to the level they are capable of. Lowe detailed his philosophy: "I never started until I was 20, and finished just before I was 40, so I had a good innings. I give the strikers a lot of tough love because I don't want them to fail," said Lowe. "The likes of Luke Jephcott, Alex Fletcher and Klaidi Lolos, I don't want them to fail in their career. I failed as a youngster, I couldn't get to a professional level until I was 20. I want them to do well, I'm chomping at the bit, hopefully they get it. Jephcott scored four goals the other week, Fletcher is eager to do it, he scored a couple in pre-season, Lolos too. Just keep scoring goals because that's what makes you money and gets you good moves. They've got the best opportunity now, but they've got to listen, they've got to do it. It's not life or death, but it's the making of whether you're going to earn a lot of money or you're going to go and play part-time football."
Chelsea defender Josh Grant has come to Home Park on half-season loan. The 20-year-old centre-back first signed on professional terms at Chelsea in 2015 and has been capped four times by England Under-20s. He played against Argyle for Chelsea in the Checkatrade Trophy last season before being loaned to Yeovil in the second half of the season. Josh joins namesakes Joel and Conor at Home Park, and follows in the footsteps of departed Peter - now at Morton.
Chief Executive Andrew Parkinson has said that the grandstand development is still on track to be complete and open for business by the start of 2020. He said: "We are still going to be completed for the last quarter of 2019. We are looking at the end of October for the construction to have been completed, there or thereabouts. Then there is a fit-out programme which is usually about five or six weeks. We have been working on those in parallel, which means the first events will hopefully happen in the second week of December. We have got some Christmas events lined up for non-matchday. Then what we have got to work through over the next couple of weeks is putting a programme together of test events. We will have a limited number of people that will be able to come into that to test access and egress. From there, we will then go into the plan which is our first game. That's going to be in December in some format, but it might be a more limited capacity. Certainly we will have our first home game if not before the turn of the year then it could be New Year's Day. We are working through what is the right mechanics and dynamics for that.
"They are always unpredictable in terms of how they develop, and you are not just dealing with a stand as well, it has got to work operationally. It's the outside area too, and we have got the supporters' bar that is being developed as well, which is another aspect. There are new ways of getting in, the land outside has got to be levelled so there are lots of different things, the things you don't know until you are in there. But it's so important for the club because it's not just the 30-odd games that we play, it's about all the other times the stadium needs to be open."
"It's how do we generate income so that we can get the best first team on the pitch, and so on. It has been really positive. Having three different offerings, not a one size fits all, is great. Also, as a non-matchday events venue, we have also had a lot of provisional bookings. We are probably almost halfway there to what we targeted, and we have still got eight or nine months to go in the financial year. It has been very important to us, but it's also been great to see the interest in it as well.
Regarding the possibility of naming rights for the stand, Parkinson added: "It is an opportunity. We are also conscious as well it is the Mayflower Grandstand and it is at Home Park. I think people would recognise that the connection needs to be retained in whatever way. "Clearly, a club in our position, we have to look at the opportunities that there may be too. That also means working potentially with the right partners, who have the same connection and the same values that we do. We have to make sure that we don't lose connection with the place and the integrity of the club. So, yes, it's definitely an opportunity and something we are looking at. There is not a bus coming up with that on at the moment but we are working on that."
Ryan Lowe has explained that he sees the transfer of Ashley Smith-Brown to Oldham on a season-long loan deal to be the best decision for all parties concerned. He argued that the player would benefit from more games and Oldham would benefit from having him there: "I don't want four wing-backs and I said to Ash he can stay here, no guarantee you can play and no guarantee you can't. He has been fantastic all pre-season but Oldham had come in for a season-long loan, it was local for him, he is back home and playing games. I've got plenty of cover at wing-back and it was a no-brainer for both parties. It was nothing against Ash, he's shown a fantastic attitude in pre-season but once he saw we signed Fadz, he might have felt he was going to be a number two."
Joe Edwards has described Ryan Lowe as 'relentless' in the way in which he goes about his work as well as paying tribute to the Green Army's exceptional support. Edwards said: "It's nice to be talked about, and that comes probably with the size of the club and where we are at. Stats and things like that don't always go as planned. I have been favourite to be relegated and got promoted from a season before. What we do know here is we have got as manager in charge who is very driven and relentless in how he works and how he wants you to train. For me, that can only be a good thing and put you in the right direction."
"I have never been in a pre-season game that has been delayed for fans coming in. That's special for me. It's one of the reasons why you would want to come and play for this club. The fanbase is brilliant. The expectation levels are where they are because they want to be back where they belong, and that's fair enough. That's something we have got to take on as players and thrive upon, to have that expectation and to really go through with it and give something for these fans to get behind. They can be the added factor that can help us go all the way with their support."
Ryan Lowe declared himself delighted with a superb opening day victory at Crewe, explaining how pre-season had been built towards the optimal outcome. Lowe said: "You build up for five or six weeks and that's what you want; an opening-day win. I'm pleased with the goals, pleased with the clean sheet but disappointed at not keeping the ball well enough toward the end. The standards are high and they'll get higher because I demand it but I couldn't have asked for a better start. We knew they would come at us because they're a fantastic team but we felt we would be too strong for them in possession, and out of possession. We were comfortable but let them come into it in the second half and you can't let a Crewe side do that. They have a never-say-die attitude and we had to withstand that little storm. They were never going to lie down.
"Jose Baxter came on and you could he was calm on the ball with his little touches, which is what we needed because Crewe were getting on top. We put him on to do that and I was mindful that Joe Edwards was on a yellow card. The gelling happened the minute we walked in the building and I'm big on that; galvanising players and mixing with them. We work with them and bond with them, running up and down hills in Spain. That's bonding for me and we knew we would get that. Every club I go to in my career will have that because we're a family now. I've told them that if anybody hurts me, they are hurting the boys, and anybody hurts them, they are hurting me. We're a family and you can become successful like that. When you come to a football club like Argyle, you want to get off to a good start. We will have bumps in the road during the season because you can't beat everybody 3-0, we know that, but I'm happy to get off to a good start."
Lowe dedicated the fantastic victory to Argyle's loyal fans who had travelled far and in numbers, adding: "The fans have come in their numbers and sometimes you worry about letting them down after travelling all that way. This win is for them and for coming here in such numbers. Yes, we played the football and scored the goals, but they backed us all the way. I'm relishing putting out a style of football for them and they will keep travelling in their numbers to follow us. If we keep putting in performances like that, I'm sure there will be 2,000 next time. We know what the fanbase brings, they're massive. They travelled up and down the country last season and didn't get what they deserved, but hopefully they'll get that this season. It's the first game of the season, we're not getting carried away, but this win is for them. Our attention will turn to Colchester, one of the best teams we played last season, but we will concentrate on us and hopefully Home Park will be packed to the rafters."
Lowe had specific praise for some players, one of whom was loanee goalkeeper Alex Palmer who had a dream debut making more than one superb save alongside good cross collection and distribution. Lowe said of Palmer: "He made a lot of saves and that's what he was brought in for. He's a top class 'keeper and will play at the highest level because you can see the size and stature of him. Sometimes, those shots can ricochet and roll in, which is why I was bit disappointed we allowed them to have those shots but he is doing his job by making those saves."
He added praise for striker Joel Grant too, enthusing: "It was very good from Joel and he's been fantastic. I spoke to him in pre-season when I wanted him to sign an extended contract and he was one I had a soft spot for straightaway because he wanted to put things right from last season. I know he was injured toward the end of the season but he was pleased to sign a new contract, and forever asking what I wanted from him. He's played in midfield and as a striker. I just said to do the simple things, work your socks off, shoot and score goals. We know he can play striker. He scored a goal, his hold-up play and link-up play was very good. It's his place to lose now but we've got some fantastic strikers. Byron Moore can play different positions as well. I've said to the boys that all of them will get a chance and if Joel keeps doing that, he'll play a lot of games."
Callum McFadzean revealed his delight at getting off to a two goal start in the win at Crewe and gave his assessment of the game and the goals. He said first of his previous season at Bury: "Plenty of assists, but no goals. So it's a bit strange. I think you'll probably see more assists and more goals if I'm there, I'm not afraid to shoot. It's a great start, personally and as a team. It's always massive to get off to a winning start. That was one of our main objectives, coming in to the start of the season, to get off to a good start. I feel we've done it and we feel like we've got more to come, so that's a big plus, as well."
"Coming from the left-hand side, I had a shot with my right foot. It deflected, went up into the air, and I saw it fall nicely. I thought 'Might as well; I'm in the box; give it a try.' It went in. Buzzing. Me and Danny have done that last season; that's what we like to do," he said. "We're an attacking left-hand side and you'll see that all season. I'll be going from minute one to the final whistle that's what I'm all about; I'm up and down and Danny does what he does. He's a magic man. I just make the runs if he gives it to me, he gives it to me; if not, I expect him to do the rest. I think we've got a good partnership there and, as the games go on, we're only going to get stronger."
