A Round-up of Argyle News
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Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
Derek Adams looked ahead to the game against Portsmouth on Saturday, admitting that it would be difficult after the late return from London on Thursday morning but hoping that Argyle would be able to respond well to the tough test that the hosts will inarguably prove. He said of the quick turnaround: "It's one of the best games that you can be involved in. It's a game that we enjoy playing in. There is a terrific atmosphere at Fratton Park. It's always electric. The players enjoy it and we always have a very good backing, going there. A number of them will have played there before, and that's important. It's always nice to play at a full venue and that's what it will be on Saturday.
"We're going away from home; Portsmouth are at the top of the table; they obviously deserve to be favourites for the game. We got back at 4 o'clock on Thursday morning. We're used to it now; we've got long distances to travel and a quick turnaround because the game was on the Wednesday, but we'll be ready for Portsmouth. It's an advantage for Portsmouth, there's no doubt about it. They have had a free week to prepare; we've had to travel to Millwall and come home, then travel to Portsmouth. It is an advantage, but we'll just have to get on with it. They have changed their team about a bit, but they play in a similar manner to last season. They have moved into the transfer-market, they have bought a few players over the summer; they have had Ollie Hawkins or Brett Pittman up front; they have bought Ronan Curtis from Ireland, as well."
Adams also admitted that an overhaul of the playing staff may be behind Argyle's patchy start to the League One season, citing an overhaul in the playing staff. He argued: "We will see what happens at the end of the season. At the start of the season it's always about blending in new players. If players are going to leave for bigger money to go to other clubs, then that is what is going to happen. You are going to have to take in other players. It's the nature of the business. "We had Remi Matthews in goal, who was on loan. He goes back to Norwich and then goes to a Championship club. Oscar Threlkeld and Sonny Bradley leave for lucrative deals. Really, it's about mixing and matching. If you don't replace players then you aren't going to have a squad so you are going to have to make signings. It's either that or you are going to have to pay over the odds to keep players, and that's not what this football club is prepared to do."
Of the new arrivals, Adams did give specific praise to new signing Freddie Ladapo who has made a lively start to his time with the greens. Adams eulogised: "I think that Freddie has done really well for us. We will probably find it difficult to hold onto him in the future. I think there will be a number of clubs that will chase his signature because of the manner of the way he plays. He gets himself into goalscoring positions, he's in the middle of his 20s and he has been at Crystal Palace. They reluctantly let him go in the January transfer window. His all-round play is good and he just has to keep on scoring goals."
After his altercation with Chris Powell during Argyle's 1-1 draw with Southend United, Derek Adams was subsequently hit with a two match touchline ban that saw him away from the dugout for Argyle's loss to Millwall and will also miss the upcoming game at Portsmouth. Adams spoke about his suspension: "I was in full contact throughout the game at Millwall with the dug-out. Kevin Nancekivell and I were wired up for the full 90 minutes. It doesn't affect my job. I pleaded not guilty and Powell pleaded guilty. He got a reduction because he pleaded guilty. I didn't feel I was guilty of the charge and I got the full punishment."
Derek Adams was proud of Argyle's performance against Championship side Millwall where the greens pushed the lions close but we not quite able to make it to round 3 of the cup. He said of the performance:
"Millwall are a good side and we stopped them being a good side, which was pleasing. We just ran a Championship team; we were 2-1 up with 15 minutes to go; and we have beaten a Championship team in the last round. We had a very good performance. We limited Millwall to very few opportunities on target I don't think our goalkeeper's made many saves which we came here to do."
"We knew that Millwall would play a lot of diagonal balls, crosses in the box, and we dealt with well with that. We went ahead early in the game. We played a good ball down the channel, got a corner kick; a great ball in from Conor Grant; a flick from Edwards; and a good finish from Jamie Ness. It allowed us to defend a lead, which we're good at, and, in the second half we allowed Millwall back into the game we gave them a penalty kick, a needless penalty from Ryan Edwards. It's stupidity. He doesn't have to get as close as he is with Tom Elliott and he allows him to be in a position where he has to pull him back. It's quite rightly a penalty."
"We flooded the middle of the pitch and we were able to win the ball, play a couple of passes, and Freddie ran beyond their defenders, as he did a number of times, and it was a very good finish into the corner. With not long left in the game, it looked like we could see out the 15 minutes or so to go."
"It was through crossed balls into the box, which we didn't deal well with we didn't stop the cross at source. If we had done that, we'd have been in the next round of the cup. We know that Millwall like to get the ball into wide areas and get the ball in the box."
Of Graham Carey's absence from the side, Adams said: "Horses for courses. You have got to perform to get in the team."
Antoni Sarcevic played three games in nine days following his return to the side from injury yet is adamant he remains in fighting form. Sarcevic said: "I felt like I fit in straight away, I felt good in training. All the stuff I have done with the medical team had to be quite high-tempo to get back in. The gaffer had faith in me, and I've always had faith in my fitness. It's just my match fitness, which is going to come. All I want to do is do what I can on the pitch to repay him. He has put a lot of faith in me, and others on the team. Injury and niggle wise I'm so much better than I was. The more games that keep coming the better. It's not the games, it's the travel. We travelled a long way, got back in the early of the morning, then we were back in. It feels like every time you wake up you are in the coach again. I've got to make sure I keep it up to get 40 games in the season, and look after myself off the field as well."
Argyle are out of the League Cup with a 3-2 loss at Championship side Millwall. Argyle took the lead twice through Jamie Ness and Freddie Ladapo but were twice pegged back with the greens conceding yet another penalty kick for the second. Millwall scored in the last minute of the game to book their spot in round three. Argyle: Macey, Riley, Edwards, Sawyer, Smith-Brown, O'Keefe(Carey), Sarcevic, Songo'o, Ness, C Grant (Wylde), Ladapo(Taylor). Subs: Letheren, Wootton, Fox, J Grant.
On reflection, Derek Adams spoke controversially on Argyle's 5-1 loss to Peterborough- stating that he did not feel the performance was below standard barring individual mistakes at the back. He said he hoped Argyle could take that forward: "The performance on Saturday was very good. It was probably the best performance we have had this season. We played really well in the game our statistics are unbelievable in all aspects apart from the scoreline, and that's the most important thing. We didn't do well enough from the point of view that we gave away goals from individual errors. Other than that, it was a good performance. Freddie Ladapo had the most shots by any player in the league; we were up there with opportunities and actions in the league Peterborough had 10-12 opportunities, we had 22. We passed the ball well; we created a whole host of opportunities in the game we didn't take them; we allowed Peterborough to get goals with our slack play, and we need to eradicate that. We made individual mistake, but performance-wise, we were very happy."
"It will be a difficult game for us. Millwall are a very good Championship team they have been there a couple of seasons now and they have obviously got home advantage and a lot of good players in their side. But we have shown that going to Bristol City last time out didn't faze us. Doing as well as we did will give us confidence. We would like to progress to the next round. We've got a good opportunity. We know we're away from home. We'll have to be as disciplined as we were against Bristol City."
