A Round-up of Argyle News
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Greens on Screen's Daily Diary is a compilation of Argyle news, with help from these and other Argyle-related sites.
On This Day:
Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
Argyle have revealed that Ryan Lane, Ben Steer, Billy Palfrey and Jack Calver are all being released at the end of their professional development contracts this summer. The quartet have been mainstays of the Pilgrims' side in the South West Peninsula League this season. The former apprentices were offered professional development contracts at the end of last term as part of a new scheme. It was intended to bridge the gap between academy and first team football. Derek Adams said: "We were pleased that we were able to help Jack, Ryan, Billy and Ben progress their careers for another year but we will not be offering them a further contract. We thank them for their contribution to the club, on and off the pitch, over the years, and wish them every success in their future ventures."
Derek Adams preached caution ahead of Argyle's home game against Accrington on Saturday and said that it would be, if anything, tougher than the game against Doncaster last weekend. He said: "We've got an extremely difficult game. Accrington have gone 11 games unbeaten; they played really well the other night against Cambridge; and they've got a team that's high in confidence. So this will probably be a more difficult game for us than Doncaster, and I think that Doncaster was a difficult game.
"They have been able to put a good run together and they have a system of play, now, that suits them, and we know they are back to playing the way they were last season. They play on the counter attack; they've got some technically some very good players and we will have to be careful of that."
Adams added his hope that the Green Army crowd would see the players over the line as they did in the last match against Morecambe, saying: "The thing about what they did that day was that they knew how big a game it was. They understood what we are trying to do and they understood what players were trying to do, and we worked together as a unit. That's important. As a football club, we've all got to go in the right direction, and the right direction is where we what to get automatically promoted. We've got a home crowd that can be very impatient at times and that puts pressure on the players. That's not the right way to be; it's about trying to finish the campaign in a strong mind. For a number of years now, they've had disappointments and we want give them huge high. We've got seven games to do that."
Czech defender Jakub Sokolik revealed that he is delighted with the start he has made at Home Park since joining from Southend in January. He said: "I'm enjoying it very much here. I'm getting game-time, and that's the most important thing for me as a player, to develop further and further. But I'm also enjoying living in the city, and the people at the club are nice. Every game we have been progressing a little bit further. I think it's going well. You see it every day. Someone comes up to you and says 'brilliant result' or 'hopefully we are going to make it'. It's good. If the fans are behind you it's always better. They can you help you in the games with their shouting.
"Promotion is always good. It doesn't matter how you are going to get it, whether it's first place or third, but to be champions is special. I think everybody in our changing room wants to be a champion and wants to win games, so I think we have got a good chance. We have had some good wins recently so we just have to keep going."
Sonny Bradley hopes to continue his goalscoring streak for Argyle and hopes to hit a figure of ten goals for the season: "It's possible, I don't see why not. I have just got to keep going. Maybe we will mix up our set pieces and try something different to keep the opposition guessing. I think if we keep working on it, and the deliveries keep coming in like they are, then I don't see no reason why I can't score more. It's a feeling that you can't really explain. It's amazing. It's a bit of a blur at first. You just make a good contact with the ball."
With players such as Nauris Bulvitis, Craig Tanner, Paul-Arnold Garita and Connor Smith currently unable to break into Argyle's matchday squad, Derek Adams has said what the quartet have to do to make their way back into the first team: "Bulvitis, Tanner, Garita and Smith are the ones that just have to keep on pushing and try to get themselves into the team. They are behind the other ones at this moment in time. They have to push on and catch my eye in training, and really deserve that opportunity to get into the 18. The ones that are in the 18 at this moment in time deserve to be there."
Luke McCormick was the man to take the plaudits after Argyle's 1-0 victory at top of the league Doncaster Rovers on Sunday but he was as keen as ever to turn the spotlight onto a good team performance, saying: "We played as a real tight unit, going forward and defending; we all played a part. It's a good working unit that we have. I'm fortunate that I have the lads in front of me and they want to go and defend. We're good when we can sit and frustrate teams, as we did, say, for Liverpool. We filled the gaps and made it very difficult. I think that is when we are at our best really because we can go forward and counter, and, as you saw in the second half, we had a couple of good chances. It's part of our strengths. It was good that we were able to pull off what we worked on throughout the week. The boys are happy. There's a good feeling around the place which is bound to be the case we're off the back of a very good win against a team at the top of the table and a very important one in terms of our work towards our goal.
