A Round-up of Argyle News
Argyle News Sites:
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:
1930: Argyle 4 Norwich 1; the win made promotion and the championship trophy, the Pilgrims' first major honours, almost certain. The game was a personal triumph for Jack Vidler, who bagged all four goals, even though he was carried off with concussion as a result of his first. He returned in the second half, still dazed, to strike three more gems.
1947: West Bromwich Albion 2 Argyle 5; after five successive defeats, the Pilgrims went 2-1 down early in the second half, but then ran riot to score four in an amazing last half hour.
1986: Wigan 3 Argyle 0; a shock result after an 11 match unbeaten run triggered manager Dave Smith to apologise to the 5,000 travelling fans. Promotion jitters were unnecessary; Argyle won all of their remaining four games.
2008: Paul Wotton hit a typically unstoppable penalty in what turned out to be his final game for the club. Five days later came the announcement that his contract would not be renewed, the end (so it seemed then) of a magnificent career at Home Park: 14 years with the club, 5 years as club captain, 2 championship trophies held aloft, 438 appearances and 63 goals, most of them belters! Three years later the man with Plymouth in his blood came home for an unexpected second spell.
2010: Argyle were relegated to League One (tier 3) after a 2-0 defeat at home to Newcastle Utd, ending six seasons in the Championship.
On This Day:
1970: One of the all-time greats, Norman Piper played his final game for the Pilgrims, a 3-0 defeat at Shrewsbury. Piper made his league debut five years earlier at just 17, and after England Youth international honours, he was chosen by Alf Ramsey for four Under-23 caps. This game was his 233rd for Argyle (37 goals); he then stepped up a division to join Portsmouth, where he made another 309 appearances.
On This Day:
1999: Dwight Marshall made his final appearance for the Greens (Argyle 0 Southend 3) in his second spell at the club. Signed by David Kemp in 1991, he made 118 appearances and scored 33 goals before moving to Luton. Returning in 1998, he played in another 31 games and added 12 more goals to his Argyle tally.
2017: With three games remaining, Argyle ensured promotion to the third tier with a resounding 6-1 win over Newport County in front of nearly 14,000 jubilant home fans.
Zak Vyner has said that playing against forwards such as Pompey's Brett Pitman are a pivotal part of the learning experience as he develops as a player on loan at Argyle. He said: "I feel like he's a similar striker to Danny Graham when we played Blackburn. His movements good, he's sharp in the box. He's a bit rough and tough; a bit ready; he's that type of striker and he tries to get in your head off the ball. He's a good player; I've come to play against players like that. I need to learn, as people call it, the 'dark arts' of the game. I feel like today I've dealt with him, Sonny's dealt with him, the whole back four's dealt with him cause he pulled off onto everybody today. I think he tried to work his magic on everyone today and we've stood up against it which was good. A few times just before the keepers kicked it up to us he'll back into you just before you're about to jump and it's just those little things that you're not ready for cause you're just sort of looking at the ball thinking I've got to head this ball and then he bounces you. It's good to play against a whole lot of different strikers; he's not a big lump but I've played against big lumps already and I've got to adapt to it. It's good to play against as many different strikers as I can."
Derek Adams was more than happy with the point and the performance in Argyle's 0-0 draw against Portsmouth, claiming that the greens had the better of the majority of the game. He said: "I'm delighted with the performance today," said Adams. "For large spells of the game we dominated possession and passed the ball very well, so we are disappointed not to have won it. They sat in and came for a point, so they got what they wanted today. That is disappointing for us, as they didn't really create very much during the game. They hit the bar with our own player on our own goal, other than that nothing really. It was our fault; I didn't really see Portsmouth doing anything today. I thought they looked a bit leggy, in the middle of the park we passed around them a good number of times. We were unfortunate, especially in the second half not to have gone ahead in the game. We were just a pass away from getting in. That was our problem today; we had to just complete one more pass and we would have won the game and it would have been nothing more than we deserved."
"I thought Joel Grant was terrific today. He leads the line really well and he was probably our top performer today, passing the ball, taking it in and his movement. He filled the gap perfectly well today. We had too many high balls into him today which made it easy for their two. Anything into his feet he was causing them problems. You could see with the movement at times, especially in the second half when we played some intricate passing they couldn't deal with us. We just chose the wrong option at times but second half we were much better from that point of view. We always have somebody else to replace everybody. Nobody is irreplaceable at this football club; I keep on saying that. We have players who come in and do a good job, we have had Sarcevic, Matthews, Ness, Vyner, Bradley, Threlkeld all out injured and everybody comes in and does a job. It is about the team and no one is irreplaceable at this football club, there is always somebody that can come in and take your place. We have got a lot of talented players in the squad. You look at Jake Jervis in January; he went away to Luton and doesn't get a game, leaving us with ฃ150,000 in the bank and wages off the bill. It just shows nobody is irreplaceable and that's the beauty of this football club. We have a good group of players that can do well."
Meanwhile, Adams praised his club owner and chairman James Brent for his approach of stability in an otherwise erratic modern day game. He argued: "He's a good chairman because he knows what he wants to do. From my point of view it is good to have stability and he has got the stability of this football club and doesn't want to spend anymore money than he can spend. That is the reason we have a sound financial footing, it will only take us so far, he knows that, we know that and we keep on moving on. It is the nature of football, everybody has got a buzzword; they change manager and they get a couple of results then think they are the best thing since sliced bread. That is the world of social media, it is a strange world that we are living in.
"You look at the movement in the Championship, there's a guy like Kenny Jackett who has managed so many games and the managers that are out there. Then somebody who is just out of footballing strip, a tracksuit or a youth team gets a job. How's that right? It's not right, some chairmen have got to have a good look at themselves at times. It is going to be very busy over the next period," said Derek. "We go to Northampton, then we are away from home with a couple of midweeks. So, it is nice to be here and with Rotherham our last home game here."
Zak Vyner echoed Adams' words, saying that the draw leaves Argyle in a good place to progress: "It is a good point in hindsight. Before the game we would have wanted the win obviously. It's not like we've dropped out of the play-offs. After the first half we came in and said we've got three or four more gears we can go into. We showed that in the second half and credit to them, I suppose it didn't pay off. That was a tough game. They're a good team. They executed their game plan and I thought we did as well. Everyone, not just the back four and the keeper, dug deep today; deservedly a clean sheet probably from both teams. We go to Northampton, who will be a tough game, but we've got to go there and just do what we've been doing the whole season. We've just got to keep going. It's still in our hands."
Argyle have dropped to 6th in League One following their first goalless draw of the season, at home to Portsmouth. A cagey yet even game saw neither side break the deadlock. Argyle: Letheren, Threlkeld, Vyner, Bradley, Sawyer(Taylor-Sinclair), Fox, Makasi, Ness, Carey, Grant, Lameiras(Fletcher). Subs: Cooper, Miller, Songo'o, Sangster, Paton.
Derek Adams was delighted to welcome Ryan Edwards back into training, after the latter resumed his Argyle duties following his battle with testicular cancer. Adams said of his defender: "It's nice to see him back. He will come in and try and do as much as he can do. He has been through a difficult few months and he has come to the end of it. Now it is just about getting back to full fitness. It has been a difficult period for him. He has had chemotherapy and the operation. He is now trying to get his strength back to get back to full fitness. He will be working in the gym at this moment in time. He will do that until he is capable and has the strength to go further. Only he will be able to tell everybody else how long that is going to take. I think he will always have that as a goal and you always need to have a goal. If it is a goal that is possible, then he will try and get back before the end of the season. We have got either six weeks or two months between now and the end of the season. So, he still has a lot of time. He has come back in and the players have seen him this morning and he will be part of the squad again."
Adams also admitted his anticipation for the upcoming game against Portsmouth, saying that they are more special than ordinary games: "They are fantastic games. I've been here just over two and a half years and I've really enjoyed the games against Portsmouth. They are terrific atmospheres, home and away, and we have had a lot of good football matches. There's two very good teams who both finished on the same points last year and got promoted into this league and have been very competitive by pushing for a play off position. If you look at it in different ways: we have done really well competing with a Portsmouth team that do what they do."
"They are wee bit different. Their full-backs don't go as high and wide as they do under Paul Cook. One of them stays back one of them goes high up the pitch. They have a threat in Pitman who has done really well this season scoring goals. But, they have got a similar style of play that they have had over a number of years. He has scored a lot of goals this year. He is one that we will have to watch again this week. We looked at the stats after Saturdays game. We passed the ball and kept possession well; we are playing in really good areas at this moment in time. We will have to do that on Saturday against Portsmouth and take care of the threat that they are going to cause. We have to take the chances we create."
"We will have the biggest crowd of the season here on Saturday," said Adams."The crowd will generate the atmosphere, there is not much motivation that needs to be done. When you step over that line the supporters will be very excited and noisy so we know what it's like on the pitch. I think that we look at it after the results the other night, there are six teams going for three positions. We have a game in hand in the last week of the season and we want to keep picking up points between now and then. There is going to be a lot of teams cutting each other up as everyone is playing each other in that period."