"We had to dig deep, to defend; Alex's has pulled some great saves off, kept us in the game. It was a good test. We expected that from Crewe they are a good team, so to come here and keep a clean sheet and score three goals is a good start. The second goal knocked the confidence a little bit, and we expected them, in the second half, to come out guns blazing because they are not going to just sit back. I thought we dealt with it right. It shows with a clean sheet."
"It's a good start. We can't get too carried away but we're going in the right direction. The fans are going to go away buzzing; we're going to go away buzzing. But we have got to be level-grounded. We just want to keep going. We know there's more to come and that's a good feeling. There's stuff we need to work on, but it's the first game and to get a win and three points is a big plus."
McFadzean echoed the words of his manager towards Argyle's fans, saying: "It's class. To come that far in their numbers is absolutely excellent and hopefully we can keep repaying them through the season. Thinking about it now, it's actually frightening what numbers are going to be coming down next Saturday. I can't wait for it now. When people say it, you don't realise how big the support actually is until you get down to Argyle. As soon as I got here, I was blown away. We want to pick the place back up and we feel, from pre-season to now, we're going in the right direction. Keep working hard and stick together and hopefully it will be a good season. I think we've gelled well as people they are all good lads and that's what the gaffer wants. Everyone wants to be there and everyone's in it together. We're like a big family, really."
Lowe said of McFadzean's surprise goal: "He rifled one in the top bin in training on Friday and I think he had the wrong boots on last season. His desire and commitment to get up the pitch in the 94th minute shows his willingness, and what he wants to do for this team, this badge, for me and for his team-mates. That's the type of character he is and hopefully he can get a few more goals. Sometimes, you can score too early but it did relax the lads. You can get into a comfort zone and I've done it myself where you think it's going to be easy, but it was never going to be easy."
Argyle have had a dream start to their League Two season with a stunning 3-0 victory away to Crewe Alexandra. The greens went 1-0 up early in the game from Callum McFadzean, scoring his first goal in over a year. The lead was shortly doubled thanks to Joel Grant on his return to the side. A gritty second half followed before McFadzean's second and Argyle's third secured the victory towards the end of the match. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards(Baxter), Riley, Sarcevic(C Grant), Mayor, McFadzean, J Grant, Moore(Taylor). Subs: Cooper, Randell, Lolos, Telford.
Defender Ashley Smith-Brown has joined Oldham Athletic on a season-long loan deal. The young full-back made 37 appearances last season but looks to have played his final game given his contract is due to expire at the end of the season. Luke Jephcott has also joined Truro on an initial 28 day loan. Lowe said of the departure: "I've said to Luke 'now you need to kick on, play games, score loads of goals and give me a headache. It's only a 28-day loan but go and score as many goals in that 28 days as you possibly can. If you're scoring goals and you're my player, then why wouldn't I be bringing him back to be a part of the first-team? Because that's what I want. He scored four goals at Buckland, which I was very pleased with, and the training sessions from then on have been brilliant. I said to Luke from the minute I came in, and I've watched him, I was waiting for him to spark. I know he had a bit of an injury last year, and he wasn't fully fit when he came back in, but the last two weeks he's looked a better player than what I'd seen. He's shown me something different, so going out now to play some games is going to benefit him and benefit us."
After a misery-laden first season with Argyle, defender Scott Wootton has revealed his determination to push on and earn a place in the side now that he is fit and hopes to repay the trust shown in him by Ryan Lowe in giving him the number 5 shirt. Wootton said: "Obviously, at the start of the season, we didn't get off to a good start as a team. I picked up an injury, was out for a long time and I struggled to get back after that. The manager sort of had a settled team and that went against me.
"I was incredibly frustrated last season. For the first month or two, the team was going well so there was not much that I could have done or said, but then there became a time when the team wasn't performing well, and we were conceding a lot of goals, and I was sat watching, believing in myself that I could have contributed. I'm not saying I single-handedly would have kept us up I'm not saying that at all. I do feel that I could have helped the team, though. One, I didn't play to my best, or get long enough to get up to the level; and, two, I wasn't given a chance. That's just doubly frustrating. I got a phone call off the gaffer, midway through the summer, shortly after he took the job. He spoke really well and gave me the extra determination to make me want to come back in the best shape and get another chance at this massive club."
"It's a great compliment to be given the No.5 shirt. I'm made up that the manager has put that faith in me. I want nothing more than to re-pay him and give everything I can for him, for myself, for my family and for the club. Off the back of last season, I've got that extra determination to succeed. There's a really good feel around the place, amongst the players, staff and the club, and that's given me an extra determination off the back of last season, having that in my stomach. I want to show everyone how good I can be. As a footballer you are not immune to criticism, and football is a confidence game. The fans pay their hard-earned money and travel in amazing numbers, so they are entitled to their views, but on a personal note I never quite understood the criticism. If I was playing week in, week out and we were losing every week then I would understand, by all means but I wasn't playing or even on the bench at times, so I found it bizarre. That's football, of course, and you have to have the thick skin to deal with it. The fanbase is one of the reasons I wanted to play here. Last season was as frustrating for me as it was for them, I promise you. I'm just asking the Green Army to give me a chance, really. Judge me after 15-20 games, fully fit, fully sharp. I will be giving it my absolute all to represent Argyle, and I just hope they see that."
Ahead of the forthcoming season, Ryan Lowe laid down a marker to say that his side are clearly aiming for nothing less than promotion out of this league. He spoke of the value of having a settled squad and team, saying: "It's going to be like that, isn't it? When you're managing Argyle, the standards and expectations are massive," said Lowe, ahead of the Greens' Sky Bet League Two opener against Crewe. "We'll relish it. We know what's expected; we've got 46 games and we'll break the season down in quarters, and we'll see where we are. Why wouldn't it be a realistic aim? We're not here to make the numbers up, we want to finish as high as we possibly can. We're under no illusions, it's going to be a tough season, some fantastic football clubs and players dropping down to League Two because the standard's getting better."
"We haven't got any headaches behind the scenes, that's probably one of the biggest differences to Bury. Everybody knows my style of play, and the football I want to play. We are going to come up against opposition that want to stop us, they will succeed on some occasions and not on others. We had quality players last season, and I'd like to think we have quality players this season. We've got a competitive squad, a competitive team and some fantastic talent. Everyone's in the same position, there's going to be so many teams wanting to try and get promoted, and we're no different."
Ryan Lowe revealed his own personal excitement heading into the big opener to the season at Crewe Alexandra, detailing how well he has settled into the area of Plymouth. He said: "I'm excited to be working for this football club more than anything - in terms of how big it is, the stature of the club, the fans. The players have bought into it now, the lads that were brought here and the lads that were here previously. There's a lot of lads that we haven't seen the best out of last season or the season before. It's been great to me, the city. It's different, coming from Liverpool, which is a million miles an hour. Down here, they're a lot more chilled out and relaxed. I think you've seen me around the place since I've come through the door. I'm bubbly and excited, I just can't wait, and I want to do what's best for this football club and Simon Hallett, Andrew Parkinson Zac Newton and everyone else associated because they've put their faith in me to run this football club. When someone gives you those chances, I'm one to want to pay them back massively. That's my aim to get this football club back where it belongs."
After the previous day's news that Jose Baxter looked set to be fit for the opener, Ryan Lowe added that Will Aimson is also being considered for selection. Meanwhile, the club have decided not to offer a deal to trialist Ben Hall. Lowe: "Will's training today, so hopefully that will go well, touch wood. Other than that, we're fine, we're at one hundred per cent. He's on the grass today, he's been doing double sessions to make sure he's back to where he wants to get to
Byron Moore spoke in further detail about how the tactical approach of Ryan Lowe was crucial to his decision to join the greens, explaining: "He asked me if I would be interested and basically I snapped his fingers off. I know he can get the best out of me, he knows how I play and I like the way he plays. It was a no-brainer. "We have all got families and we need to support them. It has been a struggle but we got through it just about. When I was at Bury he stuck me up front, and at wing-back I had never played there before. I played up front in my Crewe days. He thinks I can play there and I respect his decision. The Gaffer likes attacking football, quick football. That's what we did at Bury and how we got all of our goals."