"We'll be close to what we were on Saturday. There will be a few changes to the team, which was always going to be the case. It's a squad game and we have got a strong squad. Unfortunately, some people have to miss out of being in the 18-man squad at Millwall and in future weeks because the ones in front of them are doing better than them, either on the training-field or in games."
New boy Stuart O'Keefe cited a general sense of positivity, after speaking to ex loanee Matty Kennedy as the main reason for putting pen to paper with the greens. SOK said: "I know I'm not going to be playing at Cardiff. I've had various loan moves over the last couple of years, and this appealed to me. I've only played here once, with Pompey. It was a great atmosphere and a hard place to come. It's good to play in front of a big crowd and make it difficult for teams. Derek's done really well here, been really successful and that was one reason why I came here. The club seems to be going in the right direction. It was a positive sign for me to come down here; I wanted to go somewhere with a bit of positivity and I can see that here."
"I was at Portsmouth last season, and Milton Keynes for a little bit before that. I know what to expect. It's a tough league; there's not much between the teams at the top and the bottom. We've got a good squad here, and there's no reason we can't put a string of results together and get up the league. I like to think I bring a bit of experience, having played in the Championship and a bit in the Premier League; a bit of energy, a bit of bite in midfield; a bit of an old-school box-to-box midfielder, scoring a few goals but also tracking back. I'm in the last year of my contract with Cardiff. I'll go back in January and reassess all situations and see what happens. If they like me here, and I like them, then we'll see what happens."
Derek Adams laid the blame for Argyle's heavy loss to Peterborough firmly at the feet of the centre-backs, admitting it was unheard of to take off three central defenders in one game for a team. Adams bemoaned their decision making, saying: "I can't blame the midfield, I can't blame the strikers, from a defensive point of view. I thought we had good shape; I thought we had control of the game when we had the ball; I just didn't think Peterborough were going to break us open, other than when we gave the ball away. The way we defended today, I've had to take off three centre-halves in the game, which is unheard of, and, if I had more on the bench, it could have been different. It did go wrong for them. They made bad decisions, and decisions which haven't helped us. The back four and the goalkeeper didn't do us any favours. I'm maybe unfairly including Ash Smith-Brown there I maybe shouldn't but the other ones have been a problem for us today because that's where the goals have come from."
"Peterborough play very narrow in midfield and I thought we controlled the game. We played with four central midfield players and we did have a lot of the ball in midfield. Peterborough were never going to play through us, and they like to do that. We outnumbered them in the middle of the pitch and, at times, we had some good play; we got our full-backs into forward areas and it allowed us to get opportunities in the box.
"At 2-0 to them, if we could have got a goal before half-time, then we change the way the game is going. But we didn't and, then, into the second half, they score two quick goals and it just going to be very difficult after that. We have got to go away to a difficult game at a Championship side, and we know how good a game it is going to be, but it does give us that opportunity to play another game quite quickly. Stuart is a midfield player that gives us more energy; he gets up and down; he was at Portsmouth last year and has got good experience. At this stage of the season, we will need that."
Argyle have suffered one of their biggest defeats in recent seasons, going down 5-1 to Peterborough United who maintained their 100% record and sunk Argyle to the bottom of the embryonic league table. The Posh went 2-0 up in the first 11 minutes with a series of defensive mix-ups handing them the lead. Two more early on in the second half saw the 4-0 lead becoming uncatchable. Substitute Ryan Edwards looked to have won Argyle the last word in stoppage time but Peterborough went right up the other end and added a 5th. Argyle: Macey, Moore, Wootton(Edwards), Canavan(Taylor), Smith-Brown, Songo'o(Sawyer), C Grant, Sarcevic, Ness, Carey, Ladapo. Subs: Letheren, Fox, Wylde, J Grant.
Derek Adams is determined that Saturday's game against Peterborough be about the two teams on the pitch rather than a personal feud between himself and opposing manager Steve Evans. Adams was keen to play down the animosity between the two managers. He said: "During my time in Scotland, Steve used to phone me up and would ask my opinion on some of the players that were going about there. He signed some, and he didn't sign some. He's someone I've spoken to over the years. Yes, he's a rival manager but we're looking to get the best out of both our teams. It is just rivalry; managers of other clubs, they are trying to get the best for their football clubs and all we're doing is exactly the same. It's always going to be the case where if you are asked for your opinion and you give your opinion and you have got substance to it you are always going to be heard. From my point of view we'd like to see two teams on the pitch going at it. Football in general has changed a wee bit over the years and Steve is one of the characters in the game."
"We are going to have to be at our best to stop them. They've performed very well this season. They have recruited well over the summer, they've used the money they got from Jack Marriott to do that and they've been very successful. We know we have got players that can cause Peterborough trouble, and likewise with them. I know a few of the players. I tried to get O'Hara in the summer, he eventually went to Peterborough. He is a midfielder that likes to get forward. Naismith as well from Scotland; Cummings that they have on loan from Nottingham Forest, he played at Rangers last year so they've got a bit of experience in their team as well. O'Hara is one that gets box to box, sometimes a wee bit uneasy on the eye but he does make up the ground and get himself in the penalty area. It was an impressive bench for Peterborough on Tuesday but we can say likewise with the experience that we've got on our bench as well. It has improved our squad this year, from last year. It's going to be a difficult game, we know that, they are not at the top of the League for nothing; they've won games to be there. We'll have to defend well but we also have to take our chances when they come along."
Neil Warnock has confirmed that Argyle will be signing 27-year-old midfielder Stuart O'Keefe on loan from Warnock's side Cardiff. Described as energetic, O'Keefe spent time on loan at Portsmouth last season. He will not face Peterborough on Saturday due to international clearance being needed from the Welsh FA.
Ashley Smith-Brown has been keen to look at the positives rather than the negatives of Argyle's start to the season so far, in spite of the fact that they are yet to pick up their first three-point haul of the season. Smith-Brown said: "We take every game as it comes, really. We are confident in our own ability and, if we do the things that we are good at, and we defend well, we will have no problems" We've had a good performance in some of the games and been unlucky not to come out with three points in some of them. The game against Southend and the game against Wycombe were points dropped and hopefully we can put it right on Saturday. The boys wanted to show a reaction after Coventry. We were a bit disappointed after that game, especially coming off the back of the Bristol one. We started brightly and were really in their faces and playing good football; the second half just wasn't our half we defended well for the first half an hour, then, for the last 15 minutes, when Akinfenwa came on, he caused us a lot of trouble and was hard to deal with. He's a presence. It was very disappointing but, at the end of the day, it's still a point on the board, which is a positive, and we have got to take all the positives from the game, look back at the clips and see what we can work on. The defence has done well. We have defended well as a team from back to front. Hopefully, that will continue."
Derek Adams bemoaned Argyle's draw with Wycombe Wanderers as the archetypal 'game of two halves' as the Green Army reflected on another winless draw. He praised Argyle's first half display and was very unhappy with the second, saying: We started the game very well and controlled the first half of the game we should have gone further ahead in the first half and Wycombe were the better team in the second half. In the first half, I didn't see Wycombe troubling us too much. We regained possession, kept it, and went forward. In the second half, we went very deep and didn't get out of our half, and they pegged us in. We didn't push out quick enough; we didn't keep possession of the ball as well as we did in the first half; and we didn't get up the pitch nearly enough times as we did in the first half."