Ryan Taylor admitted there is an "extra spice" to Saturday's crunch match against his former Portsmouth at Home Park, with both clubs going for a play-off place. He said: "I can't wait for it. The 1,600 fans might give me a bit of stick as well, but I enjoy that. It is part and parcel of it. It definitely adds that bit of extra spice. I have said that in the past when I have played Rotherham, Oxford and Portsmouth; it adds that little bit. Maybe I get a bit more out of my game and I enjoy the battles. Obviously, it's a massive game on Saturday. If we win we are four points clear of them with a game in hand so it's a massive game. It is one we want to win and we will do everything we can do that. It's a very confident squad in there at the minute, so we should be full of beans come Saturday."
"It's a great stat. An ever better one because of the start we had. Looking on in the stand, watching the games, I know we had a bit of bad luck with injuries and sendings off but we weren't doing what we set out to do at the start of the season. So, to come back from that in the manner that we did is a massive achievement for everybody at the football club. We had a disappointing result against Charlton and the performance wasn't really there, but we bounced back really well. It was a massive three points against Peterborough which showed great team spirit to come back in that game, and we have to take that into Saturday now. They are two massive clubs for this level. Obviously, we were both in League Two together and everyone said 'I can't believe these two big clubs are in League Two', and now we are both competing at the top end of League One. Not many would have thought that at the start of the season with the start we had. But we are both now looking very good and it is going to be a good game. We have got six very important games now; it is in our hands. If we want to stay in the play-offs, we can. It is up to us to turn up every week and we will get to where we want to as a squad."
Paul Wotton has spoken positively about the developments of first year pro Alex Fletcher and professional development player Alex Battle as the two near decision day regarding their future at the club. He said of the two Alexes: "Alex Fletcher played against Chelsea in the Checkatrade Trophy and got a couple of goals, and he came on against Fleetwood and scored. He has done okay for a first-year pro. He's an honest boy and gives his all every day, which is great. Alex Battle has got a lot of ability. He can be easy on the eye at times. He scored with a real good finish. I asked him to play in a little bit of different position with 25 minutes to go and he adjusted to it okay They both work hard at their game and it's coming to that decision time, for not just those two but a lot of players. They are doing all they can at the minute."
Newly-appointed director Jane Chafer believes the work on redeveloping and expanding the Grandstand at Home Park is a 'very symbolic' moment, arguing: "I think it's going to be very symbolic for the club, as well as from a business point of view very effective. Symbolic because it's about a modern club, fit to host the best that might be coming, so it's forward looking. It does give us opportunities as well to bring in more sponsors and to do other things that will help boost the financial sustainability of the club. Those additional business opportunities will be fantastic. I was working with Argyle when it was having its worst times, and it's nice to be working with the club again as those things are starting to change and move forward. But I would be doing this in the bad times as well as the good, to be honest. It's great to be doing it now. There will always be things to discuss and issues, but problems of success are better to deal with than problems of the opposite. I would like to be able to see the business of the club be more sustainable so that the football can be front and centre, and get that balance right so that one is consistently supporting the other. I would like to see full gates at every match and I would like to see families come, and widen all of the work that is done with the schools and youth teams."
Derek Adams spoke of a tale of two goals as Argyle defeated Peterborough 2-1, expressing fury at our poor defending for their opener but our great play creating an excellent equaliser. He said respectively: "We had a penalty claim two seconds before up the other end of the park which we felt aggrieved about. Marriott gets in between the two centre halves which we spoke about before the game with the threat he causes - and the two centre halves don't deal with it. He is able to get in behind and score the first goal. That gave them a lift, but we were always in control of the passing and movements in the game. Their threat was always on the counter attack with Marriott. We could have dealt with him better in the first half as he scored a goal. He is always a threat in this division, he looks to play on the shoulder and has scored a lot of goals."
"It was a good goal," said Adams."It was a great cross from Gary Sawyer and it was good to see Ryan Taylor get across of his man to head it into the far corner. It was difficult for him today as we played too many high balls to him, which enabled Baldwin and Taylor to get the better of him at time, if we played it to feet it may have been a different story. But he has been a pivotal player for us."
Kyle Letheren said of Jack Marriott's opener: "There's no pressure on us because we didn't expect to be in this position, so we have got a free shot at getting promoted. To be where we are now is nothing short of brilliant. The boys have done fantastic to get where we are and we are not finished yet. There are going to be plenty of twists and turns and hopefully a few go in our favour from now until the end of the season. It was just a long ball down the middle. I saw Sonny was underneath it and I thought he might have to head it back to me, so I was a bit further out of my goal than I'd normally be. He just completely missed it.The minute it bounced, you could see Marriott glance at me and very clever he's just lofted the ball over me. If I was 100% match-sharp, I like to think I would have dealt with it, maybe. These things happen to goalkeepers. You analyse them and you get on with it. It is what it is. We won the game, that's all that matters. It was always going to be a tough, edgy game, obviously, with both of us vying for the play-offs. I think we expected that. They started the better team but after they scored, we were the better team throughout, to be honest. That's the way I saw it from where I was. It was good to get back out there. I was buzzing for it. The way that my first spell in the team ended was a bit infuriating I'd just got in the team and to get injured like that was disappointing but I'm back now and that is the main thing. You have always got to take the chance when it comes because they don't come around that often as a 'keeper, especially when you have got injured. You can be sat on the bench for a whole season sometimes. I've been sat on the bench for a whole season at numerous places and it's infuriating but, at the same time, you have got to stay professional, train hard which I do and just take the opportunity when it comes. That's what I plan to do."
Derek Adams has said that his squad and players are enjoying themselves following yet another home victory, Argyle's 11th out of their last 12. He said of the win vs Peterborough: "It was a good afternoon for us. To win again at home and score two goals, to beat a team above us in the league and to move ourselves into fifth position. The players are enjoying it. They are enjoying the position that they are in and they are enjoying fighting for a play-off position. It is going to be enjoyable from now until the end of the season. To think we are in fifth with six games to go. I always said judge us with six games to go, so that's what we have done and we have been able to put ourselves in a fabulous position. The league period is over 46 games; it is never over two games, six games or ten games. We were quite happy we didn't play last week and the other teams did play. It put us in a better position mentally going forward and it took a lot of pressure off us. We had to change it a wee bit. The two centre midfield players we decided to take off the game it a bit as they were too far forward which was blocking the gap into Carey and Lamieras. Their two centre midfield players were doing a very good job. Peterborough sat very deep and it allowed us to get on the ball and move it quicker and we did that. "Peterborough defended well. We probably put too many crosses into the box which suited them as they defend well with Taylor in the air. We didn't pass it quickly enough in and around the area to open them up. But you have to give credit to Peterborough, they came here to get a point by sitting in and frustrate. That's what they tried to do for the 90 minutes. We have got players that can open up defences and players that can take the ball anywhere. So we knew we would create chances - we had a right back in the penalty area in the dying stages of the game. To get through the game the way they have done, to make major decisions correct. I'm sure the assessor will be sitting there tonight giving them good marks. If the referee doesn't see it, he was looking where the ball was and it was an off the ball incident. The stand side linesman has made the correct call as he's seen it and dealt with it."
"I think the referee was correct in what he did. The stand-side linesman had a clear view of what happened between Shephard and Carey and it was a red card. If you look at Steven Taylor, he has already been booked and then he kicks up the penalty spot. The referee has got no qualms about that. They lost their discipline on and off the pitch and with that it enabled us to get a penalty at the end. It was a clear penalty kick. Oscar Threlkeld has gone up for the ball at the back post and he gets pole-axed."
After his first game back in the side for a few months, Kyle Letheren had nothing but praise for his Argyle teammates that won the game with their attacking prowess. He said: "Ryan Taylor's really been brilliant for us since he's been back from injury and in training. He's a great finisher and took his goal really well, and he handled the two centre-halves like he always does. And G well balls of steel at the end, there, especially when you've missed three. To come back and do that was brilliant, shows great composure. It's never easy, especially when you've got that long to take the pen, your mind can wander. I never watch the pens, so I couldn't tell you what side he put it, but great, great composure. It's put us back in the play-offs and hopefully we can stay there now. There was really something on the game today both of us wanting to get in the play-offs and I think you could tell that with the commitment from both teams. And we came out on top. It would be the story of my career, but we're not there yet we've still got a long way to go and I fancy us, to be fair, the way we have been playing recently. We've got a few tough games coming up and if come out on the right side of them, then we have got every chance."
"I had a phone call off Remi late Friday night, just saying he was on the way back to Norwich because his wife was close to going into labour. I'm not too sure of the ins and outs of it. He said he might not be able make it back and be ready, so that's when I pretty much knew. I was buzzing for it as soon as I got told because the way that my first spell in the team ended was a bit infuriating. I had just got in the team and to get injured like that was disappointing for me, but I'm back now and that's the main thing."
"It was always going to be a tough, edgy game with both us vying for the play-offs. I thought they started the better team but after they scored I think we were the better team throughout. It's a great result and hopefully it can kick us on into next week now and another massive one."