Lowe revealed that he has been constantly offering areas for improvement to another striker, young pro Alex Fletcher who Lowe feels needs to further develop his game in order to get into the side regularly: "I have told the strikers I will always be critical but it's never personal. It's more that I want them to do well. Fletch is a great kid. He's a fitness freak and he can run all day but there has got to be a time when you are in that 18-yard box and you have got to be calm and composed. That's what gets you in the team, that's what gets you big money moves scoring good goals and scoring a lot of goals. He hasn't quite done that yet. We are working with him on a daily basis for him to try and do that. We are eager for him to do well, to be honest, because he's ours and we want him him to score goals. He just needs to tidy up on that final little bit and make sure his runs are in the 18-yard box, not outside."
Ryan Lowe revealed that new signing Jose Baxter has done enough to boost his fitness levels to the point where he can be considered in the squad for the season opener against Crewe Alexandra. Lowe said of his continued development: "Our fitness coach wanted him to play 90 minutes but I said no. There would have been no harm in him playing 90 but he had a good 60 minutes. They all trained in the morning as well, got a good hour in them, so it was only fair to take him off. The more minutes we get into Jose and the double sessions he's doing will get him up to speed. Some of his passing range was clinical and, without being disrespectful, we had a lot of youngsters out there who were not quite on the same wavelength. He's a leader and a big player. He will be in the squad on Saturday, he's been keeping fit, came on for 15 minutes against Bristol Rovers, had Monday and Tuesday [at training], and played last night."
On the prospect of a couple of signings to come, Lowe added: "We're working hard on one or two. Whether that comes before Saturday, we will have to wait and see. We've got our targets and waiting on parent-clubs, and there are other clubs involved, so we'll have to be mindful of that. It is up to the kids then and where they want to play. What we don't want is to have a gun to our head that says they've got to play because we've probably got two players for every position and I've said to the boys that whoever is playing the best will play. Whoever coming in has to have that same mentality. We're looking at two players and we'll bring the two of them if we can, but we are happy with where we are."
A youthful Argyle side were held to a goalless draw by Tavistock in the final friendly game of pre-season on a rainy night at Langsford Park. Klaidi Lolos missed from the penalty spot in what was the game's best chance. Argyle: Cooper, Hall, Peck, Purrington, Baxter(Burdon), T Moore, Randell, Boyd(Sangster), Smith-Brown(Collum), Lolos(Wilson), Fletcher. Sub: Coombes.
Fixture dates have now been confirmed for Argyle's group stage in the 2019-20 EFL Trophy. The Pilgrims begin their campaign at home to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday, September 3 and we then travel to Swindon Town on Tuesday, October 8. The final game will be back at Home Park against Chelsea on Tuesday, October 29 all fixtures will kick-off at 7.45pm.
Gary Sawyer has declared himself well and truly ready for the coming season, his fifth of his second spell with Argyle and his second as club captain. He spoke of his adaptation to a back three under Ryan Lowe's system: I've played in a back five before, but only wide left. Other than that its been left-back or centre half, so this is in between roles. The way the Gaffer likes to play, I see more of the ball, which I enjoy. It's nice not to have wingers bearing down on me; you just need to deal with strikers instead. I think it was a good performance from ourselves, we showed a desire to get on the ball. The boys have been given a freedom to do that by the manager, it's a new formation for us," said the skipper. "We have worked on it and improved day by day, Unfortunately, we lost, but I didn't think we deserved to lose the game, we wanted a clean sheet, so it was a bit frustrating."
"Everyone wants to do well. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a league we don't want to be in but we are capable of having a good season. The Gaffer has been brilliant, getting everyone together. The Bury recruits got promoted last season, so they are very good, capable players who know the league the same way the gaffer and his staff do and it has definitely added strength to us. We feel we are ready to go now."
Despite defeat in the Bristol Rovers friendly game, Ryan Lowe said he is perfectly happy with slow and steady improvement shown by his Argyle side over the duration of pre-season. Lowe said: "You can see the improvement," said the Pilgrims manager, making his Home Park debut. "The way we've moved the ball, getting it to the top end of the pitch, we're just stalling a little bit, which we are aware of. Overall, though, the passages and patterns of play through the thirds, I was happy. "I've seen improvement every single day, and every single week," said the Argyle manager. "I've said to the lads; we'll ramp it up and there'll be a ruthless edge to everything we do. Ultimately, now, it kicks off next week. No-one likes losing any games of football, especially my first game at Home Park, which was phenomenal for me. But, we've got far bigger fish to fry than Bristol Rovers in a pre-season friendly. It's the league campaign that matters to us and will continue to. Overall, with the pre-season, we feel it's gone very well, in terms of the games and the levels, but now we ramp it up next week for the big one against Crewe Alexandra."
On an error made in the lead-up to Rovers' decisive goal, Lowe brushed off any blame that may be attributed to trialist Ben Hall. Lowe added: "Overall, I'm happy the shape and everything else was fantastic. I said to the lads, if you want to play in my team, you've got to be brave on the ball and do what I ask you to do and they're doing it. Young Ben's come in, he only trained with us yesterday, and then a ball's been fired into him I'm not happy with the ball. Yeah, he should deal with it, because he's a footballer, but he's just come on the pitch after sitting on the bench for 70-odd minutes, so it's not fair to criticise him or blame him. He was supposed to come last week and train with us for a good week beforehand. He was highly recommended from David Weir, who is Brighton's loan manager. I think there was a family bereavement in Brighton, so he only joined us yesterday. He's come and played 15 minutes today, we're obviously looking for someone down that side, just as cover. We'll have a look at Ben on Tuesday, he'll probably play 60, 70, 80 minutes and go from there."
One area for improvement that Lowe did note was that of improvement in the final third heading into the game at Crewe next week. He spoke of the sharpness of attacking movement: "We could have got our two midfielders on the ball a bit more," said Lowe. "We'll go away, analyse the video and we'll watch it. I think there were some great passages of play and quick patterns of play that we've worked on. I said to the wing-backs that they've got to start putting the balls on a plate for the boys. Bristol Rovers are going to be good this season in not conceding goals. They've got a great defender in Graham Coughlan in charge. He's been a warrior in his day and he will be making sure his side don't concede many goals. We'll work on it, we'll address it and get them a little bit sharper up the top end and hopefully have one or two players back for that as well," the Pilgrims' manager continued. "So yeah, I think everything was good up until the final third. We need more shots, some more crosses into the box, but we're aware of that."
On the commitment and dedication shown by re-invented striker Joel Grant, Lowe gushed: "He's scored a few goals up at the top end. He can play in various positions; he can play behind the strikers and in one of them midfield roles. He's worked his socks off in pre-season, to be fair, and you can see he's fit and sharp. I would like him to get more shots off in certain areas. He's desperate to do well. When Joel extended his contract, he said to me, not like some, that he wanted to make up for last season. He's got a great heart, great desire, great commitment for this football club. If he's got all of that then he's going to play a lot of games for me."
Finally, on the battle to start the season as the greens number one goalkeeper, Lowe added: "I've said to them, just because of the team selection today don't think that's the team. I'm not going to sit here and say 'that's the team' because then Dave Artell will pick up the phone and thank me for letting him know my team for next week. We've got another week to get through before we name the team, and I've got two lads coming back to fitness as well. Alex and Coops have been fantastic, and one of them will miss out, unfortunately," said Lowe. "We've got the Carabao Cup, so whichever of them doesn't play on Saturday will play against Leyton Orient on the Tuesday. Whoever is playing the best, and keeping the clean sheets, will play. Alex was fantastic, his contribution was very good, along with Coops. He was only on for a short space of time but I was very happy with him, along with all of them. There's no-one I'm unhappy with, because, if there was, they would already be on their way out. We've made a decision to go with a squad of 18, because that's what we'll have to go with next week. We've got to build it up for that, and that was the case on Saturday."
Jose Baxter assessed his own fitness levels and improvements going into the game, reflecting: "Fitness-wise, I'm about 60 per cent. "I have been doing stuff on my own, which is not the same. You need to do football-based stuff so I will be a couple of weeks behind. John Lucas is going to put me through my paces, which I'm looking forward to because you can do all the running in the world but you actually need football training and minutes on the pitch. I heard a lot of Bury lads talk about him last year and how good he is good so it will be nice to work with him. It's only what I need. You put the work in and you will reap your rewards for it.
"I want to win and I have come here to win. I think this is a club where we should be winning. In terms of what type of player I am, I can adapt to most positions. I'm happy to play anywhere, happy to be on the pitch and hopefully a young lad who will excite many fans. There have been a couple of wrong-doings of my own and I have held my hand up. It has been well put in the past. I think it was six or seven years ago and I served my time for it. It's behind me and I'm looking forward with positivity now and really trying to succeed with this club."
Argyle's only Home Park fixture of pre-season ended with a 1-0 defeat to Westcountry rivals Bristol Rovers. The game was even for much of the first half before the visitors began to get more control over the game in the second. A late goal by the visitors saw them claim their victory. The game featured a brief appearance for Argyle by ex-Brighton defender Ben Hall who is currently on trial at Home Park. Argyle: Palmer(Cooper), Wootton(Hall), Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards(Randell), Riley, Sarcevic(C Grant), Mayor(Baxter), McFadzean(Smith-Brown), J Grant, B Moore(Lolos).