"Everyone gets on. That's what's important, particularly being at a club like ours, where you sort of rely on each other. It's definitely contributed to how well we have done this year."
Sonny Bradley however joined his manager in eulogising McCormick's performance. The defender said: "We needed Luke. I haven't got enough to say about Luke – I could be here all day. His performance today was outstanding – a man of the match performance. It's performances like that in a season which will get you promoted. I think it was Matty Blair who went past us and got the cross in. John Marquis is alive in the box and can sometimes pop up and it's gone straight to his head, great contact, and Luke's had to make an unbelievable save. We don't know how he's done it, but he has done it. It is a big performance, a big save, and a big three points which he's probably got us today.
"You can't explain how much difference it makes – it really does – when you have got someone like Luke, full of experience. He isn't fazed by anything. He's loud; you know he's behind you. If a ball comes into the box and you hear 'Luke's ball', you get out of the way because he will come and collect it every single time. In this division, especially, the ball gets lumped into the box a lot, and that's what you need. Without him this season, we wouldn't be in the position we are."
Bradley also rejected the notion that Argyle's win at Doncaster was boring, claiming that often a somewhat attritional style is necessary to secure a win: We're delighted. We knew they had a good home record but we're also very good away. We've proved already, against teams that play football, that we can sit in and grind out a result and that's exactly what we've done. Sometimes it's not all about playing amazing football and playing the other team off the pitch; sometimes it's about sitting in and defending properly. We've done that on numerous occasions this season. I don't think there was ever a point in the game when we felt comfortable. They had two up front, never gave us time on the ball; they had a high press from the first minute. It was a just a case of grinding it out. We knew, coming here, that we weren't going to outplay them. We know that, especially at home, they are very good; they move the ball well; they create chances. So it was just a case of digging in, defending for our lives and nicking a chance from a free-kick or a corner. If we were going to win the game, we felt that we had to score from a set-piece, and we worked on them this week. We just got a little bit of a block on their defender; I've gone round the back, where I've gone a lot this season, and it's a great ball in. All I had to was to make contact with the ball. I didn't feel I had to do much, just get contact and hit the target and there was no chance of the 'keeper saving it. That was our game-plan; we've executed it perfectly. We've got the three points and that's another brick in the wall when it comes to our promotion push. I think a couple more wins will see us over the line."
The league two player of the season shortlist has been released without an Argyle player on there with John Marquis and James Coppinger of Doncaster joining Luton's Danny Hylton. Derek Adams was surprised at the developments, claiming Argyle deserved a representative on the list. He said: "I was surprised none of our players were on it. We've had a number of top performers this season, but everyone's entitled to a vote and the ones in the top three have done well this season. There's no doubt you want to be nominated and if you look at Graham Carey, with amount of assists and goals he's had this season, he's done exceptionally well. We've had a number of players in the squad I think deserved to not only be in the team of the year, but the top-three individuals as well."
Derek Adams has responded to comments made by Darren Ferguson who said that his Doncaster side 'annihilated' Argyle in the game. Adams did not take offence from the comments instead claiming they were a sign of 'respect': "I don't have a problem. Managers make comments, we all do it, and we just get on with it. There's only one more team in English league football won more games than us this season and that's Newcastle. That just shows you how well we've done, but it's a wee bit of respect he's shown us as well because he's talked about us so many times this week and he's giving us that respect. When a manager from the opposition speaks about the other team they're showing a good bit of respect".
Derek Adams declared himself delighted with Argyle's crunch victory at Doncaster and rejected the notion that luck played a significant part in the victory. Adams said: "They weren't good enough to break us down. You have got to be better than your opposition and they weren't better than us today. They haven't been better than us over the two games; we have scored three goals against them and they haven't scored any. That would tell you that Doncaster haven't been better than us over the two games – they haven't done enough to win them; they haven't had enough creativity; they haven't had enough goalscorers; they haven't been able to keep a clean sheet against us. So they haven't been good enough against us. Easy as that."