"It was a good ball down the side for the goal and Freddie can run beyond defenders. It was a very good finish from him. He ran down the side of El-Abd and was able to chip the goalkeeper. It was a very good start from us, but we didn't continue to do what we had done to get that goal at times. But we kept possession of the ball; we still prodded away; and we created openings."
"You have got to give credit to Wycombe because they stopped us doing what we had been doing, and, from our point of view, we didn't keep the ball well enough. When Wycombe had all the pressure that they did, we had to find a different way of doing things, but we didn't. Wycombe were trying and trying and they were knocking at the door. We weren't able to keep possession of the ball when we regained the ball. When we changed the team, it helped us. We did stop them, because they were flowing at us quite readily towards the end. We had to change something to give us a foothold in the game. It did, but we lost a goal and we could have done better at it."
Antoni Sarcevic reflected on his return to the Argyle first team following a run of poor fitness since February that has kept him out of the team, in spite of being (by his own admission) rushed back in in April. Sarcevic said: "I had a chat with the gaffer, and he wanted me to play 45 minutes in a reserve game. I was more than happy to, as I felt I needed it. I felt really good, come out of it well, and he pulled me yesterday and said he was going to involve me. He didn't tell me in what way. I saw that Nessie got sent off, and I realised there was a possibility I could be playing. I came in this morning, he named the team, and I was in it. I was over the moon. I was ready for it. It's the faith the gaffer has in me, it means a lot, and I try to repay that faith on the pitch. I knew I was ready. I was desperate to get back in. I was excited, and buzzing I got through tonight."
"Over the summer I was seeing a specialist; so many things going on, did four days running, and I was flying. As soon as I struck a ball I knew straight away. It hit me hard. We went straight back square one. Rock bottom. Back to basics and taking my time. It's been a big low. It hit me hard to pull out four days into pre-season. I was in a tough place. I was really, really low. Not being around the lads, going to watch them in pre-season. It was tough trying to mix with the new lads. But they were great, all the lads were with me, we've got a great medical team, and the gaffer has stuck by me. Now it's all behind me. I feel really good. I had surgery, which I needed. I had six weeks, and we were touching the play-offs. I wanted to play every game, I was itching to get back, and in hindsight it might have been too soon. I took that risk, and looking back it was a risk that put me back, but it's gone now. I'm looking forward."
Sarcevic was at a loss to explain Wycombe's revival in the second half of the game, having been nowhere in the first 45: "The first half was complete domination. They couldn't touch the ball; we were feeling good and moving the ball. It's something that happens in football. I don't understand it. It's hard to take because I thought we did well, and if we had come away with a 1-0 that's the season started, not the best performance but three points. The few chances they had not going for them makes you think it could be your night, but we allowed it to keep happening, and eventually they've got their chance and it's gone in. We're disappoint we didn't win, but it's work that we need to do to push on for the rest of the season."
"The results need to be rectified and turned into wins. We don't want to be looking up at teams getting away from us. We need to play like we did at the end of last season, and hopefully we can be successful. Peterborough have brought a number of players in and they just seem to be scoring freely. That will be a big test for the lads. It will be a big week of training, and we have to in there confident, show what we are about like we did first half, and do it for the whole game. A win would stamp out authority, and give us a confidence boost for the forthcoming games."
Argyle are still winless in League One following a 1-1 draw against Wycombe in which Argyle led for most of the game. Freddie Ladapo scored his first for the club to put the greens 1-0 up in the 4th minute but Wycombe equalised 6 from the end, Matt Bloomfield being assisted by Argyle's old adversary, Adebayo Akinfenwa. Argyle: Macey, Moore, Wootton, Canavan, Smith-Brown, Fox,(Songo'o), C Grant, Sarcevic, Carey(Sawyer), J Grant (Taylor), Ladapo. Subs: Letheren, Edwards, Lameiras, Wylde.
Derek Adams blamed a lack of clinical finishing on Argyle's winless start to the League One campaign this season and hoped for better as Argyle face old League Two rivals Wycombe tomorrow. He explained: "We have got to do a wee bit better in the final third, from the point of view of taking our chances when they come along."We created a lot of chances against Walsall and we had opportunities against Southend, but not as many. Then on Saturday for the last 30 minutes of the game we were camped in Coventry's half but didn't find the opening. So we just have to be a wee bit more clinical in that final third. We probably should have more points than we have, but we haven't. We will continue doing the things that we are good at and we will get more points than we have."
Derek Adams believes that fine margins are all that stands between Argyle and turning their form around after another frustrating loss to Coventry. Adams spoke of pivotal moments in the game: "It was a difficult afternoon for us. Obviously we've conceded another penalty kick, and we get a sending off. I didn't see Coventry troubling us this afternoon. I thought that defensively we looked sound. Coventry huffed and puffed but were never going to play through us. Second half, we were better down to 10 players than probably when we were with 11 players. But I didn't think that Coventry were going to do much today. Not really much in the game today, between both sides. It was quite a slow pace to the match; I didn't think there was much tempo to it. From that point of view, if we go in at 0-0, we're quite happy."
"We changed formation. We went from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1, with Ruben playing off the front. We just wanted to get a bit more support to Freddie, and that did happen to a certain extent. We took Joel off and put Freddie out wide. We put him and Ryan Taylor together, just to give us an opportunity in the game. There was some good play at times. We put balls forward. They looked nervous; they were dropping deeper and deeper. Did they trouble us? I don't know when they troubled us; probably in the last stages of the game, when we were going forward. I think that the shape of the team has been good in stages of the game. Today, it was probably later on in the game that we became creative and caused them problems."
"I'm in a lose-lose situation here. If I had made changes in the team today and lost, it's: 'Why did you change him? Why did you change him?'. It's difficult for me, because they played really well the other night, and played with a great discipline. We did that in spells in today's game, but we're a squad, and we've got ones who can come off the bench as well, and we had that today. It's very difficult for them, after going down to ten players for so long. They've done really well on Tuesday night, and today, another team don't score from open play. Did our goalkeeper have many saves? Did their goalkeeper have many saves? The answer's no. A draw would've been fair, and we've given away a penalty kick today that's our third in three league games. We're down to 10 players, and in any league that's difficult.
"We need to be more clinical in the final third. We have had opportunities in that area. We would like to have more opportunities and to take them, and that's something that we continue to work on. We probably have to do a wee bit better in the final third, taking our chances when they come along. We created a lot of chances against Walsall; we had opportunities against Southend, but not as many. For the last 30 minutes, we were camped inside Coventry's half, but we couldn't find the opening. We've given away two sliding tackles when you are in and around the box; you could say we could stop that and just stay on your feet."