Ryan Lowe has confirmed the list of squad numbers for the upcoming season at Argyle. The primary changes see Scott Wootton and Niall Canavan take numbers 5 and 6 respectively with Will Aimson taking the number four shirt. The full list can be found on the club's official website.
Ahead of Argyle's first and only pre-season friendly on their own turf, Ryan Lowe said that his squad are very close to where he wants them to be in terms of preparation to play the style he desires. With the start of the season nearing, Lowe stated: "The Green Army will see how we are trying to play and what we are trying to do, which has already come to fruition in the games we've seen,. Ultimately, I am looking forward to walking out at Home Park to see lots of fans there supporting me and my team. The lads I would say are probably 85% where we want them to be," he said. "I'm happy with them because they have bought into what we're about. We have brought in people who know how we play but they have been picking each other's brains of how we do things and what we're about to do. The lads are always asking about style of play that me and my coaching staff are going to play, and we'll continue to produce that. You have senior players coming in with the lads we already have, we have a lot of quality, those boys know the system. Just because we are playing a different shape, it means nothing, it's football. We want to excite the fans and potentially beat as many teams as we possibly can."
On the thorny matter of high expectations, Lowe brushed off any perception of pressure that may currently be hanging over him: "Expectation will come. It always will at this football club, whether it's me or someone else, the expectations are massive."Now, we have got the feel-good factor and we have got to produce on the football pitch. I have said before, the pressure is on the players to an extent because we are putting across what we want from them. But I don't want to put huge pressure on the players. I would say they are 90 per cent there with my style of play. We have drummed it into them while we were in Spain and in all the games you have seen the style of play we want. We will continue to do that and continue to work on little different aspects of it and improving on it. So the expectations probably are going to be massive, but it's no different to any other club. I want to Liverpool to win the Premier League by 10 points this season. My expectations as a fan are big and these Argyle fans are not going to be any different. We will relish it, it will be something that we will thrive on. With expectations, you have got to produce and the players know that, with the fans that are going to be behind them.
"We also know it's a work in progress. It's not just going to happen overnight, and I think the fans know that enough. They are well educated down here aren't they? We want to produce but it's going to take a long hard season to do that. It's better than what I thought it would be. I have come into it and I have grounded myself in it. I want it to feel like a big family. That's the way I am, for me respect levels are massive. I will respect everyone, whether you are the kit man, the groundsman, whoever it is, whether you are the chairman. "I will respect them all the same. They are just as important as I am, and we want to do that. We have galvanised that already. Behind the scenes they are giving us everything, more than enough, and we are thrilled with that. We are all pointing in the right direction and we are all aiming for one thing."
Argyle have made a surprise 8th signing of the summer with former Everton and Sheffield United star Jose Baxter being unveiled to fans at an open training session at Home Park today. Baxter was the youngest ever player to play for Everton, making his first appearance for the prodigious club shortly after his 16th birthday. He rose to prominence with Sheffield United before off pitch problems stalled his career. He played for Oldham last season before becoming the latest player to join the Ryan Lowe project at Argyle.
Baxter revealed the decision to join Argyle was an easy one, saying: "I met the Gaffer for a coffee and listened to the way he wants to play. Obviously, Argyle are a huge club so with that interest it excited me. I saw Bury last season and he plays amazing football. He's a good young coach who I think will go places. Just everything folded into one and really excited me so I can't wait to get going. I have always looked up to older lads from Merseyside who have played, reading the local paper and seeing how they get on. I always looked out for the Gaffer when he was playing and he's someone who I have come across a few times. Steven Schumacher is someone I have heard a lot of things about. He was a few years older than me at Everton. I heard how good of a player he was, and stuff like that. I never quite got to play with him but he's another one whose career I followed and looked out for."
Regarding the previous night's win at Buckland Athletic, Ryan Lowe explained the reasoning behind giving chances to a hungry young team of players rather than the full professional squad. Lowe said: "To score goals is obviously nice. I've been harping on at Luke Jephcott to get in the right areas to score goals. We've worked with him while we've been away in Spain, Fletcher is the same. Tom Purrington running around, doing what he does. Overall, I'm pleased. There were some good spells, good football. I'm pleased for the youngsters, Ollie Tomlinson, Reuben Collum and Isaac Burdon. We've brought them up and, in all honesty, I haven't really seen them play. They've been outstanding, especially Ollie who played the full game he went from the right side of centre-half to the left."
"They've trained this afternoon, and we just felt that, with all due respect, what was the scoreline in the end, 9-3? If you bring the first-team lads there can be a bit of dwelling, and maybe somebody could get hurt. We're not disrespecting them but we just knew that bringing the younger squad tonight would benefit them. It is what it is. For us, we've come here to support the lower league clubs, and we've brought a fair few fans that's what it's all about really. More minutes in the bank and no injuries, all good."
"What I have noticed coming to Argyle, a lot of the strikers want to come short and play. Well, that's fine but, one, you are not going to get in the team and, two, you are not going to score any goals, hence why they haven't. I'm trying to surely but slowly change that, and that's what they have got to do to be in and around my plans, and to be in and around League Two football. It doesn't matter who you are playing against, you want to score goals. They have got in the right areas and done that against Buckland."
It took Byron Moore just two minutes to bag his first goal in the pre-season game at Buckland and the striker spoke about what he hopes will be a successful spell with the club. He spoke with enthusiasm about the mass movement from Bury: "Argyle has always been a big club, just look at the stadium, the best I've played at. It was good to get some minutes at Buckland because circumstances have been tough for me. When I was at Bury, I played up front and wing-back. The gaffer likes attacking football, quick football and playing in the final third. We all want promotion for the club and for the fans. The lads know what he wants and are getting used to the formation. Hopefully, we can push on and I obviously know five of the lads already, all good lads. I know Antoni Sarcevic and Joel Grant as well, so that helps to settle in. The manager asked me if I would be interested in a move to Argyle and I snapped his hand off. He knows how to get the best out of me, how I play and I like the way he plays. I feel a bit sorry for Bury but I wasn't getting paid for so long, and I need security. There are five players signed from Bury and it's good because we did well last season, so we'll try to do it again this season. It's a massive shame for Bury but we need security, and this is a massive club. Hopefully, we can get the club to where they want. I wasn't paid for over five months and we've all got families to support. It has been a struggle but we got through it."
Ryan Lowe spoke effusively about Byron Moore, boldly branding him a 'total player' who can fill in at both striker and left-wing-back this season. Lowe raved: "He has got blistering pace and he runs in behind. He should have scored a lot more goals last season. I think he ended up finishing on either eight or nine goals. He should have had 20. He can hold the ball up, he glides past people, he can finish and he's very composed. He's so laid back. He's going to be a big player for us because he can play in different positions. He played a lot of the time last season at left wing-back, at right wing-back and striker. We have got someone in Byron who can play in them different positions. He's going to be a threat for us. We have seen him get out of fifth gear twice probably last season. So I'm putting the onus on him to get out of fifth gear quite a bit, and he will, because when he gets going he's lightning. He can play in different positions and it will depend on what we are doing, how we are doing, who we are playing and when we are playing. Byron knows that. He's one of 20-odd players in the squad and he has got to fight to get in, and he will certainly do that. What he gives you, he gives you goals, he gives you a threat in behind and he gives you a touch of class. You will see a lot of good things come out of Byron because he's a total footballer."
Argyle have come out on the winning end of a five goal thriller, winning their latest pre-season friendly in emphatic style. The greens went 2-0 up away at Buckland Athletic with goals in the opening ten minutes from new signing Byron Moore as well as youngster Tom Purrington. Luke Jephcott got two more before half-time and the hosts put a couple past keeper Alex Palmer to make it 4-2 to Argyle at the break. Jephcott got two more, making four in total after half-time and Alex Fletcher also got a brace. Youngster Isaac Burdon scored, as did the hosts to make it a quite remarkable score of Buckland 3-9 Argyle at full-time. Argyle: Palmer(Cooper), Tomlinson, Peck, Sangster, Randell, Moore, Jephcott, Purrington, Smith-Brown(Collum), Moore(Fletcher), Lolos(Burdon).
Argyle have secured another signing to add to their ever-growing list this summer. Byron Moore has become the 7th newbie of the summer and the 5th to join from Lowe's former club Bury. The 30-year-old started his career at Crewe, where he will return on the season's opening day.
Argyle have completed the re-acquisition of Higher Home Park. When Simon Hallett took over from James Brent as majority shareholder in August 2018, it was agreed that Argyle would enter negotiations to see the land not being used for a development of an ice rink be purchased back by the club. That purchase has now gone through.