Sonny Bradley is now on 7 goals for the season after netting the winner at Doncaster- and he isn't finished yet, saying: "I want more now. Confidence is building; I feel good; and with the deliveries we have got...Foxy and Graham's deliveries are spot on and all you have to do is make the right run and good contact. You don't have to go out of your way. When the ball comes in like it does and you make a good run, it's a goal every time. I'll press on for some more goals this season; if I can, hopefully they'll be part of more wins; if we do that, hopefully we'll go up. I've just got to keep going, keep working on the set-pieces; mix it up; try something different; keep the opposition guessing. If we keep working on it and the deliveries keep coming in like they are, then I don't see any reason why I can't score any more.
"I've had chances at home. I've hit the bar; I've hit the post; a couple wide. They just haven't gone for me. When you look back, they all seem to be pretty important goals. I think everyone will be happy with me, going back today.
"I don't know where the knee-slide came from," he said. "I felt my hamstring straight afterwards and I thought 'Why have you done that?' but I got up and the lads were celebrating with me. It's a great feeling and, when you get that feeling, you want it again. And again. And again."
His manager said of the goal: : "We have got very good delivery and very good height in the team. It was a great ball in from Graham Carey, a wee bit of movement in the box, and it allowed Sonny to be free. He has been a big player for us this season; he's defended well; he's really grown in confidence as the weeks go by; and he's allowed himself to score a good few important goals. Greg Strong said he should score more goals because of the presence he has. We have very good delivery from set-plays and it's given him the opportunity to do that."
Bradley however was not the player for whom Adams reserved his strongest praise- that being goalkeeper Luke McCormick who made a string of superb saves to keep Doncaster out. Adams eulogised:"He made two very good saves at important times in the game – that's what he's there for and he was exceptional today," he said. He's the captain of the team and he's a great presence for us. The two saves he made in the game for us were at important times. This was probably his busiest game this season."
Argyle have closed in on promotion from League Two and thrown the title race wide open with a very impressive 1-0 win over Doncaster. Sonny Bradley scored the game's only goal from a Graham Carey corner in the 50th minute and Argyle's rearguard effort for the remainder of the second half held firm. Argyle are on the brink. Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Sokolik, Bradley, Threlkeld, Fox, Carey(Blissett), Sarcevic, Jervis, Kennedy(Songo'o), Spencer(Taylor). Subs: Dorel, Sawyer, Donaldson, Slew.
Derek Adams has said that he would like to win the league on the way out of League Two rather than merely come 2nd or 3rd. As a previous title winner, Adams said he believes this side has what it takes: "From my point of view, I would like to try to win the league. I have been fortunate in my managerial career so far that I have won two leagues, so I know what that is all about. We will have to go to Doncaster and put on a good performance, because we have to win the game to have an opportunity of getting that. This league is very difficult to read. You can see, by teams putting winning runs together and teams putting losing runs together, that anything can happen. There are eight games to go and there are 24 points to be played for. We all know what we have got to do. After Saturday's games, ourselves and Doncaster will know what has happened to everybody else and we will know what we have to do."
Antoni Sarcevic says he is determined to play a part in the final 8 games of Argyle's season as they seek promotion to League One, in spite of an injury that has caused him to miss games for Argyle since joining. The midfield man said: "It was a massive frustration and it's one that I was really gutted about because I was doing well and scoring goals. It was bit of a frustrating setback. I was very worried; the day after it happened, we assessed it and luckily it was one that wasn't too bad. I just did everything I could to make sure that could back as soon as I could. I was in everyday doing doubles just making sure that I had done everything to get back because to me these are the games that I want to be involved in and like I said I want to be involved in every game now to end the season.
"I'm not anywhere near like I was, fully fit with the ankle, but as long as I know it's enough to get me out there I'll be out there helping the team. It's nothing bad; it's just obviously still bit of a little niggle, but it's nothing to keep me out. When you come in January you want to play every game. That's what I want to do; do everything I can to make sure that we get that promotion at the end of the season. It means pushing your body through it for seven weeks - then you can enjoy the summer."