Argyle have climbed into 5th place in League One with a fantastic 2-1 victory over Peterborough United from behind. The Posh took the lead early on before Ryan Taylor equalised shortly after. The Argyle pressure built throughout the second half, resulting in the dismissal of Liam Shephard for an elbow on Graham Carey. Argyle continued to probe and won a penalty in the last minute for a foul on Oscar Threlkeld, after which Steven Taylor was also dismissed for unsportsmanlike behaviour. Graham Carey stepped up and slotted home to send Argyle 5th in League One.
Ryan Edwards has revealed he is waiting for the green light from the doctor to authorise his return to first team action for Argyle. The defender said of his progression in his battle against testicular cancer: "Especially the last two weeks, I've been feeling a lot more myself and it's pretty good to be feeling like that after not knowing what it was being a normal 24-year-old. But it had to be done for my own health and my own safety, and I'm glad the worst is out of the way now. They have told me the chemo will stay in my system for up to six weeks and I'm coming up to five weeks now, so one more week and it should be fully gone. I've started a little bit of light training, probably a little bit earlier that what I should be, but I'm taking it easy and listening to the doctors, listening to their advice. That's important. I've got to keep doing that because, if I push myself too hard, I'll end up going backwards. So I've got to make sure I get the balance right. I'm back to see them on April 10. We'll see what gets said there and, if all goes okay, I should be ready to step it up a bit. They are the experts, so it's better to hear them tell me what the plan could be, going forward. It's slow steps, but the main aim is to get back on the green as quick as I can. Hopefully, it will be quicker than I'm expecting to hear. I'm not going to be on the training pitch straight away. I'm going to have to build my strength and fitness back up in the gym because my body's taken a good whack from all the types of drugs I've been taking. The main thing, first and foremost, will be getting back round the place, getting back round the lads. I know there's a good vibe there at the minute and I just want to get back to it. I haven't known any different, so I need to get back there and just be around them and the place. It will be good to get back to that."
"I love living there. I love the training; the team; the lads; the staff; everything about the club, since I've been there. I've not got one nit-pick about the club. It's been spot on. You can tell it's going in the right direction Come pre-season, July 1, I'll definitely be ready for that. Even in the Championship! Who knows? I've just got to make sure I listen to the right advice from the experts and not push myself too hard with my body until it's time that I can push myself, and we'll take from there, see how my progression goes. I thought I'd walk all over the chemo, being so young and fit, but it shows you how strong it is. Hopefully, the worst is over; I'll get my checks on the 10th and that'll be it."
Derek Adams echoed these words, hoping to see the big defender back on the field soon, saying: "I always keep in contact with Ryan via telephone conversation or by text message. He's due to come back down on April 10; he'll see the consultant and them progress slowly to recovery and see how he really feels. It depends on how he gets on April 10 and then it depends on how much the chemotherapy has taken out of him; then we will have to assess it from there. The chemotherapy has obviously taken a lot out of him but there is no doubt that we would like him back and there is no doubt that Ryan Edwards would like to be back playing."
Sonny Bradley admitted his relief at getting back into the starting eleven after missing three games with a health problem of his own. He explained: "It was massively frustrating. Sitting up in the stands watching my team play, feeling helpless is not a nice feeling. I just wanted to be in the mix and helping the boys wherever I could. To be out for those three games was disappointing. But I am back now, feeling back to where I was so and I'm going to continue to give my all. I was a little bit worried. When I got there I had my bloods taken and they found out something was not right with my kidneys. I panicked a little bit; why they weren't functioning properly we don't know yet as I am still waiting for my results. But it was a very uncomfortable seven days stay. After three days in there I needed a biopsy. Just a small operation on my kidneys, but because I had that I was unable to play for a couple of weeks due to the seriousness of it. Four or five days after my operation they told me I probably wasn't going to play again this season. Which for me was devastating; they looked after me really well. I had great support from all the staff at Argyle and everyone at the hospital. They got me back on my feet again. I'm still not 100%, health-wise, but I am building my fitness up and getting back into it. It has been difficult but I am ready for the last seven games. I've been part of the ups and the downs. I just want to help the lads as much as I can to be honest. I know the manager wanted me back, the lads wanted me back. So as soon as I got the go ahead to train I told the manager I was available. I have had to manage my injury, but I am back on my feet now and I don't want to miss any more games."
"Ryan's illness is a lot more serious. But, for it to happen to both of us, my illness and Ryan's in one season when we both play in the same position it isn't nice for the manager either. I'm sure he has been looking at it like 'what is going on?'. I think the boys have stepped in, Zak has done extremely well and so has Yann when he has played. Ryan has got our full support and I'm back now. Ryan will be back in at the end of the month, so the bad times have gone now and we are looking up."
Bradley also admitted a frustrating day as Argyle's trip to Scunthorpe was rained off but stated the importance of moving past it and looking forward to the next game. He said: 'The results didn't go our way, but I don't look too far into it. I am not really bothered about what's going on around us. With seven games left it is definitely in our hands, if we concentrate on ourselves and win our games then we will be in the play offs. We are playing all the teams around us as well, which is good for us as we have proven this season and the time I have been here, when it comes down to the big games we turn up. It is going to be an interesting month and I am looking forward to it, if we continue playing the way we are I don't see any reason we can't finish in the play offs It will be a good game. Peterborough are a good team to be in the mix, going forward especially they have got big threats. We have got to handle it; manage them and handle the occasion. I'm sure it is going to be full here at Home Park on Saturday, which is what we want. We want the crowd behind us again like we did against Southend, it helps massively. If we get a good start, get the ball in their half and play our football then I think we will be on for a good result."
Adams admitted that he is relishing playing four of Argyle's direct play-off chasing rivals in what looks on paper to be a tough run in to end the League One season. He said: "We are delighted to be in the position we are in. We have got Peterborough and Portsmouth coming up over the next week; Rotherham coming here; then we go away to Scunthorpe. Destiny is in our own hands, so speak, because, if we win those games, we'll be in the play-off positions. It leaves us in a position where we have got a game in hand and it allows us to chase the pack in front," he said. "That's something we look forward to. We have always done that well in our time here last year was a prime example. We did it last year and we'll do it again this year. It's a good position to be in. It looks like it could be three places that are up for grabs, with probably six teams, from Rotherham down I think that's the way it is going to look from now until the end of the season. Bristol Rovers and Bradford might have a say in that, depending on their run-in. Bradford have got a couple of games in hand so they could still come into the reckoning."
"They have put themselves back into the play-off positions and have got some exciting, talented players. Marriott has done exceptionally well for them this season and he is one we have to watch, one of the top players in this division. He has scored an outstanding rate of goals this season. They have got a few in the midfield and strikers who will also have to be watched. In saying that, they will obviously have to watch us because we have got exciting players as well. I am sure that Peterborough will have looked at our side and the way we play, and will try to stop us doing what we are good at."
"They have done really well to get themselves back into the play-off positions. They are not in a too dissimilar position now than they were when Grant was there. Grant McCann had done a good job for them and has put a good squad together and left that for Steve. It's always good to see a Scottish manager down here in the South West and he will get a good welcome from the Plymouth Argyle fans when he gets here. The atmosphere has been great. They have seen a lot of good goals, a lot of creative play. Getting back to having a feelgood factor about the football club has always been our aim, and getting supporters back through the door. It's up there with the Championship days of increasing the gates. We're not there yet, but we're continuing to make improvements. There's no pressure on us. We're enjoying it. With seven games to go, we have the possibility of 21 points, a good possibility of getting into the play-off positions."
Following Graham Carey's string of award nominations this week, Derek Adams remarked on how it is virtually impossible to stop the Irish midfielder when he is in his stride. Adams boasted: "The only way they would be able to do that is to man-mark and there is not any team we have come across that have done that this season. He has done fantastically well for us again this season, scoring goals and creating goals, as well. The jump up from League Two to League One has suited him and he has been able to carry on his very good form. He has enjoyed the step up, as have the majority of players that we had here last year. The platform of playing in League One has suited him: teams pass the ball a lot more; the pitches are sometimes better; the stadiums are better, as well; and that suits a lot of our players. He has been terrific ever since I have taken him to the football club. He has played in a variety of roles for us and been accomplished in them all. He takes up good areas on the pitch; he plays in the hole; and, from my point of view, he has got a bit of turn of pace, as well. He can play down the right-hand side or the left-hand side. He has got a fantastic strike on him and, not only that, he sees passes to create openings."
Meanwhile, Sonny Bradley affirmed his desire to remain at the football club with his contract due to expire at the end of the season. He said: "Living six hours away isn't really a problem for me. If you want to be a professional footballer, you have to commit to that life. Sometimes that means moving further away; if you want to improve or better your career you have to make these sacrifices. Plymouth is a lovely place to live. I have never had a problem here since I moved down. I felt welcome straight away and I settled quickly. I found a place to live and that made it a lot easier. The football club: I would advise anybody to come and play for Plymouth. Come down here, l as it is a massive football club, and the fans are ridiculously good. It really does give us a lift. For the two years that I have been here it has been like that every game; that's away as well. Considering where we are in the country, I don't think they get enough credit for how well they travel. It gives the lads a boost, when we come out of that tunnel at 3pm on Saturday and see it full with them shouting and chanting it gives us a lift."