Alex Palmer spoke of the excitement of representing a club like Argyle on a season-long loan deal, having only made two appearances for sides on emergency loans in the past. He said: "It's a massive club and it's an honour for me to be able to represent Argyle. I'm just looking forward to the season getting started now. I heard a phrase it's a sleeping giant, and we are trying to wake it up and get it back to where it belongs. It's a club that should be playing a lot higher than it is. We will be doing the best we can this season to get promotion. He has got a few lads that he knows from various clubs but he has welcomed me well. He seems like a really good guy. It's going to be a good competition between us for the season, and that's only a positive thing because we are going to be able to push each other. At Oldham we ended up winning the game 3-1, we did well, and the fans welcomed me, but then it's over. It's difficult because you get a taste for it and you want more. Then I got another taste for it with Notts County. You have two days to get to know the players and then you are playing the game, and after that you are done."
Ryan Lowe was satisfied with a good day at the office following Argyle's 2-0 victory against AFC Wimbledon in Alicante. He gave particular praise to star signing Danny Mayor who really stepped up his game to get a great goal and assist. Lowe said: "It was a pleasing day's work. In the heat, a lot of the lads had 60 or 70 minutes and there were some good patterns of play. We scored two good goals and kept a clean sheet. I'll always say results are irrelevant in pre-season. It's nice to score two goals but, most importantly, it's minutes for the lads. Overall, we'll get over this week, train again tomorrow and be more than happy. We took our time out to get some pictures with the fans because, whether they've come here on holiday or come to see us, it's fantastic. I'm happy with everything, the fans and the way the lads have applied themselves. I said to Danny that he needs to turn it on a bit now and that's what he can do. We know what he's got and the lads are chomping at the bit now. It's all about the build up for the first game of the season. They've all now given me a selection headache. They've all shown me what they can do and we can see the style of football we're trying to play. We move on to next week, a game on Wednesday and then Bristol Rovers. After Bristol Rovers, our attention turns to Crewe Alexandra and all the work we've done will be geared towards that game."
"The pitch was lovely, it was nice and slick with a bit of water on it, and a hot day. When you get Danny Mayor in them positions, that's what he does. He was influential in the second goal as well, with the pass for Joel. We know what Danny brings. He's looking forward to the start of the season, like they are, but the most important thing for us is being injury-free now. One, I want to get out of this pre-season injury-free, two the style of play, and three everyone knowing their jobs what's expected, and we are nearly on track. That's what we do. We wrap them up in cotton wool if need be. He could have played at Torquay but it's my choice. He gave us 65, nearly 70 minutes of pure quality. You will probably hear that out of me all season. It was nice getting a 2-0 win but as I have said from the start of pre-season the result is irrelevant. We got some good minutes in, we scored some good goals, we kept a clean sheet and we have worked some patterns of play. It's all building up to the Crewe Alexandra game. We got good minutes into the lads, a lot of them played 60, 70, 80 minutes. Overall, I'm happy with the four days we have had so far here in Spain but that has gone now and we move on to the next one."
On injured duo Dom Telford and Ryan Taylor, Lowe elaborated: "This weekend might come too soon for them because we don't want to risk them. But they will certainly be training next week, building up for the first game of the season on August 3. "They have been working very hard. He has had gym sessions, cardio sessions the two of them have so their lungs are right. Listen, they are good footballers aren't they so they are not going to lose that. You get sharpness with playing matches, I understand that, but sometimes you can't control what has gone on before, with Dom's lack of training and what not. Ryan is already fit anyway. He has been one of the fittest in pre-season. He has been at the front of the running so it's only a little minor blip for him in terms of his fitness, but he has been keeping that up on the bikes. They will be fine."
Argyle bagged an encouraging pre-season win on tour in Spain thanks to a goal and assist from talismanic signing Danny Mayor. The playmaker got off the mark for Argyle with a wonderful 25 yard strike before threading a through ball for forward Joel Grant who put us two up before the interval. Argyle: Cooper (Palmer), Wootton(Peck), Canavan, Sawyer(Purrington), Riley(Moore), C Grant(Sangster), Edwards(Randell), Mayor(Sarcevic), McFadzean(Smith-Brown), Lolos (Jephcott), J Grant(Fletcher).
Left-back Ryan Law has joined Truro City on an initial 28-day youth loan. The 19 year-old defender, a second-year professional at Home Park, will be managed by his former Argyle coach Paul Wotton
Simon Hallett gave a glowing appraisal of new manager Ryan Lowe and gave fans an insight into the process that went into appointing him as the new manager. He explained: "Without wanting to make any comparisons with the previous regime, what we have got in Ryan is exactly what we set out to get. The phrase 'forward-thinking' means somebody who is prepared to look at all kinds of methods. He has brought a health and science fitness coach with him and Schuey, his assistant manager, has just been on the UEFA A Licence course. These are young men who have a great bond already with the players, I'm told. He fits all the criteria that we set out to look for, so from that point of view I'm delighted. He was the stand-out interviewee. When I say 'he' I should say that he and Steve Schumacher came as a pair and presented together. They obviously have a great relationship, so I'm pleased about that, and I'm also pleased that he has got off the ground running with the fans. He's extraordinarily open. He has opened up training sessions I have been to see one myself. He has helped the continuation of what I think we have achieved since that terrible week at the end of April, beginning of May, which ended in relegation. There has been a rekindling of spirits around the community, such as a very successful Day of Action at the club, which got together 100 people to clean up the stadium. Ryan has been part of the rebuild of morale amongst the team, the staff and the supporters, and I'm very grateful to him. I think he has been even better there than we expected, so I'm thrilled. If there is an owner of a recently-relegated club anywhere in the world that is happier than me at the moment I would like to meet him."
"We actually interviewed four people on the day. We spoke to a couple of others but formal interviews was four. The first one we saw we would have been happy to have offered him the job on the spot, and the second one was the same and then with Ryan it was like 'wow'. He's a people person and hes better at presenting and so on, but he really was very good. If you go to my company's website you will see that we describe ourselves as all about process, all about structure, all about discipline. The presentation that Ryan gave was very much about 'this is how we structure training, this is how we structure this, this is how we structure that'. Ryan says he's not a big data analytics guy, but he knows there was 97 per cent player availability at Bury last season. That strikes me as somebody who realises the value of data! The interview process was a good one. We ended up with the best candidate and we landed him, so very pleased."
"The people who get the credit for getting the deal done are Zac Newton and Andrew Parkinson, who was thrown right into it as our new CEO. Zac did a great job organising the selection process and getting us down to the short shortlist. Then between them they did a great job with the negotiations with Bury, with various lawyers, and I think we all helped land Ryan and Schuey, which was done pretty quickly. All those rumours that were going around that Ryan didn't really want to come simply aren't true. There was a question of whether we had to pay compensation for Lowe. Then, if we have to pay compensation to a club in financial difficulties, can we make sure that it gets properly credited, as opposed to having them come after us for it twice. It was terribly frustrating and there was nothing I could do. Zac and Andrew did a great job keeping me calm. I'm a fan as well, and I tend to get frustrated by these things. You want certainty, especially about something you are so excited about. It was frustrating for Ryan and Schuey as well because they wanted to get going. As non-executive chairman, I'm not going to go giving instructions to Ryan, and the board is not going to go giving instructions to Ryan. But I was thrilled to see that it's not all change. That Kevin Nancekivell is on the first team staff, with Ryan's blessing. All I asked Ryan to do was to take a look at Kevin and give him a chance. Kevin strikes me as the kind of guy that we want around the club for his entire career, so I'm very pleased about that. I'm pleased that Gary Sawyer has been reappointed as club captain."
Ryan Lowe declared himself disapointed with certain aspects of sloppiness during Argyle's 3-1 loss to Torquay United but pleased with some positive play going forward. The manager said: "I'm disappointed with the result but happy with some bits of play. There were some good signs and we should have scored more goals, but not conceded two sloppy goals. The first one is a worldy, nobody's going to take that away from the kid, he smashed it right in the top bin. Overall, if you take the result out of it, I'm happy with the way we played, the way we passed the ball and moved it. Overall, I'm happy with the signs I've seen and we'll see a true Argyle team at the start of August. We don't want to lose any game but these are small games for us, where we need to blow the cobwebs away. It's no concern for me, there are no points on the line and you'll see plenty of teams lose throughout pre-season. We knew Torquay would be right up for it because they're playing against Plymouth Argyle. I'm not taking anything away from them but we feel we should have scored more goals, and they scored two of theirs through our mistakes. You can't look at pre-season games because if we win our first two or three in the league, no-one looks back on the Torquay result."