Adams also spoke with unhappiness about referee Darren Drysdale's performance in the game and stated his belief that referees should have to face post-match media scrutiny after matches. He argued: "I haven't obviously seen the incidents again yet. I've only seen what I saw with my own eyes live. I thought the sending off was harsh, but might've been correct, because he should've been booked for his booking, and unfortunately the ball hits his hand for the second one. Jamie will be a big miss for us, and it's not easy when someone goes out of the side who has done well. We need somebody to come in and do well. But that's not to say that a number of their players made fouls and didn't get booked; kicked the ball away and didn't get booked. Really, they should've been bookings as well, if you're going to referee the game to the letter of the book. So don't do things to the letter of the book, then not do them, then say: 'I'm doing it to the letter of the book.' You've got to be very careful how you do referee the match, if that's the way you're going to go about things. I don't have any qualms if he's put his hand to stop the ball getting to an opponent for Coventry. It's a booking. But someone kicking the ball away is a booking. Someone making persistent fouls is a booking. Someone making a late foul, when we're on the break and it's a deliberate push, is a booking. If the referee wants to stand here and say that he did it by the letter of the book, then he didn't referee the rest of the game by the letter of the book."
"I can't speak to the referee. The referees don't come and speak to the press. The managers of the football clubs have to speak to the press. We would all like referees to stand here and explain their decisions. They want there to be 23 people on the pitch, but they don't want to take part in conversations with the media. They're part of the game. They get paid from the Association. They are part of football, but they don't want to do that side of the game. Something will have to change. We have to stand here and give our opinions. I couldn't tell you if I'm right or wrong."
Niall Canavan made his league debut tonight and admitted that Argyle needed to make improvements as they aim to push on from the poor start they have made to the season. Canavan said: "We didn't play to our standards in the first half. We gave away another penalty, and you're always playing a chasing game from there. Add in the sending off, and it's not the greatest of away days, but we go again. It's small margins. Key decisions are costing us in the minute. Once we get that first win we'll be rolling. Even with ten men we have pinned back for the majority of the second half. Once we unlock the door it'll come. Anyone watching will have spent a lot of time looking at their goal. That's pleasing from our point of view, but it's frustrating to not do it with 11 on the field. That's something for us to look at, and to work on. t's nice to have a chance to put things right pretty much straight away. Even better when it's at home in front of our fans. We will knuckle down and put things right from today. You work harder, and you will get your rewards in the end. We can't look to last season as a way that it can happen. We have to go out and start a run as soon as possible; Tuesday is our chance to put our foot down and move up the league."
Argyle's patchy start to the league season has persisted with a 1-0 loss at Coventry City. The hosts' goal came from another penalty, the third Argyle have conceded in three league games, just before half-time. Argyle made changes after the interval but a second yellow card for Jamie Ness just after the interval assured that the greens sit on one point from three games. Argyle: Macey, Moore, Wootton, Canavan, Smith-Brown, Songo'o(Fox), Ness, C Grant(Lameiras), Carey, J Grant(Taylor), Ladapo. Subs: Letheren, Edwards, Sawyer, Wylde.
Derek Adams looked ahead to the weekend match against Coventry in the hope that Argyle's win at Bristol City would propel them to a better level of performance. He said: "They're a very good footballing side, and I did enjoy watching them towards the end of last season. They've got a young player in Bayliss on the right-hand side in midfield who is very good. They've got Doyle in the midfield who's tiresome and a very experienced player; Ogogo as well, and Davies at centre-half. From my point of view, a very good team. We're going to Coventry in good spirits, obviously; we've come off a draw with Southend and a win against a Championship club, and the players were very happy. We're going to try to use the Bristol City game to draw confidence; I think we have to go to a beautiful stadium in great condition. These are the types of places we want to go to."
"I think that from my point of view, if the Tuesday night game was a league game then there was a strong possibility that I was going to make the same changes," Derek said on the potential selection headache he could face for Saturday. Everyone is fit and healthy; we look like we will have the same 18 as the other night."
"They're all difficult, it's a hard league; you look at the fixture list and everybody would be the same in our division, thinking, 'Wow, this is a hard game.' We've got away to Coventry, at home to Wycombe, at home to Peterborough, all difficult games. You can't just say we're going to win that match because we have an average gate of ten and a half thousand and that we deserve to be better than the opposition. I think that sometimes we get a bit of an arrogance, and that's to do with the playing squad, as well, thinking that we're better than we are; we have to go and show that we're better than we are, and the players did that against Bristol. We have to be better than them on the pitch, and that's what we're trying to do."
Argyle's game against Millwall at The Den in the league cup second round has been confirmed for Wednesday August 29th at 7.45pm.
Derek Adams paid tribute to outgoing chairman James Brent, agreeing that he had helped to get Argyle back up on their feet again after years in the doldrums. Adams said of Brent: "It is a great sadness to see that the chairman has decided to step down. He's been extremely helpful, and he's been a chairman that has been strong in a way that has allowed me to get on with my job, which I've enjoyed. For this football club, he's been an excellent chairman over the last seven years; we've come out of administration, and we've improved, year on year, on and off the pitch. He's allowed me to do the job that I was brought in to do, the way I want to do it, the way I was allowed to do it at my previous club at Ross County, and that doesn't happen very often in the modern era. A number of weeks ago, when he told me what was happening, I was disappointed, and he was disappointed, but it was going to happen."
"It's a decision that he feels that he wants to take, and I can't say if he's taken the right decision or the wrong decision, but it's a decision that he feels is right for him. He said, when he first came into the job, he would be here for a period of time, and that period of time has now finished."
"Simon Hallett's been at Board meetings on a regular basis, either on the telephone or here at the meetings. David was obviously on the board before, and now he's become chairman, and I'm due to have dinner with him in a few weeks' time, to sit down and talk things through. Some chairmen can come in and have new ideas but, until you speak to them, you don't know. There has been a lot of change around the football club since I've come here, personnel changes, and that's not just on the football field, it's off the field as well. I'd obviously worked up in Scotland under financial constraints and then I've come here and done exactly the same. From that point of view, we haven't spent a lot of money and we've been able to get ourselves out of League Two into League One. He's been a very good chairman for this football club over the last seven years, himself and the others who took the club out of administration and put them back on sound footing. I think he's going to be remembered as a chairman who helped the football club get back on its feet."
"The grandstand has obviously cost more money than they thought it was going to, and we needed that to come in. That's where Simon has come in, to help progress the grandstand. I don't think it will, from what I have heard in the past," said the Argyle manager. I would think that if we are going to progress as a football club to the next level then we are going to have to possibly change direction just a bit. We will need to invest, which we have done over the years, because we have increased the gates.
"The gates have gone from 6,000 to 10,000, so it has generated extra money. We have generated extra money through selling players and the Liverpool FA Cup tie made a lot of extra cash for us. But, at this moment in time, I think it depends how well we do commercially to generate that money. The crowds have increased and it's the football team that generate that, nobody else. Taking in transfer fees, it all goes into the one pot, and it's to benefit the first team. It's trying to find different ways of generating extra money to help us. We have got many clubs in this division, and in football in general, that have owners that spend their own money. I don't know if Simon is going to do that. I would suggest, from the dealings we have had before, that might not be the case, but I don't know that. We will have to generate extra income to compete at the top end of this league. It is difficult. We have had players over the summer out of contract. We have had to increase their wages because they have done well here and the demand for them from other clubs increases. That causes you problems because the budget that you get increased is wiped away by that. Then you have got to try to generate extra money. It's a difficult situation that some people don't understand."