"I've already expressed I do want to stay at the club. Between now and the end of the season there will be more conversations with me and the manager. Whether it gets done by the end of the season I am not sure yet. It might get done in the summer, but the main priority at the minute is winning football matches. All I'm focused on is winning the game on Saturday; everything else is pushed to the back of my mind. Let's just finish the season strongly and for all you know we might be a Championship club."
Graham Carey has been named in the EFL League One Team of the Season. He has been voted into League One's Best 11 in a composite side chosen by the division's managers. He and Peterborough's Jack Marriott are the only two players from outside the division's top three of Blackburn Rovers, Shrewsbury Town and Wigan Athletic to be honoured. Carey's stunning goal against Blackpool earlier in the season has made it through to the last five of the Goal of the Year competition too.
Tuesday, May 1 is the new date for Argyle's rearranged trip to Scunthorpe United. Kick-off at Glanford Park will be at 7.45pm. The original game, scheduled for Easter Monday, was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch. The re-arrangement means that four of the Pilgrims' last five League One matches this season will be away from Home Park.
Argyle's fixture at Scunthorpe United has been called off. Heavy rain at Glanford Park has waterlogged the playing surface, and after an 11.30am inspection, referee Scott Oldham took the decision to postpone the game.
Derek Adams poured praise upon his two attacking midfielders as the game against Southend resulted in a 4-0 rout with Carey and Lameiras getting two goals apiece. Adams enthused: "I thought we started the game very well. We got ourselves in the lead with a well-taken goal. Good play in the centre of the park and then Taylor makes a great touch, and a fabulous finish from Lameiras. We just went on from there and grew in confidence, and went on to win convincingly. Both of them got two goals today, and Carey should've had a hat-trick. It's great that they're scoring goals, because they're very creative players, but there are other players in the team were there to provide the ammunition for them."
"Ryan Taylor led the line very well. He caused the two centre halves a lot of trouble, and I think they were glad to see him come off. It gave us the platform for us to go forward. I don't like my centre forwards to move much, and he certainly plays that role very well."
"Sonny Bradley did very well today. It hasn't been an easy time for them, but he played like he hadn't been away. That was really good for the whole squad. He has been key. Just unfortunately, we had to wait for the results until he could play, and we've done that. We work on it all the time. We work on one and two-touch play. We do three touches maximum in games, and that's because they're very comfortable on the ball. The more we do it, the more repetition that we work on, the better we become. I think that Southend's backroom staff said to us after the game that we played very well. It was an accomplished performance."
"Everybody was talking about Southend and what a terrific run they were on. But we knew they weren't, and we knew we would cause them trouble today. We spoke about that in the office. We knew we could get in the pockets, so to speak, and get ourselves in good areas where our technically gifted players could cause them problems. We knew that they would play in a 4-4-1-1 formation. Once Cox went higher up the pitch with Fortune, it left Fox space. When he won the ball, it became 3v2 in our favour in the middle of the park. When Carey and Lameiras then jump inside, it becomes very difficult for central midfielders after that."
"I enjoy watching it. I enjoy the fluidity through the match, the way that we move the ball from side to side, but there's a killer pass through the lines at times, which is really good. We get the creative players on the half-turn, and when you're on the half-turn against midfield players and defenders, you've got a problem. We don't play with two strikers; we play with overloads, and that's the only way you can do it. I think that Ness and Moses in midfield as well; they've got that creativity, they've got a bit of dig to win the second ball, and it allows them to go and play. It causes teams problems, because we create overloads all the time. We've got players who want to play on the big stage. Today, we had another fabulous crowd here to witness it."
"I put Joel Grant up front, and Taylor-Sinclair into midfield, Yann into midfield; it was just to do with the ones who needed a rest, It was hard to find out which ones we weren't going to give a rest. They all deserved it, and the ones who go on go and slot in. The penalty Grant won, he did really well to get in that position. He was unfortunate not to have got his shot off."
Graham Carey hailed the character of his team-mates as the Pilgrims bounced back from losing their eight-match unbeaten run with arguably their most convincing display of the season. The Irishman added: "We lost a bit last week with the result and the performance. We weren't happy with the way we played, the way we started the game. We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit with the way we started the game but we know that, when we start games brightly, it's hard to defend against. The performance was obviously bad but there wasn't that 'we're a bad team overnight' kind of thing. We had been on a hell of a run and it does take a lot out of you, physically and mentally, to come from where we have to get where we are now. You are going to have off-days. Luckily, today, we bounced back and put on a good performance for the fans. When we lost to Wigan, we bounced back with a win and we did that again. I think it just shows the character in the team. We felt this was a good game for us. With the system that Southend play, we felt that we could get a lot of room, me and Ruben coming in off the sides and doubling up. It's shown, over the last couple of seasons, especially last year with Jimmy Spencer, they don't always score 15-20 goals a season but the work they do for the team is selfless and they probably do not get enough credit for what they do. They create a lot of space, win a lot of balls, and it's up to us to get around them and get the second ball.".
Regarding his penalty miss (his 3rd in 5 games), Carey said: I've never scored a hat-trick so, when I was taking the penalty, I was thinking about that. Luckily, it didn't really matter, but I would have loved to have scored a hat-trick. I'll take the next one. I'm obviously disappointed with the miss but I back myself under a lot more pressure than I was today and I'll make sure I score. It's getting a little bit harder. We have had so many penalties this season that the 'keepers have done their research. It's a bit difficult we never usually get this many penalties. I kind of caught it too cleanly and it took off of my boot a bit hotter than I thought it would be. I should be scoring them and I'll definitely score the next one."
Argyle produced a stunning performance and result on Good Friday with a fantastic 4-0 victory over Southend United. A goal each from Ruben Lameiras and Graham Carey (one in each half) was punctuated by a missed Graham Carey penalty that would have been his hat trick goal. Argyle climb back into the top six. Argyle: Matthews, Threlkeld, Vyner, Bradley, Sawyer, Fox(Songo'o), Makasi, Ness(Taylor-Sinclair), Carey, Lameiras, Taylor(Grant). Subs: Letheren, Paton, Sangster, Ainsworth.
Assistant-manager Craig Brewster is to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the current season. He has been at Home Park as part of manager Derek Adams' coaching staff since 2015. He is currently recuperating at home from a hip-replacement operation which he underwent in January, and will not return to the Home Park dug-out this season.
New director Cubbon is looking forward to using her new role to broaden the appeal of the club and to help people become more involved in sport. She said: "The opportunity to do those roles over the years showed me the disastrous impact that bad health has on you and your ability to do things that you want to do. I have seen the raw end of people who are unfit and what it can do to you. Knowing the importance of that reinforces the attraction to me about what the Argyle Board are trying to do in really getting the community to be an important part of the football club. The motivation for me joining the Board was to be able to help support the club in continuing to strive to get to a place where Plymouth Argyle is a really strong club within its community, as well as being a strong football club outside its immediate community. I have a passion about people getting involved directly and indirectly in sport. The benefits of sport are not always about taking part directly and much can be gained for individuals being involved in other ways. I do a lot of work with Plymouth Magistrates and I know there are huge opportunities to be gained by bringing the community and Plymouth Argyle together, enabling more people to be a part of sport"
"I'm a bit of a sport nut, whether it is football or rugby," she said. "I follow it all. That stems back to early childhood days, when I took part in lots of sport. I ran the 800m, mainly. When I first started running, at that time, girls couldn't run 1500m. As I got into my late teens, they suddenly allowed femalesto run the 1500m perhaps they realised we were not too delicate! so I did extend into the 1500m when I could. Since that time, I haven't been doing anything like that on a competitive level, but do still enjoy running."
"Running an organisation that supports strong values and behaviours, and exemplifies those values, is important and hard. There are times when you are asked to make a decision which wouldn't support the values and you have to be strong enough as a Board to say: 'No'. Leadership of the values for any organisations must be led by the Board. That's the way you build up confidence and reputation, as well as belief. I know that from working at Taunton Hospital. I spent a long time working with staff, working out what our values are and what did they mean? That paid dividends because then you get people who are engaged and have a belief which makes the staff do all sorts of amazing things. However, when people doubt and aren't sure and don't have confidence in a business, then they won't go that extra mile and they won't do amazing things. Being a great football club is all about having amazing staff and fans."
Loanee goalkeeper Remi Matthews believes youngster Michael Cooper is one to watch out for in future years, based on his performances in training and youth games. Matthews said of Cooper: "In my opinion, I think he has got hell of a chance. Attitude wise, the way he trains, the way he is a person - he has got every attribute there. He has just got to keep his head down, keep working hard and, when he gets a chance, he has taken it. He's got to keep impressing the right people and he has a real chance, 100%. What helps is he has been around the likes of Luke and Kyle, and myself to an extent - more senior experienced 'keepers - and Reece, so he has been in that environment. At one stage, it was just me and him training, and that did him the world of good. He had more attention so he can work on it. I speak to him and he will speak to me and that's what you need as a goalkeeper. You need to give people advice from your experiences and go from there. I definitely will be keeping an eye out for him as he has a great chance."