On newest acquisition Callum McFadzean, Lowe added: "You can see what he gives in that last 20 minutes at Torquay. He was down the left flank and put some great balls in to the box. He had around 10 assists last season by getting into good areas and putting the ball across the box. That's what we want Ash Smith-Brown to do when he's playing, and the same with Joe Riley and Tafari Moore.He is another great lad and a great addition for us. He'll assist goals for us by getting up and down that channel. He can defend and he's a powerhouse going forward. I converted him to a wing-back from a left-back but he can also play as the left-sided centre-half.
"I'm getting a bit of stick for bringing in ex-players from Bury but let's not forget Will Aimson hadn't been paid for four months, so that's why he was available. Danny Mayor was on a free transfer, so was Callum McFadzean and we paid money for Dom Telford. I love Bury Football Club, everyone knows that, and I've got to respect the position of the fans. If I'm in a position to sign these players who become available for free and they're good players, I've got to look to do it, because it will only be someone else.""
Lowe also gave a fitness lowdown on the Argyle squad, revealing the identities of several currently out with injuries. He detailed: Telford came in and his thigh was a bit tight. I'm very cautious with stuff like that and my gut instinct was for him to get his gear off and take a shower. He wanted to play but he's done what I asked him to do. It's a precaution and we were cautious with McFadzean as well because it's different for Alex Palmer, who has been away with West Brom and is game-ready. Rather than lose Telford for two or three weeks, we lost him for this game.
"Dyson has gone to St George's Park because he had stuff with his ankle last year, so he's gone there for a bit of rehabilitation. He's lasted all the running in pre-season but he was struggling with his ankle, so he's gone there while we go to Spain. We will see Calum next Wednesday at Buckland and monitor him for that. Ryan Taylor rolled his ankle in head tennis yesterday, so more precaution. Danny Mayor was the same after the game at Plymouth Parkway. He wanted to play but he had a bit of swelling. We'll work with them while we're away for a week and be a bit more solid. We're missing one or two key players as well and one or two more to come in. The only players not coming to Spain are Ryan Law with a knee problem, Calum Dyson is at St George's Park and Will Aimson."
Lowe spoke further about the trip to Spain, revealing that team bonding is just as critical as football preparation on the trip. He added: "I've asked them whether they know what ruthless looks like because I've got a chart that tells you how it is and I'll show them what ruthless looks like. Once I show them that, they'll buy into it. It's only small details, working with your mates, pulling people around and doing the right things. We'll get that while we're over there and that might mean being ruthless to your mate next to you because, if he's running around like a headless chicken, you can't do that - you'll get popped off. I did it last year and I wanted to figure out what ruthless looks like. I've got my own little chart and I'll show them. It will be a lot of fitness and team bonding sessions on the beach [in Spain]. We'll play different sorts of games and Schuey is good on the quizzes and stuff. We'll play some games on the beach but we're ultimately there to get fit and get strong. We'll do a lot of video analysis, look at patterns of play out of possession. We'll look at the goals we've conceded and where we've got to learn. Once we got the go ahead on playing Wimbledon, it's a win-win for them and us. We've been careful with the time because of the weather."
Finally, Lowe explained that Michael Cooper and Alex Palmer will be genuine rivals for the number one goalkeeping spot. He impressed the importance of making sure the right goalkeeper was brought in: "It's been on the cards for a while and he comes with great feedback on him. The boy wanted to come, he's not played many games and been with the Under-23s at West Brom. He's relishing the chance to play league football and wants to be a part of something special. A goalkeeper of his calibre, who has represented England and been at West Brom, doesn't come along often. We've had loads of goalkeepers thrown at us but we had to make sure we got the right one. Once I'd spoken to Alex after he'd been away for a week with West Brom, he drove straight down to Plymouth and fair play to him. It's down to him and Coops now. As I said before, there isn't a number one or two. It's two quality goalkeepers fighting for one position and you get experience through playing. They have great experience playing in front of them. They're two quality goalkeepers and I'm happy to give them the opportunity. Michael will probably wear the number one jersey but that doesn't mean anything; it's a straight fight between the two of them."
Argyle went down 3-1 to Devon rivals Torquay United in the third pre-season match of the schedule. The game was noticeable for featuring new signing Alex Palmer in goal. The 22-year-old West Brom keeper has two league appearances to his name and went straight into the side at Torquay. Argyle did go a goal up through in-form Klaidi Lolos but Torquay went into the lead before half-time with two quickfire goals. They secured their victory with a third halfway through the second half.
Wing-back Callum McFadzean has become the latest Shaker to join Argyle, following Ryan Lowe and a whole host of coaching staff and players down to Devon. The 25-year-old was a regular in Bury's promotion season.
Lowe gave thanks to Plymouth Parkway for a well-hosted day and a good game on Saturday, as well as promising Argyle will return there one day under his management: "As long as I am here as manager, we will be coming here every year. The fans are unbelievable, our 12th man and it's good that they were on our doorstep to come and watch. The kids being on the park at half-time and full-time is great - that's what pre-season should be about."
After praising Argyle's patterns of play in the loss at Truro, Ryan Lowe noticed an improvement in many areas following the win at Parkway. He had particular praise for Greek youngster Klaidi Lolos, enthusing: "It is always nice to get your first win and there was definitely an improvement. We got on the front foot, and got in the right areas. Every day is a learning day, so they the players are learning more and more. They are asking questions as to what we want, and they are producing. Klaidi Lolos, Michael Peck and Adam Randell - the three of them have been brilliant hence why they are playing some minutes. Klaidi has got something special and he is going to score more goals. Adam and Mike are a bit different in that they have defensive duties but Klaidi is a talent."
Argyle wrapped up their first win of the Ryan Lowe era with a 2-0 victory against Plymouth Parkway at Boilitho Park. The goals came either side of half-time. Conor Grant slotted away a penalty after being brought down in the box and Klaidi Lolos scored with a fine strike just after the interval. Argyle: Holmes, Moore(Riley), Peck, Canavan(Telford), Sawyer, Smith-Brown, C Grant(J Grant), Randell(Sangster), Mayor(Jephcott), Lolos(Purrington), Fletcher(Taylor).
Ryan Lowe was quietly pleased with the patterns of play shown by Argyle in the 1-0 loss to Truro City and hopes the team can continue to develop this heading into the second friendly at Plymouth Parkway. Lowe said: "What we learned about the lads is that they are on route to playing the style we want to play. There were some good patterns of play; we haven't done much work on it, so that's why I was so pleased. We did one afternoon on patterns of play with them because, obviously we're still in pre-season, and have three-and-a-half weeks or so to go before the first game of the season. I was so pleased with them because we showed them a video of 12 minutes and then we did 30 minutes work with them, we walked them through some shape and they took it on board exactly how we wanted them t. "We can do things a little bit quicker at times, which we will when the pitch is nice and wet and a lot greener, like ours is. Then you'll see the patterns of play coming to fruition and it'll be a bit more ruthless than it was . I'm actually going to go down and have a look at the pitch. With Plymouth Parkway, we have got to be careful because a lot of these pitches are dry and we don't want to pick up any injuries. We want to win every game we possibly can but the most important game to win is on the third of August at Crewe."
Lowe also hinted that Parkway will be the game which sees Lowe make a call on the future of trialist goalkeeper Jordan Holmes, with the time soon nearing where a decision needs to be made. Lowe elaborated: "Jordan has had 45 minutes and will get another 45 minutes at the weekend and then we will probably make a decision on him after the weekend because we fly out to Spain on Wednesday morning. We need to know where we are going to be with that. The squad, when we get a few more additions, is going to get bigger, so we probably won't do trialists unless we know that it is someone we are really looking for. There probably won't be any now. We certainly won't take any to Spain with us because we will take the squad that we think will be with us for most of the season, unless something pops up in the near future. I think, when we get the next two in, we will be relatively happy and then we will address Jordan and see where we go from that, but we will be in a lot stronger position."
Lowe also spoke about the matter of the Argyle captaincy for the season, confirming that Gary Sawyer will remain the first choice skipper whenever he plays: "This is the thing; Gaz is the captain. I'm not taking the captaincy off Gaz. He's the club captain and been here how many years? If he plays, he will be the captain. I am not coming in and just ripping things up. He's a top boy, a leader, and I know why he's club captain because of the things he does around the place. For me, it's a no-brainer he stays captain.