Jamie Ness has expressed his pride at being handed the captain's armband for the Carabao Cup clash at Bristol City on Tuesday night. With Gary Sawyer and David Fox omitted from the starting 11 at Ashton Gate, Ness was made captain for the night, for the first time in his professional career. He said: "Tuesday night was the first competitive game that I have been captain. It's a really proud moment for me, being able to lead out a team like Argyle. In the future it's something I'll look back on with pride. It's a big honour really.I found out I'd be captain when we got to the ground; there wasn't too much ceremony made about it but it was just one of those things where Gaz and Foxy weren't playing, Ryan Edwards has been captain in pre-season so I had an inkling it might have been me. Being captain, there is that little bit extra responsibility where you feel like people maybe look to you a bit more but I like thriving under pressure. I didn't really think about it too much on Tuesday night, I was too busy concentrating, it was one of those games where you needed to but it was an enjoyable experience."
"It was important that it wasn't a result like last time. We knew it would be difficult after going there last year but I feel like that was a really good performance from us. We know that they are a team capable of doing that to most League One teams, it was an off night last year but I think we rectified that a little bit. We knew that if we played well we would have a chance of getting through and that's what we did. We wanted to get through into the next round, obviously the club hasn't done it in a long time so, there's a bit of excitement now to be in the hat for the draw We all stuck to our jobs, we knew it was going to be a tough test we all worked hard and kept our organisation and it was a really good result in the end."
"Yann was great, he has had to bide his time a little bit not being in the team at the end of last season and the start of this season but he's trained really well, he's come back and he's not let his head go down at not being in the team and it showed on Tuesday night when he came in he was ready and put in a really good performance."
Argyle have been drawn away to Millwall in the second round of the Carabao Cup. Derek Adams said of the tie: "We are looking forward to visiting Millwall. Obviously, we played them in my first season, at home in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy quarter-final and they have been a good Championship side for a couple of years now. I am sure our supporters will be looking forward to going to the Den, too. The London supporters' branch and other fans in that area will not have too far to see us play. I would have preferred a home tie, but to play a Championship side away from home is good for us."
Derek Adams poured praise onto Yann Songo'o as he, amongst others, was pivotal in Argyle's 1-0 win at Bristol City as well as scoring the winning goal. He said of the big man: "You need players like that in your team. I had him when I was at Ross County I took him on loan from Blackburn and he's a terrific signing for me because he does a job that other players don't like to do, but you need them in your team. His use of the ball was very good. He got booked after a minute he was harshly booked, in my view and he had to play the rest of the game under that caution. I changed the team because I felt we could have the running power of Freddie Ladapo; we could have the strength of Songo'o; Joel Grant deserved an opportunity to get on the run; and Niall Canavan came in and made his debut, as well. We had outstanding players. Jamie Ness, captain, was terrific; Ladapo, up front, was absolutely outstanding, his hold-up play the two centre-halves did not know what to do with him; defensively, the back four defended well the goalkeeper did not really have much to do, save-wise; he pulled a lot out of the air. Songo'o, great on the ball; Conor Grant and Ness in front, and Joel Grant and Graham Carey gave us options in the wide areas. I've known Carey for many years; I've signed him twice and I know him inside out. He is an exceptional talent but, when he has to work off the ball, he's even better. We had seven players on the bench who have all played in the first team and who have got good experience so we have got competition for places and that's what you want."
Adams also stated that this game was another example of how underdog status suits Argyle: "When we are not arrogant and when we don't think we are better than the opposition, we're a good team; when we think we are better than the opposition, we have a real problem. We've shown that, performance-wise, we defended well. We had to Bristol City are a very good side and we took our goal exceptionally well, a great ball in from Graham Carey and a very good header from Yann Songo'o into the top corner. We went in at half-time, knowing we had a lead to defend and did that perfectly well. We have shown that we can defend; we know our jobs; we know our discipline; and we got a goal that we could defend. We stopped Bristol City playing out from the back; we stopped them playing to the centre-halves; we stopped the central midfield payer from coming in and getting the ball. So we set a trap we allowed the goalkeeper to kick the ball and then we had to win the second ball from there.
"To get through to the next round of the cup is very important. The football club have only done it three times in the last 25-26 years, so that shows you what an achievement it is for us. I would rather that I had a big tie in the next round, at Home Park or away from home; I would rather I had a lot of money generated because I don't have a lot of money to spend, and I would like that to happen. I've got to think of the football club; I've got to think how we can progress over the years. There has been money generated for the stadium; now we have to generate money for the team."
Songo'o himself also commented on his goal and his win, preparing already for the next league game against Coventry on Saturday. He said: "The lads that played in that game last season, we were waiting for the opportunity to come back to Bristol to show what we can do. I think we did that. The way we play, we can play against any team, a couple of years ago, we went to Anfield and got a draw. We stay as a team, and we get the best out of ourselves. The new players get use to our style of play. Everyone showed great character. We worked on it on Monday, the gaffer wanted us to be compact, stay together and we did that really well. I really enjoyed it. My job is to protect our back four, and if I get the ball to play forwards and play it simple. We did that tonight. I thought the team worked really hard. It was difficult, being my first start, but as a team together we showed great character. Clean sheets give you confidence. We needed that after the two league games, conceding goals from set-pieces. Tonight should give us confidence as we go to Coventry."
For the first time since 2012, Argyle progressed to the second round of the Carabao Cup, with a stunning 1-0 win at Championship side Bristol City. A Yann Songo'o headed goal in the 28th minute was enough to secure the win for Argyle, a year after losing 5-0 in the same fixture. Argyle: Macey, Moore, Wootton, Canavan, Smith-Brown, Songo'o(Fox), C Grant(Taylor), Ness, Carey, Ladapo, (J Grant). Subs: Letheren, Edwards, Sawyer, Lameiras.
The Argyle world has been rocked by the triple announcement that James Brent is to step down as chairman of the club, sell enough of his shares to make Simon Hallett majority shareholder and that he will sell the Higher Home Park car park land to the football club as it initially was. Hallett has invested £3.5 million into the club to secure the completion of the grandstand refurbishment. Brent has served as majority owner and chair of the club since 2011 and will formally step down as chair on the 7th anniversary of his saving the club. Subject to planning, this arena will be moved to the west - so that it will sit closer to the Life Centre - and Argyle will acquire the balance of the Higher Home Park land. Brent will remain a director with a 30% shareholding in the club. Former director David Felwick who served on the board between 2011 and 2017 will return as chairman going forward. Various members of the board and club associates had their say on the news. Brent himself began with: "It has been an incredible privilege to lead Argyle's board as custodians of our club over the last 7 years. It's now time for the next exciting chapter to begin. The changes announced today further enhance the foundations of our Club as we continue our journey from good to great. I'd like to thank Simon and Jane for their considerable financial commitment, which unlocks huge opportunities for the club and wider community. 'm pleased to hand the baton on to a friend, and leader, of David's calibre and talent. The transition will be seamless and orderly, and the club's future will be in excellent hands. My commitment to the success of the club remains as strong as it was seven years ago."