Derek Adams believes Sky Sports viewers are in for a treat when top of the league Doncaster take on second placed Argyle on Sunday. He said: When Sky come down to League Two and look at the fixtures, they have been able to pick up a very good one. We are going to take a large away support with us. It's a good game. We have got the best away record in the league against the team that has got the best home record. Doncaster have done very well at home, winning 13 games and they have drawn six so from that point of view they have got a bit of confidence. But on our travels we have done really well and been able to win 11 games. If we win on Sunday that's 12 and equals our target from last season. We are very confident on the road. We have got a style of play away from home that suits us. At home, we beat them 2-0 so we have got the confidence of knowing that we can beat them."
Derek Adams was delighted to see both Sonny Bradley and Graham Carey make the League Two official team of the season but said more than just two of his players could have made the cut. He said: "I thought there might have been couple more that would have pushed into the team of the year but to have two nominated by the players of other teams is fantastic for the two of them. They have all performed well again this season. Sonny Bradley, after coming in at the start of the season, has played nearly every match for us, and Graham Carey has played exactly the same as last year and probably added a wee bit more to his game. His work-rate is certainly getting better and, off the ball, he has worked extremely hard for the team – I think his team-mates appreciate that – and he has been able to score and assist with many goals this season. Sonny has been part of a defence that has kept a good number of clean sheets this season and he's been able to organise them very well.
"There are a lot of big matches to come between now and the end of the season. Every one of the eight are going to be good games and there will be a good atmosphere at all the matches including at Doncaster on Sunday, which is a big game for both clubs. We know that three points allows us to get back into that title-push; three points is massive in this league and we will be going there trying to get them."
David Fox admitted that maintaining Argyle's recent form would put them within touching distance of promotion to League One- and, like his manager, stated his pleasure that the run of Saturday-Tuesday matches is coming to an end. Fox said: "If we keep that sort of form up for the next few weeks, we will be where we want to be. If you'd have given us that many points before the week started, we'd have taken it – Carlisle lost at Mansfield today and it's a tough place to go; Wycombe are just outside the play-offs. We can be pleased with our week. We've had a real hectic period and we've stretched the gap, which is good and now we'll get a week's recovery and rest, ready for a big game next week.
"It's been basically game-recovery-game-recovery and we've needed everyone. I thought the subs were very good today when they came on, just like Bliss was on Tuesday night, and we are going to need everyone until the end of the season because a lot of lads have played a lot of games."
Another area of agreement with his manager was on the role of the Green Army in the crucial victory against Morecambe, citing the magnificent fans: "I thought the fans were magnificent in the second half. We have had some nervy moments at home this season but I thought they were brilliant; they really did push us on. It makes such a difference when they are like that; it really saw us through. It is a difficult time of the season – there's a lot of pressure – and I thought they were exactly what we needed; they are really loud, really vocal, didn't stop, and it put us over the line. It really did make a big difference. We are always capable of winning away from home – we always fancy ourselves away from home because we have got grit and determination; it is the home games where I think we have let ourselves down But it's a two-way street – if we can put in performances like that and battle away like we did, then the fans will definitely stick with us.
"We have got three games left at home and those three games will be massive for us; if we're all in it together, it makes such a difference. These seasons don't come along very often, for players, for fans. There have been a lot of tough times down here and I think everyone has to really enjoy it, embrace it."
David Fox revealed a great deal of satisfaction with Argyle's gritty 1-0 win over Morecambe. In spite of a second half wobble, he praised Argyle's character and their excellent first half display. Fox said: "It's a very satisfying result. At this time of the season, you pick up your three points and you get yourself on to the next game – that's all that matters. I thought, first half, we were terrific – we were really dominant; in the second half, I thought we started sloppy and let Morecambe back into it, but we saw the game out okay. We'd have liked to have got a second goal in the first half – I think our dominance probably deserved a second goal; it wasn't to be, but we got the three points. Obviously, we would have liked to have put in a performance in the second half like the first, but Morecambe have had a good record away from home this year, so it was a good victory for us. We probably spent 15 minutes at half-time saying 'we've got to stay at it – they are going to come at us'. We just made silly little mistakes, then the crowd get nervous and it sort of has this knock-on effect, but we did see the game out. We always feel that, if we keep a clean sheet, we have got a real good chance of winning the game. I thought we could have maybe had a little bit more in the final third that would have got us a second goal but I'll wake tomorrow and see that we've got the three points. At this stage of the season, three points is all that matters. People will be looking at it, seeing that we won again, and we move on to next week, and after that, we will move on again.