Matthews also looked ahead philosophically to the end of Argyle's season, saying that whatever is achieved now will be way beyond initial expectations: "To see where we are now, to where we were, I think we are in a win-win whether we make the play-offs or not. At the end of the day, the main thing for us was to stay in the league. Of course, we want to make the play-offs. It's looking there are probably two places available and five or six teams fighting for them. We want to get into one of those spots, but either way I think we can all look at this season as being a positive. The main thing for us was to stay in the league and we have done that. I think Southend was always going to be a pressure game. You see the previous results for them. Southend, however they are in the league, they are always a tough team to play. If anything, the result last Saturday could benefit us and make us realise we can't just go into games and think we are going to win every one because that's not how it works in football. We know it's going to be a tough game against Southend and we have got to prepare right for it."
Finally, Matthews detailed his ambitions for next season, making no secret of the fact that he wants to fight it out at parent club Norwich but would be prepared to go elsewhere for first team football if needed. He said: "I'm here, I'm a Plymouth player and all I want to do is play for Plymouth at the moment. I want to play as many games as possible and just go from there really. Obviously, at the end of the season I will sit down with certain people and we will talk about the plan for next season. Again next season, all I want to do wherever it is is to play games. I'm 24 now and I just need to keep playing games at as high a standard as possible. Every loan I have been on I have enjoyed it but I think this one has been the most positive for me. Don't get me wrong, I feel I did well in Scotland last season and we stayed in the league, which was the main thing. But most of the teams I have been at we have been fighting against relegation, which we were doing here at Argyle. Now we are fighting for a play-off place, which feels similar to an extent because you are playing for something. This has definitely been a kick-on season for me. Just to get 20-plus games in the space of four or five months is massive. I'm hoping that will make a difference for potentially next season, wherever it may be. That was my plan. I wanted to come here and play games and, ideally, go back and fight for the number one spot at Norwich. But we all know how football works and how things change. I have just got to keep myself ready and see what happens. It's never nice to sit on the bench, wherever it is," he said. "I'm someone who enjoys playing games. There are one or two people out there who I have seen down the line who would quite happily sit down on the bench all their career. People make a career from it, fair play, but I want to play games. There is nothing worse than sitting on a bench on a Saturday. That's key for me, just playing as many games as possible. If next season it means going elsewhere then that's what I might have to do, but my aim is to go back to my parent club and potentially be fighting for the number one shirt."
Following his appearance off the bench against Charlton, Derek Adams assessed the first season of Alex Fletcher as a professional footballer, detailing the self-improvements that Fletcher is enacting: "He's only 19 years of age and he's still growing. He's in the gym Mondays, Tuesday and Thursdays, and in his own time as well. He will develop as the years go on. "He has had a good number of starts and made a lot of sub appearances for the first team this season. At that age, I think he has had very good exposure. We have had the likes Cooper, Law and Sangster that we have tried to push on into the first team. For one reason or the other we have had to do it and, also, from some good form by them they have been able to get themselves into the squad."
Finally, Adams confirmed that Luke McCormick and Gary Miller have both returned to full fitness following injuries whilst Robert te Loeke and Simon Church remaining in recovery.
Derek Adams believes his Argyle squad have reacted well to the disappointment of last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Charlton and are now raring to go, saying of next opponents Southend: "They have picked themselves up, got themselves out of the relegation zone and are pushing forward. They have got 24 points to play for - the same as us. They have a good home record and won their last home game 2-0 against Rotherham. They will be in good spirits going into the game. They have won one of their last five games, with that one coming on Saturday, having drawn three and lost one. From our point of view, we have done exceptionally well at home and it gives us an opportunity to try and get three points and move forward.They have won ten games at home this season; they've won three away but lost ten, so they will be looking to come here and open up. We had a difficult afternoon at Charlton. The players have come in, picked themselves up and are ready to go with the two games coming up over the Easter period. The players are in very good spirits. They can all perform, we have seen it in training so many times, we have got a talented group of players. They continue to work hard; they worked hard this morning and some of their play at times was sublime. The only pressure put on us is the pressure from ourselves. There is no outside pressure because we have been able to get ourselves in a very good position. The pressure is with eight games to go is to get into those play off positions and that is a fantastic pressure to have. If you look throughout the season seeing the amount of goalkeepers we have had and the sendings off, we have had a lot to deal with. But the players have got a tremendous togetherness and a will to succeed to be able to fight all these problems. We have got a home game on Friday then we travel to Scunthorpe on the Monday. They are difficult matches we have two teams that have changed their manager in recent times. One team that is just inside the play off positions and one team that is still trying to push into the play offs."
Derek Adams was magnanimous in defeat as Argyle were turned over 2-0 by play-off rivals Charlton Athletic, admitting that the hosts deserved to win the game. Adams said: "I can't be too cross about it because we weren't good enough. I could go through a number of complaints but I won't, because that would be wrong of me. Over the 90 minutes, Charlton deserved to win the match. We didn't create enough opportunities throughout the 90 minutes. It's not like us. We usually create umpteen chances. We didn't even look like we were going to score today. We've always had that cutting edge and we've always had that bit of play in and around the 18-yard area where we look like we're going to score, but it didn't happen today. We didn't deserve to win the game. There's no doubt about that. We didn't do enough throughout the 90 minutes to deserve that. I just felt that if we had got a goal back, we might be able to get a draw."
"Charlton started the better team. Credit to them: I thought they started on the front foot, won the second ball, and completed good passes into forward areas that caused us trouble. They deserved to get the goal when they did, and it was a fantastic strike from outside the area, and that gave them a lot of confidence it gave the stadium confidence and they moved forward from there. Not long after that, they get the second goal and make it 2-0. It gave them massive confidence to go 2-0 up and they were able to see out the win. We knew it was going to be a difficult afternoon in that period. We didn't start as well as we could have, and to go 1-0 down gave their fans a lift and it gave their players a lift with the problems they've been having. From my point of view, we didn't really create enough chances in the game. It would've been interesting to see if we got a goal at 2-0, either before half-time or just after."
"We're just delighted to be in the position that we're in," he said. "We've got to be turning cartwheels. We've got 57 points after getting promoted last year, and we've just dropped out of the play-off places. We're really delighted with the season we're having. They were fantastic, and they created a very good atmosphere," said Derek. "When you go to any away game and take as many supporters as we did, and not create enough opportunities, they're obviously going to go home disappointed. They've got to remember the tremendous run we've been on. Last year, we set a club record of 13 away wins, and this year we've gone on and done really well away from home."
"We didn't deal well with the cross but we didn't deal with a number of situations, especially in the first half. Our spacing wasn't correct and that was causing us problems. That's not taking anything away from Charlton. I thought they ran forward and created chances. Our two number 10s didn't deal well with Forster-Caskey, and that caused us a problem. That's why we had to make a change Graham Carey and Ruben didn't do their defensive job at that stage in the game, and that allowed Forster-Caskey to get on the ball.
"We played a different formation to try and stop them. Forster-Caskey got through, who I thought was very good at times for them, and we had two strikers up front in the second half, who didn't get much change from their two centre-halves. I thought that Jamie Ness, David Fox and Moses Makasi did well in midfield as a three, and it was a hard shift for them. I thought that they were the three that stood out for me."
Argyle's unbeaten run is finally at an end with a 2-0 loss to Charlton Athletic, with both goals coming in the first 20 minutes of the game. The greens battled and battled but could not find a way back in in spite of a change of formation and Argyle succumbed to only their second loss of 2018. Argyle: Matthews, Threlkeld, Vyner, Songo'o(Fletcher), Sawyer, Fox(Paton), Ness, Makasi, Carey, Lameiras(Taylor-Sinclair), Taylor.
Ruben Lameiras believes Argyle will thrive in the big game atmosphere as they face Charlton Athletic in a potentially play-off deciding game tomorrow, saying: "It's a big game. They'll be a good side and we know we need to go there mentally and physical prepared. We can go there and get the job done. A lot of family and friends are going to be there on Saturday so hopefully three points and a goal. I prefer playing with the in front of more people; the more that come the better. Any side you come up against like that, if you go there thinking that way (negatively) you will be under the cosh. We just need to go there and take the game as it comes, but be aggressive and start the game on the front foot by taking the game to them."
"The fans have have always been good. We can feel the support especially at Home Park but away they have been fantastic, so it will be a good game. The London boys are excited for it too so there is a lot on the line and we want to do a good job."
Ruben Lameiras believes there is a buzz around Home Park at the moment following the thrilling comeback win against Bristol Rovers last week in front of a bumper Home Park crowd. He said: "It was good. We showed great character coming from behind twice. We knew what the game plan was and it had to be adjusted quickly. I think the boys carried it out really well. We never gave up; we always looked to try and create more chances and score. As soon as we went 3-2 up we were ahead of the game and it makes it very difficult for teams to come back. As individuals we all know our jobs in the team. Going 1-0 down we needed to raise the tempo a little bit and try to create more opportunities more quickly. We did that, we had quite a few chances and it went our way and we are happy."
"It's always good when the team is doing well. There is a buzz around the place, we are just trying to keep the momentum going and we are not going to let anyone slack off it. In training and in games everyone is still putting their bodies on the line. That is the thing we have to keep doing: keep our standards high and drag everyone else with us, then that will contribute to the winning mentality and generates the buzz around the place. You've got to enjoy it, even when things aren't going well you have got think good. It is great; I am enjoying it and I'm playing with a lot of freedom. I'm still not at my best and I think I have a lot more to come and I think that will come with more experience and matches I play."