David Felwick said: "As a passionate Argyle fan, I am absolutely delighted to join Argyle as Chairman at this exciting time in Argyle's history. The team has been making excellent progress and the new grandstand at Home Park opens up many new opportunities both for the club, the City of Plymouth and wider region. I'd also like to thank Simon Hallett and James Brent for their support in making this happen."
Argyle CEO, Michael Dunford said: "The additional investment and proposed land purchase is hugely positive for the club. For Argyle to receive further investment is fantastic news, and I'd like to welcome David back to the Board and thank Simon for his further support. I am really looking forward to seeing Argyle now go from strength to strength, and delivering even more success for the club."
Simon Hallett said: "I'd like to thank James Brent for all his hard work and excellent leadership. Plymouth Argyle is a club I am passionate about and believe can deliver much success in the future. This investment puts the Club in a strong position to continue to move forward. I am delighted for the Board to appoint a chairman of David Felwick's calibre. I look forward to seeing the next stage of the club's development."
Meanwhile, Derek Adams spoke about the change in his job description this summer as agreed with James Brent and the reasons for it, saying: There is a whole host that I have to undertake, such as bridging the gap between the reserves and the academy. It's about having somebody that has a say on all things at the head of the organisation, rather than an individual person on each group. We have to have somebody at the club that is football-orientated. We don't have anybody on the board like that so it's important the head of football has an opinion and can go to the board and explain things to them at meetings.
Adams looked ahead to the game against Bristol City on Tuesday evening, hoping for his side to give a better account of themselves than they offered in the 5-0 loss last season. He said: "I would hope so (for a better score-line) I think they are a very good team, you can see from their bench on Saturday, I'm sure a number of those players will play tomorrow night and they'll see it in a different way to what we see it. I probably have made a decision (on my team) but I wont make it public. We'll look at the team; we'll look at what the best fit is for the game. We will obviously make changes to the team, but that isn't just because it's the League Cup, it's changes that I feel will benefit us on the night for the game. I'm only picking my team tomorrow night on progressing to the next round; picking the team tomorrow night on players that I feel can contribute to the team. Joe Riley had a stomach bug - Conor Grant and Kyle Letheren had it as well - so there was a wee bit of a bug going around but it seems to have settled down and we'll just assess him before tomorrow night. It's a great stadium. The playing surface is lovely. We knew last year it was going to be difficult. We didn't think it was going to be as difficult as it was because of the start we had so we have to do a lot better tomorrow night. Bristol City isn't too far away from us and we have taken a number of players that have done particularly well for us over the years. They've taken in money through the transfer market but they've also spent money as well and recruited. So there is a good relationship there. It is beneficial for both we've helped a good number of their players get match time but they've benefited us because it's down to the quality they have week in week out.
Mike Cooper's call-up to a two-day England goalkeeping camp comes as no surprise to Derek Adams. Cooper had been in the Argyle manager's pre-season plans in Holland and has clearly continued to impress with the latest call-up. Adams said: "Michael Cooper is away for two days with the England under 19 to under 20 age group. He'll go to the training camp; it gives the England goalkeeping coaches an idea of what goalkeepers are in the country and he'll see what competition he has all over the country. He's performed well, been away with the first team, played more games with the first team over pre-season probably than he had thought he would - and that's good for him. We did that to help him progress and progress with England as well."
Tafari Moore was named man of the match in Argyle's first home game of the season against Southend and spoke about his role in the team and the penalty that bought about the opening goal. He said: "I loved it. I want to see what it's like with the other side packed, but it's a nice atmosphere. t felt like a real family. That's what I like about this club. When I was getting the ball, I could hear the fans pushing me on and it was giving me energy. I knew, before the game, what I needed to do. I knew my role. I know what kind of player I am and I believe in my ability so I went out there with confidence and I think it went great." "We have been told that if the opposition leave one striker up, then both full-backs need to get higher. So I tried to get up there and wait for something to happen. As the ball came out, I tried to control it and get a goal, because that's what I am trying to aim for this season add goals to my game. I touched the ball in front of the No. 11 and he clipped my legs.
"It was a penalty. The Southend players didn't think it was penalty some stuff they were saying to me on the pitch wasn't the best, not repeatable but it was clearly a pen."
Moore also said that he has no regrets about leaving Premier League Arsenal and is content he made the right decision, explaining: "It's much better," he said. "People said to me 'Why are you leaving?' I just said to them 'I am not playing in the Arsenal first team, so what good does it do me, just to say I am at Arsenal, put it on the Instagram, all of that?' It's not for me. The age that I am at, I need to be playing first-team football. I've been on loan twice. I went to Holland for a season and that was a great experience, but when I came back to youth football I was thinking 'I can't do this'. Then I went out on loan to Wycombe and, after that, I knew it was just time to start getting first-team football. It was the right time. I'm here now and I'm really happy. I have come to club where I can really show what I can do, a club that plays football, that will bring about the best in me. I feel that Plymouth is the right place. Time doesn't wait for anyone. You can't waste time."
Derek Adams was happy with the point to get Argyle off the mark but was not best enamoured with the performance, citing a sluggish start and poor defending against Southend. He said: We have taken a point; we're off the mark and put ourselves in a good position. We want obviously to be further up the league but it's a home point and we're off and running. It's always important; it's never easy, because there's a lot of good clubs in the league."
"We didn't start quickly enough. It's not like us at home; we usually start on the front foot, but, today, we didn't. We got a penalty kick good play from Tafari Moore to get in front of his defender, and a well-taken penalty by Graham Carey. Ryan Taylor gave away the Southend penalty it was a stonewall penalty; he's pulled his opponent to the ground and they get the goal."
"We have given away a penalty kick today; we shouldn't have. We gave away a free-kick last week a player ducks in the wall and goes over him and we gave away a penalty, as well. Two penalties in two games is not something you want to do. We did have chances, that's the way it goes. We tried to pass the ball; we tried to get forward; and we tried our best."
Adams also gave his version of the touchline tussle that saw both he and his Southend counterpart Chris Powell dismissed to the stands, claiming Powell grabbed him by the throat. He recalled: "The right-back Demetriou went down holding his face after going up for the ball with Ryan Taylor. He decided to stay down extremely long. Simon Cox then decided to move across and say something to the fourth official. I told Simon Cox to shut up and then Chris Powell decided to get himself involved. He grabbed me by the throat and we eventually both get sent-off."
"I'm disappointed to get sent to the stand because of a player that has tried to get one of my players sent off. It happened last year with Turner. He did exactly the same. It's not something that you want to see. Their dug-out was up quite a bit, remonstrating with the fourth official and the other officials. When you come to Plymouth, you know it's a very good football club and it's a scalp to come here and get a result. You saw that with their time-wasting at the end, and how long they took to get their substitutes off. They were here for a point, they got a point and they will be happy with that. It's up to the referee to judge the game beforehand, and look at what happened before between the two teams."