"It's probably the hardest eight games we'll have because of everything that comes with it but it's about keeping calm, keeping your mind and your focus, and going out there and doing your jobs. If we can go out there and do our jobs for eight games, we'll hopefully be where we want to be."
Derek Adams praised an excellent week in which Argyle got 7 points from a possible 9 and appeared to be hitting form at just the right time. Adams: "I think that the players were coming off of a very confident week. Going away to Mansfield and a draw against Wycombe, we knew that today was an important game for us. To win that match was vital, and we've been able to do that. We've had a great week. You see Mansfield winning 2-0 today. To go to Wycombe – they've won 2-0 today – and then to play against a team like Morecambe who've done well away from home; it just shows you.
"We've won 22 games this season out of 38, and it shows you what a good squad we have. We've got everybody coming back to fitness now. We had four players playing in the Peninsula team today, in the reserve squad. We need a squad going into these last eight games of the season. It's important we keep everybody fit and ticking away. The players are going to have a couple of days off now because we don't play until Sunday. Then we'll come back in on Tuesday. Because we've trained solidly for a period of time – I think it was nearly 14 days we trained or played – we need a wee break. It'll be a great game at Doncaster. It's an opportunity to go up there and try and get the win that would close the gap between ourselves and them."
Finally Adams paid tribute to the role of the Green Army in lifting the team as the game went into its last ten minutes. He said: "The Green Army supported us from start to finish and it really helped. They must have known the scores! It just shows you: we've got an intimidating atmosphere here at times. The players play to that. You've seen here today that it's important that we're all in it together. I thought today, the amount of backing we had from them; they're in a good place at this moment in time. They've been able to see their team put on a good show for them today. We've been able to open up a points gap between ourselves and third position," said Adams, "and we're still on the tail of Doncaster as well. We've got to take care of ourselves, but obviously when you look at the other results, it shows you how important a win it is today for us."
Argyle have opened up an 11 point lead over 4th place in League Two with a hard fought 1-0 win over Morecambe. Graham Carey's 17th minute long range goal proved to be the difference between the two sides. Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Sokolik, Bradley, Threlkeld, Fox, Sarcevic(Songo'o), Carey, Jervis, Kennedy(Slew), Spencer(Taylor). Subs: Dorel, Sawyer, Donaldson, Blissett.
Gary Miller urged caution and a 'smart' style of play as Argyle take on mid-table Morecambe at the weekend. The full-back explained: "Morecambe beat us last game and we'll be hoping to play well on Saturday. They'll know they beat us last time so don't see why they wouldn't be trying to do it again, especially if they need some points. Teams will come here; they'll want to beat us because we are doing so well.
"It's getting to that stage in the season now where everybody needs points. People will be making promotion pushes and teams will be fighting to move out of relegation zones. Teams come here and the more they sit in we'll try harder and then they'll counter. It's maybe being a bit smarter rather than trying to force something through and take it from there. I think you look at the Carlisle game, we soaked up pressure. Our counter attacks that day were pretty deadly and we ended up winning. I think the fans maybe expect us to win games a bit easier but as in football it's never like that."
Gary Miller spoke about his return to first team a ction this week and gave details on the injury that saw him miss out on two months action to begin with. The Scotsman said;"It was good to get on against Mansfield and obviously we saw out the 2-0 win. Against Wycombe it was good to get back starting. I felt fine during the game and was quite comfortable, fitness-wise I felt quite good so I think it was just the travelling back after the game where my legs were a wee bit sore. I feel fine now, we'll train today and build towards Saturday and then go from there. The gaffer wanted to get me on at Mansfield because the longer you are not playing you are thinking about your ankle so he just wanted to get me on and ready to play.