"Adam Randall was captain for the first half at Truro. He's a special talent and I felt it was good for me to give something back. I love doing stuff like that because he's a young boy, who has been here since the age of eight. When I told him he was going to be captain, he said 'no problem, thanks Gaffer' and walked away. I gave him it to see his reaction and it was very good. "
Not one to lack belief, Lowe went on to give his view on Ryan Taylor's role in the side for the forthcoming season. Despite no goals last season, Lowe was bullish in his insistence that Taylor could become Argyle's first 20 goal a season striker in over half a decade. Lowe argued: "I was looking at his record, I don't know when it was but he scored 19 goals. Why can't Ryan Taylor go and score? I have said to all the strikers that you have to believe you can go and get 20 goals. You have got to believe it, not just him, but all the attacking players. If they don't believe, they are not going to score. As a striker, every time I played, I believed I was going to get 20-plus goals in a season. Ryan didn't get many goals last year and was a bit-part player. They will have opportunities under me but they have got to produce. If they are scoring goals, they play. If they don't score goals, they don't play."
Argyle have been paired with Chelsea Academy in the group stage of the EFL Trophy for the third season in a row. The Pilgrims will also face Swindon Town and Bristol Rovers in the group stage, with Chelsea coming to Home Park at a date to be confirmed in due course.
22-year-old Striker Dom Telford has become the third member of last season's promotion-winning Bury side to follow manager Ryan Lowe to Home Park.Telford is also remarkable for being one of those fairly rare players for whom Argyle paid a fee to secure his services, of which the amount is undisclosed.
Ryan Lowe dismissed consideration of the result of Argyle's first pre-season friendly game at Truro City, instead emphasising fitness as the aim of the game. He said: "From the boys, we saw better fitness and good passing on a dry pitch. They tried to do the right things and it was all about fitness. We gifted them the goal with a mistake but there is no problem with that; Scotty doesn't need to take any responsibility for that. It was a dry pitch and you're better getting those mistakes out of the way in pre-season. Overall, I'm pleased we've come through it unscathed, no injuries and it was all about getting minutes in the tank. Fair play to Truro, they were very well organised and they're going to be under Paul Wotton. All we wanted to get out of this was no injuries and the lads have played 45 minutes, some of them 60 minutes. I'm pleased with the performance and the fitness. You always want to win games but we have three or four weeks now, building up to Crewe Alexandra. Take the mistake out of it and we draw 0-0. We've hit the bar, created some chances and the 'keeper made some good saves. We've not done many 11 v 11 in training. We did some patterns of play yesterday and I'm pleased with the lads. There was some rustiness there because the lads haven't played for while but it's irrelevant really I'll lose every pre-season game, as long as we win at Crewe. We're happy with the fitness levels of the boys."
The game saw a surprise choice as captain. First-year professional Adam Randell was given the armband in the first half and admitted himself to be completely humbled by the experience. The youngster said: "It was pretty special and always nice to be the captain. It was a great experience and I saw everyone looking out, so I just tried to keep my cool and keep focussed on the game. It's a new experience and I have to adjust to it. Personally, I thought I did alright, a few good bits and bad bits. As a team, we're still getting to know each other and know each other's playing styles. Sarcevic and Mayor are two very good players and I can always learn from them. They are always there to pass the ball and give me options. Hopefully, I've made an impression and a positive I can build on. Pre-season has been tough, physically and mentally, but I feel like I've adjusted to it and I'm staring to kick-on and improve. It's going to be very busy and we have to keep our minds set on the task. Pre-season is about getting minutes and experience."
Ryan Lowe explained the unusual decision, saying: "He's going to be a big part for us this season and he's been fantastic in training. His fitness levels, his attitude and application, they all have to be fair, but he has stood out for me. The captaincy was to give him a little boost and it's a nice touch. He's been here since around eight years of age and he's going to be a special talent. I've worked with some youngsters who have been sold on, not saying he's going anywhere, but he will be a wanted man because he will be around the first-team and playing games."
Lowe went on to explain the absence of Will Aimson from the squad for the loss to Truro, detailing the injury from which he is suffering: "Will had a pelvic injury from last season. He is on the road to recovery now and actually getting an injection, which should see it clear up. He will travel with us to Spain and we brought in young Michael Peck against Truro, who was fantastic. Young Adam Randell skippered the team and Klaidi Lolos shows we've got some great lads coming through. Will has done a lot of work with Paul Atkinson, a lot of strengthening work and we'll build him up gradually for the first game of the season because there's no point in risking him now. He will be fine for the first game and ready."
Of Argyle's impressive fans, who made up the majority of the 1,700 attendance, Lowe raved: "First thoughts are on the fans, we had to delay the kick-off because they travelled down in such numbers, outstanding in the first game and I thank them for that. I knew when I was coming down here what I was getting from the fans and the ref asked me before the game if we could delay the kick-off of course we can. They were stuck on the roads and they've been magnificent, every one of them. The fans I met at Bodmin last night, I can't thank them all enough. They are here to support us and that support has been unbelievable. It's down to the nitty gritty now and getting the lads fit for the first game of the season."
Argyle also confirmed that they will face AFC Wimbledon during the training camp in Alicante with a local kick-off time of 10.30am.
Argyle went down 1-0 to Paul Wotton's Truro City in the first pre-season friendly due to a goal scored in the first half by ex-Pilgrim Louis Rooney. Argyle played a team of mixed ability and gave most players a try during the game. Argyle: Cooper(Holmes), Peck(Purrington), Wootton(Sangster), Canavan(Sawyer), Riley(Moore), Sarcevic(J Grant), Randell(Edwards), Mayor(C Grant), Smith-Brown(Law), Jephcott (Dyson (Lolos)) Taylor (Fletcher).
Argyle have been drawn in Group F of the EFL Trophy for 2019-20, pitting us against Swindon Town, Bristol Rovers and one further invited club. Each group currently contains three EFL Clubs with a Category 1 Academy 'invited Club' completing the group by means of draw. This draw will take place on Friday, July 12, 2019.
New Head of Fitness and Conditioning, John Lucas, will bring a fresh dimension to the Pilgrims' training and analysis next season after agreeing a three-year deal to use Catapult athlete monitoring technology. The GPS-based system is believed to be one of the leading companies in the sector. Lucas said: "The introduction of athlete monitoring technology is a huge step for us in terms of the technological advancement of the club. The data we get from the Catapult devices will help to inform the decisions of the coaching staff and make training more objective. This is the first time the club has had access to this kind of technology and I'm looking forward to introducing it to the players and staff. The use of athlete monitoring systems is widespread in elite football and can make a real difference when it comes to understanding the physical demands of competition and optimally preparing players to meet those demands."
Ryan Lowe could find no fault with his side's attitude and application heading into the pre-season opener with Truro City. Lowe said of his charges: "The lads are showing real gutsy determination to get through some of the running sessions. I'm pleased with how they are and the fitness they are in. They have been different class. One scenario is that they were only supposed to do six runs at one point, and they wanted to do an extra two. We always give them a carrot that if you put it in, we'll limit the runs; we asked if they were alright to do two more and they said 'yeah'. For me, that's massive as a manager to see your players wanting to do more, he said. "They have been excellent. We will continue the fitness, the short, sharp stuff and we'll work into the long-distance stuff, so we've had a good mixture. We will start doing a bit more over the next week. We are not into the bigger stuff yet. All the sharp stuff, and the long-distance stuff is done now, so it will be mostly all ball-work going forward but I'm really pleased with how the lads have applied themselves. The games are just there to get minutes and volume in your legs because that's what is needed. We are excited to get a game in."
Lowe went onto give an insight into Argyle's recruitment policy following the departure of short-lived chief scout Ian Roscoe. The chief scout joined 5 days before Derek Adams' departure but left shortly after the appointment of Ryan Lowe in early June. Lowe revealed: "Ian moved on as soon as I came in. Again, we wanted to go down a different route and we wanted to bring our own people in. Recruitment is very easy really. Me and Schuey have played in these leagues for 20-odd years and we have a lot of connections. We know a lot of people, a lot of agents and a lot of players. Recruitment depends on what you're recruiting. Are you recruiting a 16-year-old that you are going to then sell for £5 million? I don't think the club have sold anyone in that sort of region for five years, so the recruitment is recruitment for now.
"We feel we are recruiting players to help us challenge. We don't want to be recruiting 16, 17-year-old lads, we want to be recruiting people to play first team football and that's what we do. We know a lot of people and have a lot of know-how of the leagues and got a lot of contacts. We felt it best that our recruitment came from in-house and me and Steven especially and obviously Nance, Rhys and Jimmy and John the people we know. And we have someone that's helped us along the way and we are quite happy with that."
We don't have a number, but we are still looking. It's been a quiet few days because we are not here to just sign players, we have some fantastic quality in the group. A lot probably haven't performed to the levels that they know they can for the past year or two years, so we are going to give them a chance. The games are coming thick and fast and I am sure I will know in the next two weeks where I definitely, 100% need to get players in. We have our targets and we probably have two or three contracts out at the moment offers and if they come to fruition, then we'll be fine. We will potentially look at the loan market if needed, but there's no real rush. We are in quite a good position and quite a good place at the moment. I am happy with the work we've done so far and there will hopefully be one or two additions this week."