Argyle have their first point of the new season on the board with a 1-1 draw at home to Southend. Both goals were from penalty kicks in the first half with Graham Carey first converting Argyle's after Tafari Moore was clipped. Ryan Taylor gave away the foul for Southend's equaliser and the game hit boiling point just before half-time with a clash between Derek Adams and Chris Powell seeing both parties dismissed from the touchline. Adams became the first manager in English football to be physically shown a red card in accordance with the new refereeing guidelines. The game petered out to a draw. Argyle: Macey, Moore, Edwards, Wootton, Smith-Brown(Ladapo), Fox(Songo'o), Ness, C Grant, Carey, Taylor, Lameiras(Sawyer). Subs: Letheren, Canavan, J Grant, Wylde.
Striker Ryan Taylor looked ahead to the game against Southend United and spoke about his less than ideal pre-season and he was still recovering from the injury that kept him out at the tail end of last season. Taylor said: "As a striker, it is your main objective to score goals. I had a little chance on Saturday, touched it round the corner and it got cleared off the line. You are judged on goals, so you look to score them. But if not, you want to do something else and add things to your game. I feel I hold the ball up pretty well and bring people into the game."
"It wasn't an ideal pre-season. I got a 60 minutes and 90 minutes, I wasn't fit when we came back for pre-season. I had a few injections in my ankle as it wasn't healing like we thought it would. I'm over that now. It feels strong. It wasn't ideal, but it is strong now and that is the main thing. I feel fit. I'm not 100% match sharp, but that will come with the games."
"There's plenty of competition for places now. It's going to be tough to get in the team and stay in the team. That's pressure I like as an individual, and I'm looking forward to the challenge. I think that's why we struggled last year. With injuries and suspensions we were down to the bare bones. This year, on Saturday there were six first-team players that didn't even travel to Walsall."
"It'll be a tough game. They lost their opening game of the season, so they will be looking to put the wrongs right. We will look to do the same, so it should be a good game. It will feel different. I played at Don Valley at Rotherham, and the three sides at Oxford. It will be different, but we will adapt and come Saturday we will be ready. It's nice to see. They've been talking about it for a couple of years, and it is nice to see the work going. I hope I am here to see the final product. Everybody knows the manager is a tough taskmaster, but the players take to that that really well. He's brilliant to play under. He's brought the best out of me. I'm looking forward to the next two years."
Derek Adams explained the decision to make Gary Sawyer his club captain in spite of the fact that he did not play against Walsall in the season's opener, citing his view that off field indicators are most important when choosing a skipper: "I've made Gary Sawyer captain, and my captain is not on the field, he is off the field. There are a lot of things that go on for seven days a week at a football club. The 90 minutes is the really the manager, assistant and first-team coach, along with the team. The captain's role is not as important. It is more important during the week."
Looking ahead to the game against Southend generally, Adams said: "They are similar to last season. They have changed their personnel around a bit, but not too much. They can be direct, and get the ball forward quickly, but they have technically very good players in their team that can go and pass the ball as well. They started 4-4-2 and changed at half-time to 4-3-3; that was to play against Doncaster. They are a good unit, with vastly experienced players in their squad."
Derek Adams gave an insight into how Argyle's matchday preparations would be affected by the future move in changing rooms away from the Mayflower Grandstand due to the closure of the stand. He detailed Argyle's alternative plans: It's going to be strange for some people with the grandstand now being closed. It will make no difference. We haven't had supporters on the terracing for many a year. I don't see it affecting us in a negative way. It may be a positive as the stadium will look full. It will help the atmosphere. It is nice that we are getting the Grandstand because it long needed it. The football club has got stronger, lived within its means, and is now developing into a strong unit. The players have trained on the pitch this week I feel it is important to get a feel for your own pitch and surroundings. Last year we had excellent home form. We will have a full stadium, so to speak, because of the three sides. That will hopefully generate a very good atmosphere. We have to move out of the changing rooms so the development work can move forward quick. We will then come out at the Devonport end. That will be good for the home supporters to see their team coming out that end."
Argyle have confirmed that the building project to complete the Home Park grandstand has been completed with James Brent putting pen to paper on the deal that will refurbishment. Argyle figures from across the spectrum of the club commented. Brent himself said: "Argyle deserves a high quality stadium not just for the team and our loyal fans, but also for the wider community of Plymouth, to provide an economic driver of tourism. When Argyle emerged from administration seven years ago, the Board committed to delivering a new stadium. So I am delighted that we have now taken the crucial step to realising our vision for Home Park. Finally I'd like to say a huge thank you to the fans (in particular our focus group, GAGWAG), my colleagues and the professional team, the team, our board, Simon and Jane Hallett - who provided the funding - our sponsors, the City Council, the city of Plymouth and our wider community for all their support in making this happen. We all did this we are Argyle."
Derek Adams added: "This is what we've been looking forward to for a long time - the moment when work can begin in earnest on an improved stadium. A high quality grandstand and facilities will further raise our ambitions as a team, and really help to drive the momentum. It's what the fans and team deserve after seven years of commitment and success."
Finally CEO Michael Dunford said: "One of the reasons I joined Argyle just over a month ago was to help realise the benefit of an improved Home Park with new grandstand and enhanced facilities. It's a very exciting time for Home Park and I am really looking forward to seeing the grandstand delivered and it driving even more success for Argyle."
Adams also said that he has "not found the right person" to add to his squad before the transfer window closes on Friday. The Argyle boss has made no secret of the fact that he would like to strengthen his pool further with the addition of a central midfielder. He said" I don't see anyone coming in before then, no. We haven't found the right person."
On the rotation of Argyle's squad meaning certain players missing out on a spot on the matchday eighteen, Adams added: "It doesn't matter if it's summer signings or players that were here last season, it's a squad game. We need 18 players on a Saturday, we had competition for places. That is what we want and each week we are going to have players that are going to miss out."
Finally, he backed Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras to find form as the season went on in spite of an underwhelming opener against Walsall. He eulogised their talents, saying: "We had two big players in our team under-performing on the day. It's important they perform at 100 per cent because they are the only two players in the team that can do something out of nothing. They were playing probably at 75 per cent of their maximum on Saturday. Not through the want of trying but they are capable of a lot more. They have shown that in the past. I hope they do take it to heart. Players get praise and criticism, and so do managers. It's not always the manager's fault. The players have got to take responsibility. Graham and Ruben are two players that should be the best players in this division."
Argyle's Checkatrade Trophy campaign kicks off with a home fixture against Swindon Town, where they will renew acquaintances with former players Toumani Diagouraga and Luke McCormick on October 9. They will then face Chelsea at home on October 30th and travel to Newport on November 13th.
Derek Adams has explained why young keeper Mike Cooper will continue his development at Argyle this season, getting experience of the men's games with the reserves, rather than go out on loan. He said: "He has been around the first team squad for a good period of time. He's still inexperienced and with inexperience you need game-time. He has been given that over the pre-season games, which has been really good for him, and we will continue to monitor his progress. We can't loan him out at this moment in time. We have got three goalkeepers and if we loan him out then we have to get another one in. That doesn't make sense. We are playing in the Central League, which gives him game-time. The next progression for him is playing in the Central League and in the Premier League Cup etc. That's what he will do."