"I have done a similar injury before. I was just coming down from a header and he bumped my leg and that was it. Obviously my weight came down on it, I just felt like I couldn't move my leg. I managed to get home for a week for some rest and recuperation, just to settle and not be moving on it, then came back and started working straight away. We progressed together in the gym, on the bikes and swimming, and built up from there. Connor Smith would force me to get through it and it was good to have somebody trying to motivate and help you as well. It's never great to be injured, but when somebody has got a similar injury and you're both doing the same thing it helps a bit."
Derek Adams admitted he is pleased to come to the end of a gruelling schedule for Argyle but looked ahead to the game against Morecambe with a sense of caution, saying: "It has been a very intense period of time with a lot of games and a lot of travelling. We're coming to the end of it, and we'll go back to playing Saturday football. I think every team in this league finds it difficult – League One is exactly the same – because of the amount of games you have to cram in. Add to that the Checkatrade Trophy; we've had FA Cup replays; we've had a lot of games this season. It looks like we have important games coming thick and fast. We've been able to take in players that have enhanced the squad, and when we have had injuries we've been able to replace them as well. That's very positive. Coming to the last nine games of the season we are getting to a stage where we could have 23 players to call on. Last season we weren't able to do that. We've been able to add players within the budget that has allowed us to replace like for like. You need players that know how to deal with the pressure. We have many of those in the squad. The other night, Ryan Taylor and Gary Sawyer were out injured, and we were able to put in Jimmy Spencer and Gary Miller, who had played a good number of games this season, had been out injured but acquitted themselves really well.
"We're in a fantastic position. With nine games to go, we know what we've got to do to get ourselves automatically promoted. We've got to win football matches. We've got nine games; we have to pick up enough points in those nine games to get us over the line. We've got a lot of hard work still to do. We know how many wins we need form these games to get automatically promoted, but we've got to go and do it, starting with Morecambe this Saturday. They have gone to Carlisle, Doncaster and Portsmouth this season and drawn three games. That tells you how well they have done away from home. We know how well we can play at home as well, and we will do that this Saturday. Our defeat at Morecambe was a strange game. We started very well, then they scored and had the upper hand in the match. We had Jordan Slew sent off for a second booking, and it was a difficult afternoon after that."
Finally of the players who are coming back from injuries, Adams said: "Gary was really struggling with his Achilles injury. He wasn't running properly. At this stage of the season everyone wants to try to play games. We just had to think of the team on that night. We'll try to see this morning if they are able to train, and see how they are looking. We'll see how they are – I'm not ruling them out or in, I just need to see what they are like. Connor Smith is progressing well. He is back in full training and looking good. He is getting over the ankle injury and starting to run a lot better now. It's going to be difficult for them to get straight into the squad. I wouldn't say definitely not, but I wouldn't have thought so. They have to jump ahead of the ones who are already there."
Derek Adams was delighted with Argyle's point against Wycombe and in particular Nathan Blissett who took his chance off the bench after a spell on the sidelines. He said: "I'm delighted. To go to two difficult venues is a tough ask and we've come away with four points. We've got to be really happy with that. We went to Luton, as well, and took a point, so, on our travels, we keep on doing well and we're happy with that. It's a difficult venue to come to at the best of times and to go 1-0 down...we were disappointed at that because I thought that Wycombe started the game better than us. In the first half, they probably shaded it. In the second half, we get our goal and then have a lot of impetus going forward. We created a lot of chances in the second half without being able to get that killer second.
"For Nathan Blissett to score the equaliser was fantastic because he's come in here and he's going to be a big player between now and the end of the season. He gained in confidence after the goal and he got himself in good areas in and around the box. He's been one that we've worked on in training and given him the right time to get that opportunity. It was up to me, as a manger, to try to bed him in and take my time. I could have thrown him in earlier, but he wasn't ready. Fitness-wise, he's improving, because the way we train and the way we play is different from a lot of clubs. When we scored, there was a change in the tide and we went and tried to get that second goal. Unfortunately, we didn't get that goal but if you'd asked before the game if I would have taken a point, I would have because we're away from home. It's a great point. You can't win every game away from home. We'd love to, but when you are 1-0 down and coming to a team that are trying to get into the play-off places, at some time in the game you have got to take a point."