Derek Adams spoke about the contract status of out-on-loan attackers Gregg Wylde and Nathan Blissett, revealing which of the two was under contract for next season. He said: "Gregg Wylde is one that will be here next season.Nathan Blissett is coming to end of his contract and he will be signing for Macclesfield. So I'm keeping an eye on Gregg's progress, and Nathan to a certain extent. Gregg is playing week in week out and Jim Bentley is very happy with him. Jim feels that Gregg could have scored a few more goals than he has but he has been a big part of their team."
On the race for the play-offs, Adams added: "It looks like there are two places up for grabs now, which makes it interesting. It looked like there was a point where there was only going to be one place up for grabs. It's very tight and you only need to have a run like we have had. We have got a lot of difficult games to come but we have put ourselves in a really good position with nine games to go."
In spite of his return to training, there is to be no return to first team action just yet for Argyle centre-back Sonny Bradley who still needs to see a consultant. Adams explained: "He's training with the physiotherapist, doing light work, and he's not available for Saturday. Until he sees the consultant we don't have an idea when he will be back."
Argyle have announced the double appointment of Jane Chafer and Jo Cubbon to the board as non-executive directors. Chafer is the Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs at the University of Exeter, where she heads a team of 200 people and said: "I am honoured and delighted to be joining the PAFC board and such an important time in its history and I look forward to playing my part in the future of the club."
Cubbon is the former Chief Executive Officer of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust who recently retired after a long career as a health professional who said: I am so proud to be part of the Board of Plymouth Argyle to support the club in its continuing quest in becoming one of the very best community football clubs in the country."
Jamie Ness stated his opinion that Argyle's comeback against Bristol Rovers began in the dressing room at half-time with a frank assessment of the first half performance. He explained: "We said at half time if we get the next goal we will win this game. Everyone knew we hadn't been at our best, we felt we have done too much hard work to get to this point and too throw it away like we did in the first half. I felt the second half we came out and managed to get on the front foot. We got the penalty and unfortunately missed that, but we kept going and the fans were brilliant for us again; they kind of sucked us in at that end. Once we got the second goal we felt only one team was going to win it. They set up well and they had a game plan that worked for them in the first half. We did things a little differently in the second half and went more direct to Ryan Taylor, who was excellent for us again. We were able to play off the seconds then and they couldn't live with us in the second half with the tempo we played at."
"It's always nice to play in a derby game so we treated it that way, especially when you win them. We knew Bristol were only four points behind us as well, so we were looking more from that point of view that we wanted to put a bit of distance between ourselves and them. It was good to do that and put ourselves back into the top six." I should have maybe grabbed it for my hat-trick! If we were a couple more goals up I might have. It was a massive penalty and he showed that composure to do it again. He has been a massive player for us this season. G is full of confidence in the way he plays, he tries things that others may not try. If they don't come off he doesn't let his head get down. So there is no one else you want to take that penalty with five minutes to go. The games can't come quick enough at the moment. We have the Charlton game next week and it is another massive game for us, but they are all massive at this stage of the season. We have got confidence that if we keep doing what we are doing and working hard we will manage to get somewhere. These are the games you want to be involved in at the end of the season. We don't want to be playing with nothing to play for or scrapping at the bottom end of the table. I think how far we have come from everyone at the football club deserves huge credit. If we can continue it will be a hell of a story by the end of the season."
Derek Adams claimed it was the little things that were responsible for what could prove to be a defining win in Argyle's season. He spoke of the small but necessary tweaks in the second half that enabled the victory: "I thought it was an excellent game for League One football," said Adams. "It was two very good sides; it was end to end; we get five goals in the afternoon; we had a missed penalty kick as well; and there was a whole lot of other things going on in the game as well. We obviously gave away a free kick in the first half. We could've done better and not given away a free kick, and then with the ball going into the side of the net that it does; we could've done better with that. It was Remi's side and Remi takes full responsibility for that, but he has made a number of outstanding saves for us throughout the season. That's just what happens with a goalkeeper: they have good days and bad days. We got ourselves back into the game with a good goal, and after that they get ahead again when we have a good bit of play down the left-hand side. We give possession away and they go up the other end, bully us off the ball and score to make it 2-1."
"So we're in at half time, talking about things that we didn't really have to talk about, because there was nothing really in the game. We had controlled large spells of it and had good play, without creating many openings, and we were 2-1 down at half time. We just had to change it about in the second half. We were just talking about small things and we started the second half really well. We got that penalty and Ruben misses, and then quickly after that, Jamie Ness gets the equaliser off of a deflection. Then, Graham gets the penalty at the end. Graham is very good in these situations. He's got a very cool head. He had to wait a lot of time to take that second penalty, because Yann was on the floor after getting fouled."
"Today, Jamie Ness was man of the match by a country mile. He was the best player on the park by a mile. He was good and what we did today, which was win second balls and keeping possession. He only trained on Thursday. He had a slight problem with his calf, but you couldn't tell. His performance levels were excellent. Some of the football that we played was good at times, especially in the first half. But in the second half we played on the counter attack as well, and found space that wasn't there in the first half, because Bristol Rovers defended deep. It probably typified their performance; they wanted to negate the dangers that we had. It was great to see, and I think that our supporters have gone home happy tonight. There was a great atmosphere in the game, and that was credit to both sets of supporters. To take over 12,000 supporters to the game: it shows you that they're with us and they're enjoying winning games.
"I think that they've shown that, throughout the season, they have got very good character in the dressing room. They don't allow disappointment to affect them. Many times this season, that could've happened, but we're used to dealing with adversity. We've had to do it so many times this season for so many reasons, and we've always found a way of winning football matches. I thought that the energy levels of the players were very good, and the disappointment of going behind twice in the game didn't affect them. I remember first coming to the football club two-and-a-half years ago and they said the team couldn't come from behind to win a game. You have to change the mentality of your squad. You have to work on things to get the better of the opposition, and we've certainly got that now."
"I wasn't surprised in Harrison's performance, because Ellis Harrison is a striker that, as Darrell Clarke knows, I've tried to sign a couple of times from him," said Derek, "and haven't been able to do it. Ellis is a good striker; a young Welsh international and always played on the shoulders. When a striker plays on the shoulders of a defender, he's always got a chance."
"I think that the players have got that bit between their teeth. They're showing that they want to continue winning football matches. We've got nine games to go. We knew that the results at half time were going our way and that, if we could get a win, it would put us in a good position tonight. We're moving forward. With nine games to go, we're catching the teams above us. The teams below us have obviously dropped points today. It's tight squad that we have. We've got a whole host of problems that we've had to overcome, but we keep on overcoming them. We lose players week in, week out, but someone else comes in and does a job, we get a win and keep moving forward. They did very well. At home, when there's a big crowd here, they stuck to the task and came from behind twice."
Argyle have returned to the League One play-off zone in style with a thrilling win over Bristol Rovers. The away side took an early lead following a free-kick sneaking into the bottom corner but Argyle equalised soon after through Jamie Ness. Rovers took the lead again not long after though and went into the second half in the lead. Argyle missed a penalty from Ruben Lameiras just after the restart but pegged Rovers back again immediately after from Jamie Ness again. The game was won for Argyle with 5 minutes to go following another penalty, this time from Graham Carey. Argyle: Matthews, Threlkeld, Vyner, Songo'o, Sawyer, Fox, Makasi(Paton), Ness, Lameiras(Taylor-Sinclair), Taylor. Subs: Letheren, Sangster, Ainsworth, Grant, Fletcher.
Zak Vyner admitted that he is relishing the prospect of facing Bristol Rovers considering his background with the red side of Bristol. He spoke of his history with the two clubs: "As youth-team players, we never play against them," he said. "It's the first time. I've never played them in the Under-23s or anything. I'm looking forward to it. A few people here are saying it's a derby for Argyle, and few people saying 'It can't be a derby; Bristol's a couple of hours away.' For me, it's definitely a derby. I'm going to take it as just another game but also I'll have it in the back of my head that it's a derby."
"I remember going to a cup game and Jay Emanuel-Thomas rocketed one in from about 30 yards, and I was sat behind the goal when Joe Bryan scored the winner. There were crazy scenes there and I can remember the atmosphere. Obviously, it's not going to be the same on Saturday there's not going to be that much tension but it's still a big game for me. Once it comes to game-day, it will be a bit tasty, hopefully."
"I'm looking forward to the game as much as anybody," he said. "As much stick as I'll get from Rovers' fans, I'll get love from the Plymouth fans. If I can score in any game this season, this would be the one."
Additionally, Vyner spoke of hius confidence that the back four is starting to gel, following his experiences of playing with both Yann Songo'o and Sonny Bradley so far. He said: "We're all team-mates. We're not going to not gel. Obviously, you are going to have to get used to playing with certain people, but I get on really well with Yann, so it's not like I'm playing with a complete stranger. We fit really well. Yann has come in and is comfortable. Like me, he is trying to play because he's naturally a midfielder, and he's done really well. I've played with Sonny and I've played with Yann - I've been lucky."