Ryan Edwards admitted that would would have been a fairytale story of him scoring the opening goal on his return to the side from cancer meant nothing compared to his disappointment at the team losing the game. The centre-back explained: "At the time, it was a good feeling, a great feeling, a sort of welcome back, but it stands for nothing now. I don't care about it. We've come away with nothing. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter. I'm hurting more than anyone. What's on my mind is the loss, not the goal. I would very gladly have not scored and taken the points, of course I would. He's very good. If he's keeping Carey off set-pieces, you know he's got a decent delivery. That's credit to him. Thanks to him for the goal; he's put it where he wants it and where we worked on it, and it's paid off. We stayed behind in training on Friday. We must have practiced 20-30 of those, myself, Scotty and Conor, whipping them in for us. We worked on putting the ball there and we've managed to score off it. We've got a threat off set-pieces, corners, free-kicks. Not just myself we've got other lads, big lads in the team, some who even aren't here today, who are all dangerous off set-pieces. We're going to get the delivery now between Conor, who's come into the squad, as well as Graham Carey and Foxy. I've told the new lads that they are going to get chances and it's up to us to put them away. I've repaid the good delivery there."
"It's a long season. We would have loved to win. We want to win every game, wherever we go and whoever we play at home. You are not going to win every game. Certainly, we think we should have been coming away with something today, but we haven't and we have got to change something, obviously. We've lost our first game, our first game of 46, a long season. Hopefully, we'll get more wins than losses; hopefully, that starts next week back at Home Park.
"The fans today, singing my name I think you saw my emotions when I got back to my position, and I sort of gave them a fist-pump because they have been with me the whole way. It was nice to get it off my shoulders. I'm glad they had something to shout about but, unfortunately, we couldn't keep hold of the points for them and take them back down the road. We're back at Home Park next week and we have got to give those fans something to cheer about next week because they were unbelievable today, different class. They never shut up. They never got off cheering us all game. Even after the game when we had lost, they were still singing and they are going back down the road, as we are, with no points. We have got to give them something back."
"We knew there was going to be big changes. A few of the lads left, but a lot of lads have come in and we've got to know each other very quickly. Everyone who's been here, and who will come here in the future, will see that we've got a good squad spirit and it's very easy to settle in back down in Plymouth. It's a nice area and there's a good group of people around the club not just the players, the staff, the people that not many people know behind the scenes; the kitchen staff; the physios, everyone. That's why it's easy to settle in, because people are very welcoming."
Derek Adams gave a nuanced view of Argyle's performance, highlighting good general play but singling out Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras for some criticism. He also hit out at what he deemed to be some poor refereeing decisions. Adams said: "I thought it was a good performance in large spells from us. We created a lot of good opportunities throughout the 90 minutes, and we went ahead, probably deservedly, with a good ball into the box and a good finish from Ryan Edwards. Then, probably undeservedly, they go in 1-1 at half time. We give away a needless penalty kick right on half time, and that causes us a problem. We had to push forward after it went 1-1, and we did that. Walsall obviously had a couple of opportunities in the second half, which is going to happen. We had the better of the opportunities from the point of view that we had seven or eight, in the second half, in and around their 18-yard box. We went 4-4-2 at half time, and tried to get the ball into the two strikers. Then we went with three at the back, with two up and one off. We tried to push up and put them under pressure, which we did, and we just felt we could get that opportunity with a goal."
"In the second half, we put countless pressure on them. They score from a free-kick. I haven't seen it yet; did it go through the wall or around the wall? We'll have to look at that. It was preventable, because it shouldn't be going in on that side. I thought we finished the game stronger. You could see that Walsall players were going down with cramp; a good number of their players went down with cramp in the game, and for the last 20-25 minutes we were camped in their half, because our fitness levels were excellent. We could see them collapsing every minute with cramp, and we thought we could try and run the legs off them. We had enough opportunities in the second half. We should've never lost the game."
"The positives are that we've had six players making their debuts. We've scored on the opening day of the season. We haven't lost a goal really from open play, so that's pleasing. We're looking forward to it. It's always nice to have a home game. Obviously we're away this week because of the reconstruction work, so it'll be nice to get back home."
"It's never easy making your debut and today was one where they put in a lot of strong performances. The pitch: it was difficult for us to pass the ball. It was very slow. Ash Smith-Brown did really well today; a strong performance. We played him because Zeli Ismail plays in that area, and we dealt with him. That was the reason we played him. I thought Lameiras and Carey were very poor for us today, and didn't do anything in the game for us, so that was disappointing. They have to do a lot better than they did today. Their pass completing, their picking out of players, is not what I expect from two players who should be the best on the pitch.
"It's always difficult, but the ones who were in the team are the ones who we thought could win the game. Unfortunately for us, in the first half, we didn't pass the ball quickly enough. That wasn't just the players' fault; the pitch was slow at this time of the year. We had a lot of possession but we didn't pass it quickly enough to the sides. They've got to get up to speed. It was a great ball in from Conor Grant and a very good finish from Ryan," said Adams. "and it gave us the deserved start in the game. He's on the losing side today, so his goal doesn't really matter today. It only would've mattered if it was on the winning side."
"Macey made a great save from the penalty kick and it was a penalty kick, from my view and I thought he did well," said Derek. The penalty kick was the correct decision, but we feel that we should've had two penalty kicks in the game I think it's one on Freddie Ladapo and one on Ryan Edwards and I think we should've had at least a penalty. We have a number of penalty claims in the 90 minutes, and that was the story of the game."
Argyle's return to action in League One has began with a defeat, going down 2-1 to Walsall. Argyle took the lead with a Ryan Edwards volley shortly before half-time but were pegged back in the dying seconds of the half when Andy Cook hit the rebound after Matt Macey saved his initial penalty. A fantastic free-kick from Josh Leahy put the hosts 2-1 up in the second half and Argyle were unable to get back into the game. Argyle: Macey, Riley, Edwards, Wootton, Smith-Brown(Wylde), Fox, C Grant(Sawyer), Ness, Carey, Taylor, Lameiras(Ladapo). Subs: Letheren, Canvan, Songo'o, J Grant.
New CEO Michael Dunford has promised to hold regular 'surgeries' with members of the green army as Argyle progress this season. The surgeries will take place, by appointment, at Plumer House, Crownhill, between 3-6pm and will continue on a monthly basis. Dunford said of the initiative: "It is important that supporters are able to directly address the people who are responsible for running their club about any issues or observations they have. I am always delighted to meet face to face with fans and am looking forward to meeting them. I will happily discuss any club-related matter, other than that involving the playing side, which is Derek Adams' domain. If discussions will benefit from the input of a member of the Senior Management Team at Home Park, they will also attend the surgery. We are grateful to our supporters for providing valuable feedback across a wide range of subjects on your club. We always welcome the opinions of the Green Army, and we encourage supporters to express them to us. We will take note of these opinions as we continue to strive for excellence within your club's vision and values."
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