Argyle today announced a fan forum at Home Park on Friday, July 19 in the Green Taverners' Marquee. Argyle chairman Simon Hallett and chief executive Andrew Parkinson will be in attendance on the evening. Argyle also confirmed that trip to Exeter City on Saturday, October 26 has been moved forward to a 1pm kick-off at St James Park.
Danny Mayor gave an insight into his move away from the North West for the first time in his footballing career, revealing the reasons for the big change: "No longer the home boy! I am sick of hearing it!" Mayor says with a smile when asked about leaving home. "All I ever get told is: 'you'll never leave the area...' Well, I've left! I've gone to the furthest place I could have gone to and I am really looking forward to it. My missus is really excited as well. She has never been away from home either and as soon as we came down on Wednesday, she was really excited to come and live down here, so I can't wait to get them both down here and explore a new way of life."
"There were a number of things. The manager is a big influence on me and got the best out of me last season at Bury. He made me happy and I play my best when I am happy and I spoke to a few people about the Argyle fans and how much they love the club and want them to do well. And then there is the facilities. I mean, look at the stadium... it doesn't deserve to be in League Two and hopefully, we can rectify that. I went to other clubs and had a look around. Don't get me wrong, Ipswich is a massive club, but I want to play somewhere where I am happy. I play my best when I am happy and, to date, my best season so far was last season under the gaffer. I love playing for him, I enjoyed going in every day and that is definitely what swayed it. The gaffer set his stall out from day one in pre-season with the way he wanted us playing and he never swayed from it. He wanted us to keep the ball on the floor with the players that we've got and we stuck to it all season. I think that's the reason why we had such a good season. It's great he wants to play that way. He was a striker himself and he always sides with the strikers I don't think he likes defenders! I loved the way we played at Bury and when I spoke to him on Wednesday, he said he wanted to play exactly the same, he wants to attack teams and be on the front foot. I just really want to do the same. I want to impress and I want to be at a team that is going for promotion."
Will Aimson has said that his move to Argyle has to be considered a no-brainer on account of his excellent working relationship with manager Ryan Lowe. The defender stated: "When I spoke to him after he came down here, really, to me, it was a no-brainer: one, to play for him again, and, two, to play for a massive club like Plymouth Argyle you look at the club and you don't think that they should be in this league. It's a huge club and hopefully we can get them back to where they belong. It was an interesting season, on and off the pitch, but when it comes down to the football, I personally thoroughly enjoyed it, especially playing under Ryan. It was a really enjoyable season. Before that season started, I was speaking to a few clubs and I had a chat with Ryan. We got on really well and he plays the type of football that I like to play. With three at the back, when you are on one side of those three, you almost become a full-back. You want to be quite mobile in those positions; you want to become comfortable on the ball those are two things that I think I've got and he has put faith in me to play me in that position."
"I've always, personally, been quite big on that. I think team-spirit and having a good dressing-room is massive for success. We weren't in the greatest position off the pitch last season but we had a good set of lads there and we all came together. You can have all the talent, but you need that team-spirit and togetherness to get you to where you want to be. I've been up north for about seven years now, so it's nice to be coming back down south. I've been waiting for a chance! But that's not the reason I'm here; it's the manager and the club, a great fan-base I've been down here a few times and it's always one to look forward to. The atmosphere has been top-drawer and now, with the new stand, it can only lead to better things and, hopefully, a better season. With a new manager coming in anywhere, it's a fresh start, a clean slate for everyone; everyone's on a level playing field, which is good and only fair."
As well as success on the pitch, Ryan Lowe stated his secondary aim of getting the green army pulling together again and making them at one with the club. He said he wanted to make Argyle like a family: "We want to mix with these guys the fans; we want to feel that love and make it like a big family. It's not just me and my players, it's everyone we want to be there for everyone. I want to build that and make sure we have that. I want to have an open day. Everywhere I've been, we've done that to mix with the fans, and the ground will be full, I would have thought. Fans can watch us train and we'll talk them through what we do, and how we do a session. I think it's important to generate an atmosphere with the fans and get to know them. I said to the boys, 'if you buy into what we're about, you'll be successful and you'll get a chance in the team; if you don't buy into what we're about, then you'll be moved on quickly', and the boys know that. I addressed that on the very first day and they've been brilliant, every single one of them. Even the young lads coming through as first year pros are finding it tough but they've all been different class. That has to continue. The standards are there now. Whether it's football standards or working standards, we will be strict on them, so that they are ultimately good people. Even when it comes down to eating, we make sure they clear their plates and put their knives and forks away when they've finished. Camaraderie between the lads is good, and even with me, the banter might be flying, but when it's down to business, it's down to business."
Lowe went on to talk about the two newest acquisitions from Bury, revealing his high hopes for the pair of them: "For me, Danny is the best player in the league on his day. He's phenomenal and proved that every time he played. Will is a big gentle giant, if you like; he is a great centre-back with great attributes: pace, strength, power, defending abilities. We know what they are about. What I will say is that Will and Danny are good lads, and they are good friends."
"For me, Will can play in the Championship. He's still at that age where, in the next three of four years, I'd like to see him there, whether it's with Argyle or someone else. He's got a good pedigree; he's a real leader; and he's one that can play football as well. He plays the way that we like to play. When these players become available, you can't turn away from them because they're that good. These fans are not stupid; they know what good players are when they see them. Losing Carey and Lameiras don't look back, look forward because you have got one of the best in Danny Mayor. They were good players in their own right and have served the football club well, but we have to move on. Players come and go it happens we are no different. We have a special team to build and I'm looking forward exciting these fans."
25-year-old centre-back Will Aimson has become the third player and second ex-Shaker to join Argyle this summer after giving his notice at former side Bury. Aimson has won promotion from this league twice before.
Argyle have also elected to bring in a trialist to train with the team this pre-season. 22-year-old Jordan Holmes, recently released from Bournemouth will be given a chance to compete with Mike Cooper for the first team slot. Ryan Lowe said of the trial: "We have got a goalkeeper in now, Jordan Holmes from Bournemouth. He's an Australian lad and will be with us for a couple of weeks. He has been highly recommended, so we will have a look at him for a couple of weeks, but that will be the only one for now. Experience doesn't matter to me, I just want a goalkeeper that does the right things and plays the right way. First and foremost, he has to keep the ball out the net! And he must also be able to play with the ball at his feet. That is what we are looking for, but again, we have Michael Cooper who is a fantastic asset and a fantastic goalkeeper We are not here to say: 'oh, we need this, we need that or we need experience' - it doesn't matter. As long as they are the right fit, the right person, the right personality, can play and keep the ball out the net, it doesn't matter how old he is."
Argyle have made what will arguably prove to be their marquee signing of the summer with the acquisition of Danny Mayor from Ryan Lowe's old side Bury. Playmaker Mayor was in the League Two team of the season for Bury last season with 12 goals and 12 assists. The midfielder had offers from other sides but spoke of the allure of working under Ryan Lowe, saying: "There's no doubt that he got the best out of me last season. Last season, I personally think was my best to date. I have no doubt that, performance-wise, it was down to him and the staff. He just wanted to look after me and I think that's the reason why performances were so high last season. It is exciting, because I had an injury a couple of years ago, which kept me out for a year. I think you sometimes question if you'll get back to the level that you thought you could get to, but he was always honest with me; if I needed a down day or anything like that, he was brilliant with me. I think people maybe expect No.10s to do something on the park, so I'm hoping I don't disappoint. I'm not too bothered about numbers, if I'm being honest it's just a number to me but it was lovely that the manager thought of that. To wear it at Argyle, I'm really looking forward to it."
Klaidi Lolos has spoken with anticipation about his first season as a professional football and gave fans an insight as to his background in the game. The striker said: "I was born in Greece, playing for a Sunday League team from the age of 6-9 and got scouted by Olympiakos. I left when I was 12, for opportunities in life." I did alright in my first season at Crystal Palace, but I was a bit unfortunate in the second one because I picked up an injury on my back and stayed out of football for six months, and I got told I was not going to make it. It made me stronger, if anything, and I thought: 'Go again, go harder, go stronger and find something else'. I went on trial at Birmingham and we played against Argyle. Academy Director Kevin Hodges was watching me. We kept close tabs and he got me in for pre-season two years ago."
"I have enjoyed every single moment of it. All the lads are great, the football's going great. It's an unbelievable feeling. I just can't wait to get started. In the youth team, I was used to playing 4-3-3 as a lone striker, but I'm looking forward to playing two up top, it sounds good. I would say that I am good at holding the ball up, but I feel comfortable in turning with the ball when I receive it and getting past the defender. I'm also good with both feet."
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