"It is giving you the confidence to play and, if you have an iffy game, you get another chance to make it right. That's the main thing that young players everywhere need. Obviously, it's maybe difficult when you're at your parent club. He encourages me to play my game, get on the ball. That's my game so, say, for instance, when we're playing against one striker and Sonny or Yann's got the ball, he can play it to me and I can drive out; or, the other way round, if I play it to Sonny or Yann, he can drive out with it. He encourages that. It gives an extra player to the attack. I try to get on the ball as much as I can and impose myself on the game as much as I can, give the ball to players who can do a bit more with it than I can do. I like to get on the ball and maybe some people will think 'Give it to a midfielder'. I just think 'I can do that pass, I'll do it from where I am.' It might take the other team by surprise."
"I'm preferring centre-half at the moment because I'm playing there a lot more; I'm getting used to it; I'm learning tricks of the trade; and I feel I'm becoming more of a dominant figure in the team now. I'm really enjoying it. I'm playing games and that's what I wanted, that's what came here to do. It's a big turnaround. We are not just a team to 'be here' we want to try and push for it. Because it's so close for us now we're only a couple of points off the play-offs we want to push; take every game as it comes; and try to get the results to get us up into the Championship. I don't see why not."
Derek Adams looked ahead to the Rovers game as well as giving an update on Argyle's worrisome injury list, adding: "Rovers bring a good number of threats; they have got a lot of talented players in their side. They run forward, play off the cuff quite a bit. They play with one or two strikers at times; they have changed their formation, sometimes they play with three at the back - but they are a very good team. I'd be surprised if there isn't 12,000 here on Saturday as it's a big game and Bristol Rovers are taking 1,500 with them so we are sure to have many following us on Saturday. They have been magnificent in supporting us. The atmosphere from the Devonport end has really vamped up as the season has gone on. It looks like there has been a group of a couple of hundred have got together and have accelerated the chanting throughout the match and that has helped the players.
"We have had light numbers for training, at this stage of the season it can be a good thing or a bad thing. So, we had Cameron Sangster and Ryan Law on the bench last week and it is likely to be a similar scenario this week. They have done well for the under 18's and pushed on. The injury situation allows them to have that opportunity. Sonny Bradley has got an illness and has been in hospital for a week. He's out of hospital now and he has further tests to see what the problem is. He'll be out until we find out what the problem is. Antoni Sarcevic had an operation two weeks ago, he will be out for up to 3-4 weeks from now. Robert te Loeke is still coming back from his back injury. He should be back in training at the beginning of April. Luke McCormick should be back in full training next week. Then we are hopeful of getting a Peninsula game for him in April to start his progress as he has missed the last thirty games. Jordan Bentley is recovering well from his operation; he has had the pin inserted into his leg and is recovering well, but still a long way off. Jamie Ness has got a calf injury and is doubtful for Saturday's match. Gary Miller has got a hamstring injury and he is out of Saturday's match. Simon Church has got a hip injury and he is out of Saturday's match as well. Ryan Edwards is obviously still out, he has had his last dose of chemotherapy and we are hopeful he comes back in with us around the middle of April."
Derek Adams has given the seal of approval to new signing Paul Paton who has joined Argyle as a free agent this week. He said: "He gives us another midfield player in the ranks. He is one I have known for many years and it gives us experience and it gives us cover in that are where we are a little short now because of injuries. I have known him for a good number of years, and seeing him progress from Queens Park to Partick Thistle to Dundee United then to St Johnstone. He is ready to go; he hasn't got much of a choice really. That Is the situation we are in at this moment in time. He will be fine; he has been training away and he will be ready to go. He started off as a right back and found his way into central midfield. He can pass the ball as well but he does compete. We have been able to get him in until the end of the season for the next ten games to try and pick up as many points as we can. He is of good pedigree. He will be fine. He has been training in that period that he has been without a club and he will be fine. He's an internationalist with Northern Ireland as well and it is good for us to have in our ranks. He can play as well, he can make a tackle, he is competitive and from that point of view he does add something different to the squad. He is a winner and with ten games to go it is a good move for him. At this stage of the season you need winners in your team, and he will want to come here and do well looking towards next season."
Adams also paid tribute to outgoing CEO Martyn Starnes who it has been revealed this week is leaving the club, hailing: "I enjoyed working with Martyn. He has been here since I came into the football club and he has been very helpful to me. I'm disappointed that he is leaving and going to pastures new. It's very important, the manager and CEO have got to help each other. Martyn and myself had a good working relationship in that way. It is now important that we replace Martyn with someone who gets along well with the manager, has the same beliefs as the manager, and of the football club as the whole. I've helped him and he has helped me along the way. He has been very successful turning the financial crisis of the football club around."
Argyle have signed experienced Scottish midfielder Paul Paton who is a free agent having been released by St Johnstone at the end of the January transfer window. Paton will wear number 30 and go straight into the squad for the game against Bristol Rovers on Saturday. Paton said upon his arrival: "I've been in numerous squads, but I only have five caps right now. I have been in World Cup squads so I have good experience there. It was disappointing to miss out on this squad, but I couldn't have expected to be in the Northern Ireland squad what I have not really played since the end of January. I have come here to help the boys and get back in. I have come down here to work hard, I like to make tackles, keep things simple and let the good players play. I know some of the boys. I know Graham Carey and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair; I have played with them up in Scotland. It makes it easy to come into the dressing room and get to know everyone quite quickly. It has been a really successful season for Plymouth; the manager has just won Manager of the Month as well. There is a really good buzz about the place and it is good to be here. I know Derek from Scottish football, the club maybe has a few injuries. He phoned me a couple of days ago and said there was a bit of interest there and would I be happy to come down. To be fair I was more than delighted to come down here. I know he is a hard taskmaster. I have just come here to work hard. I am 30-years-old so I want to focus on the next two months to do my best for Plymouth Argyle. Derek has told me all about it. He said there may be 12,000 here on Saturday, so obviously it is a big game. With the club doing so well there will be that bit of added interest and I'm really looking forward too it."
Derek Adams spoke about the appearance of apprentices Ryan Law and Cameron Sangster on the bench against Fleetwood on Saturday following a spate of substitute appearances. He said: "It's a learning process. I said that to him before the game, and Cameron Sangster. I told them 'It's not under-18 football now, it's men's football and we are playing for points, and you are playing for your living. They will get that point the more they work with the first team."
Experienced midfielder David Fox hinted that he could be prepared to stay at Argyle past the remainder of this season, saying that he still has a lot of football left in him. Fox said: "To be honest, I have not really thought too much about it. I would have to sit and have a long chat with lots of different people. The club have not spoken to me about anything. It's not something I'm thinking about, I'm just enjoying how things are at the minute. I think the way that we work down here helps me and keeps me going. It's training hard every day. The way the manager sets his team out suits me as well. I would like to think there is still another couple of years left in me at least."
Argyle had a spite of injuries and illnesses for Saturday's game against Fleetwood, meaning two apprentices had to feature on the bench. Additionally, Jamie Ness was substituted off with a recurring injury during the match. It has been confirmed that Antoni Sarcevic and Sonny Bradley missed the game through groin injuries and illnesses respectively. Gary Miller and Simon Church also missed the game with thigh and hamstring complaints. Adams further confirmed Sarcevic will be undergoing surgery, saying: "He has had it for a wee while now," said Adams. "I'm not going to go into it. It's something that I'm not too pleased about. He's going in for an operation and I would rather not speak about it."
THE Plymouth Argyle Board of Directors has today received notice from Martyn Starnes that he intends to stand down as the club's Chief Executive Officer. The Board is engaging recruitment consultants to aid the search for the successor. Meanwhile, Starnes will continue in his role during his notice period.
Argyle have released full details of the season ticket passage for the 2018/19 season, which can be found on the club's official website.
Derek Adams has settled gladly for a draw at relegation scrappers Fleetwood Town, declaring himself happy with the performance. He said: ""I said I was happy with a point before the game. We went for the three points but, when you have gone six wins on the trot and you come away from home and take a point, under the circumstances, I am delighted. We've got 54 points we're happy with that and we're 16 points ahead of fourth-bottom place, which is Fleetwood, sitting in sixth position. We've done alright today because we've come away with a point and teams round about us have lost. We have had a tremendous season and I'm delighted to be, with ten games to go, sitting in sixth position. You couldn't ask for any more. Every Plymouth Argyle fan sitting at home, or at the game today, will be delighted with the position we're in." It wasn't going to be an easy game for us: we're away from home; we're against a team that is in the bottom four; they've changed their manager their manager is an ex-Argyle manager."
:It was too open and we probably contributed to that, because of the way we played. We played with a freedom we were going to attack one end and were not really worried if Fleetwood were going to attack the other end. Both goalkeepers didn't really have many saves to make in the whole game but there was plenty of action from both sides. It was an open game, probably too open from the way we play but that was because our full-backs were pushing forward and their wide players were cheating a bit staying up the park and not following the full-back backwards."
Also, the gaffer declared himself delighted with debutant and goalscorer Moses Makasi who put the away side into an early lead on his first ever professional start. Adams said: "He has waited his time," said Argyle manager Derek Adams. "That's because the players who have played in his position have done well. He's come in and has been able to score the goal that has got us a point. It was nothing more we deserved at that moment in time in the game. We were pushing forward, full-backs on both sides causing Fleetwood problems because their wingers didn't want to track back, and it allowed us to overload on the outsides. It is important that, when you make your debut for any club, you are given time to think about it. We worked on it. He can score left foot and right foot. He's a talented individual. He's only a youngster, but he can finish like that."
Finally, Adams explained the bizarre incident that saw defender Yann Songo'o appear to duck in the lead up to Fleetwood's equalising goal: "Gary Sawyer shouted to Yann. Yann ducked and Madden got in behind him. That's how it came about."
Makasi himself spoke with delight of his dream debut, declaring: "It was a great feeling. When Rubes got the ball I thought it was my chance to burst into space and when I got the ball there was only one thing on my mind, and that was to make sure I finished it. It's a great feeling. I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I thought 'this is an opportunity, and I can't let it slip'. I would have liked a win, but a goal and a draw on my debut is not bad. I thought before I came that I would get a bit more game time, but I just had to get my head down, knuckle down and keep patient. My time came, and I think I took it. There's still a lot more to come from me, and I hope I can show the Argyle fans what I have got. It was hectic. The first 25 minutes the lads did well. Once we conceded we knew we had to just stick in there. We know they are in a relegation battle, and in the end we dug out what is a good point. We are looking for promotion, so we'll take the point and move on to Bristol Rovers next week. This league is really hard. Every team has got good players. They have some players from big academies. They have just been on a bad run. That can happen in this league."
Argyle have maintained their unbeaten record but lost their winning one with a 1-1 draw at Fleetwood Town, managed by John Sheridan and with Toumani Diagouraga on their bench. Argyle went 1-0 up through debutant Moses Makasi in the 16th minute. Fleetwood equalised following a defensive mix-up shortly into the second half. Argyle: Matthews, Threlkeld, Vyner, Songo'o, Sawyer(Taylor-Sinclair), Fox, Makasi (Grant), Ness(Ainsworth), Carey, Taylor, Lameiras. Subs: Letheren, Law, Sangster, Fletcher.
Derek Adams has been named the League One manager of the month for February after a flawless month of 6 wins out of 6 games, two of which were against high-flyers Shrewsbury and Blackburn. Adams said of the achievement: "It's important that you win awards, as it shows the success you are having at the football club. We try and break records and be successful. Part of that success is picking up the manager of the month award. We have been unlucky not to win it in previous months as we are on a fabulous run. It's a great testament to the players and the staff that we have won it."
Derek Adams has paid tribute to Ruben Lameiras who was a runner-up in the player of the month awards after being told he was free to talk to other clubs as recently as December. The gaffer said: "To be fair to Ruben he didn't have a first chance. He was in and out of the side and didn't really have the opportunity on a consistent basis to show the talents that he has. I think that he has had a very good month with a couple of goals and a couple of assists. He is in a position where it has been very difficult for opposition defenders to pick him up. There was a reason why he went to Oldham and it worked out well for us. I think that there is a reason why players go to certain places at a certain time. He's come back and realised what a good football club this is. He is a player that has undoubted talent, that is why I took him to the football club. He was unlucky at the start of the season not to find himself in the side, and he has has been able to be a main stay since he's been in."
David Fox spoke of the personal side of the gamer, whereby he can only see his family and friends on rare occasions after matches but was stoic in his attitude, calling it just part of the game. Fox said: "Football side of things, I'm loving it and why wouldn't I be?" he said. "On the other side of things it can be difficult at times. But I am enjoying my work and when you come in happy it makes things easier. I enjoy playing football for this club; I enjoy the lads, the staff and I enjoy going out playing in front of 10,000 or 11,000 every other week at Home Park. I have enjoyed my football since I came here and from a football point of view it has gone as well as I would have hoped. I'll be home quite early Saturday night after Fleetwood. Seeing the Rochdale game getting rearranged for a Tuesday night means I'll be home on that Wednesday, but it is what it is. I have been doing it for 18 months and it is just part of football. When you do what you do and work away from home, lots of people do it in different walks of life. If you enjoy your job though it makes it easier. The timing of everything has been great really. Last season as well as this, even cup runs have worked out well last season. It has all sort of fallen into place from a footballing point of view, I've been very lucky coming to the club at the time I have done."
"It's great, the run we have been going on. There can't be many teams around the country that are feeling like we are and enjoying coming to work. Even though we are in the play-offs I still don't feel like there is any pressure on us at all. The lads are not talking about play offs, or thinking anything. They are just coming in working hard and seeing what the next game brings really. There really is the freedom to just go and enjoy yourself because of where we have been this season. It's nice that it's taken us to get to sixth for people to see where Plymouth is! It's bound to happen when you go from bottom to play-offs in such a short space of time like we have done people are bound to take notice. It's what happens; it's the nature of the beast and we will just get on with it and see what happens on Saturday. We will try and play with the same freedom we have the past couple of months."
Goalkeeper Michael Cooper signed his first professional contract with the club this week after an excellent performance off the bench against Blackburn Rovers earlier in the season and an excellent string of displays in Argyle's recent FA Youth Cup run. The youngster said of signing pro deal: "I am just really happy. All that hard work with the Academy over the past two years has paid off, but I have got to keep going now. I'm 18, which is still young for a 'keeper, but I want to be pushing to play first-team football as soon as I can. I've learnt a lot from Luke McCormick over the past two years, and a lot from Rhys because he has been my goalkeeping coach since I was nine. It's going to be good to continue working with those two. When you start playing football, when you are six, seven, eight, you think 'I want to be a professional footballer' but now that the day's actually come, it feels even better."
Ryan Edwards has completed a short course of chemotherapy in his fight against testicular cancer. Edwards now has up to four weeks to recover from that before a return to training with the Pilgrims could be a possibility. Derek Adams spoke of his chances of appearing in the first team in the foreseeable future: "He had his last dose of chemotherapy yesterday. He has now got between three and four weeks to recover from the sessions that he has had. I spoke to him last night and he's in very good spirits. He's fighting the battle. Hopefully, in that three or four weeks he will be back here and ready to start training again. He's a fighter and every time that I have spoken to him he has been in very good spirits. He has been to a number of our games away from home. He wants to come to the game against Fleetwood but his family and myself have advised him against that because it's probably not a time where he wants to be out and catching any infections. We are just hopeful he gets through this stage".
Adams also admitted that it was likely that he might have to make a number of changes to the team for Saturday's game at Fleetwood due to a number of injuries and illnesses around the club at the moment. He explained: "We have got a couple of injuries and illness which we are just assessing before Saturday's game. A few of them have got an illness that is going about. We are on a six-game winning run and if you look even further back I think the record is outstanding over a 20-game period."
Ahead of Saturday's game against Fleetwood, David Fox spoke about the occasion where Argyle will come up against ex manager John Sheridan and former midfielder Toumani Diagouraga. He said: "I'm sure with an experienced manager like John Sheridan they will be looking to turn things around. They have got some good players there and we know that. They brought in a lot of players in January and spent a lot more money than we have, so that's what we are up against on Saturday. It will be good. How much I come up against him I'm not sure. It will be good, but will be just like any other game. He is a good player, like every other player in this league that you come up against. There will be no different feelings or emotions from any of the boys, it will be just job on, try and get the three points. I think if you look for one [reason for the upturn in form], you won't ever find it. There has been a whole host of things that have gone our way in regards to turning it around. I am glad for a lot of people at the club that we have kicked on since Toums left, because it was unfair that some of the boys thought 'what's going to happen now?' I thought we were going to have to stop the season because things were getting that bad and panicky. I'm glad the boys have stepped up and kept on winning just to prove that it wasn't one thing that got us going."
Argyle's League One match against Rochdale has been rearranged for Tuesday, April 24. Kick-off will be at 7.45pm. The original fixture was postponed due to the extreme weather conditions that brought snow to all parts of the country. The re-arrangement means that three of the Pilgrims' last four regular season matches this season will be away from Home Park.
Argyle's game at Rochdale has been postponed due to extreme weather conditions. The match was officially postponed this morning on safety grounds and to prevent unnecessary travel for the Argyle squad and both sets of supporters. A red weather-alert, the most serious kind of weather warning that the Met Office can issue, was in place for Devon, while Greater Manchester Police are advising against all unnecessary travel.
Derek Adams confirmed that it is business as usual at Home Park in spite of sub-zero weather conditions that could see Saturday's game at Rochdale postponed. On the chance of postponement, Adams said: "We are just preparing as usual. They have got the ground sheets down at Rochdale. It just depends on what the temperature is like over the next two nights. Hopefully the game will go ahead. We will leave at 12 o'clock tomorrow but we will obviously be guided as well by the authorities if it is safe to travel or not. It might be that they decide the game is off because of that, other than the pitch.
"The pitch protection only provides cover down to I think it is about minus three degrees. So anything below that, you have got a problem and the temperature is below that. It's going to be travel arrangements as well, not just for the team for the supporters as well that is going to bring things into perspective. It might even be taken out of the EFL's hands. The police might come into play there and advise them that it's not good for people travelling because of the weather conditions."
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