He added: "I said to the players: 'We didn't start quickly enough and then, in the second half, when we get the goal, it looks like you can run all day.' The energy that we had in the closing stages of the game was unbelievable. We have had a very tough schedule; Wycombe have had an easier schedule than us – they have not played the same number of games Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday – so, from that point of view, it just shows you how fit these lads are. I thought Gary Miller did really well at right-back – he was excellent tonight – and Jimmy Spencer coming in up front: two players who have been out for a while and you couldn't tell. We need to keep on working hard. The players know that. They have shown their character tonight and that's very good."
Blissett added of his first goal for the club: "It was a great feeling. I've been itching to get some playing time and help the boys with the promotion push and that's the best way I can, so I'm happy with the goal. I've had to bide my time. When I came here – I'll be honest – I wasn't fit for this level, and I've had to dig myself in, plant my feet, get a foundation and get myself into the team. Hopefully, the gaffer has seen what I can do now in a proper league game and hopefully I get a few more.
"All I remember is Sonny Bradley saying 'Get to the back post' because he was having problems with a defender, so I was hung out a bit, saw the flight of the ball, and literally just got my head on it. To be fair, I thought it was going over, but it looped in. I just wanted to get back playing again. I didn't even celebrate properly. I'll think about it on the way back and enjoy it then. There's still a lot of work to do. Really we should be coming here, trying to win games, but we'll take the point and get going for Saturday.
"I'm not sure what it is on Tuesday nights but we seem to start slowly and ease ourselves into the game a bit – at this level, you can't do that. So we had to dust ourselves down at half-time, try to up the tempo and create something for ourselves. We did that in the end."
Argyle are one step closer to promotion following a 1-1 draw against Wycombe at Adams Park. The home side took the lead early on before a Nathan Blissett goal from the bench levelled things up. Argyle maintain a ten point lead over 4th. Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Sokolik, Bradley, Threlkeld, Fox, Sarcevic(Blissett), Carey, Jervis, Spencer(Slew), Kennedy(Songo'o). Subs: Dorel, Bulvitis, Tanner, Donaldson.
Graham Carey believes Argyle are calm and have nothing in the way of late-season jitters as they approach the final furlong of the season: "We're calm. We know, in this league, it's tough; you're going to lose games, but we have picked up enough wins to put ourselves in a great position and it's important that us and the fans all realise that we've got the same end-goal. We have got a ten-point gap to fourth but we are looking up and hopefully we can close the gap on Doncaster. You never know – it is obviously still possible to win the league. Our main goal is to get promoted but, if we can go and challenge and win the title, as well, that would be great. If you gave us a ten-point gap on fourth at this stage of the season, at the start of the season, with the amount of players we brought in during the summer, we would have snapped your hand off, and I think the fans would have done the same."
Carey also revealed he wanted to win promotion to repay Derek Adams' trust in his abilities, explaining the close relationship the pair have: "One of the main reasons why I came to the club was because I've played for him before and he really gives me a lot of confidence and lets me play with a lot of freedom. Once I work hard off the ball, he pretty much gives me a licence, not to do whatever I want, but to roam and get on the ball. It is always great when the manager and staff back you and hopefully, we can repay him because he has done a great job over the last two years and now we just need to kick on and get promotion. That has been the goal for the last two seasons and hopefully we can finish the job off for him.
"The combination of our backroom staff is great. The combination of experience and youth, in Wottsy – who has played at a great level and knows what it is like to get promoted – is important. The gaffer, as well, knows what it is like to get promoted. To have them in the dressing-room is a great bonus."
Captain Luke McCormick will move into the top 20 appearance holders of all time as Argyle play Wycombe on Tuesday- but the skipper hastened to add there are more important things at stake, saying: "I've said, from day one, that I feel very privileged to play for this football club and rack up as many games as I have. It is something I am extremely proud of. It is something I will hold very dearly to my heart. I was made aware of the 300-mark and also the time that I overtook Romain, which was something that I never ever thought I'd achieve. I still hold Romain in very high esteem and he seemed to be there for years and years and years, so it makes me feel quite old!
"I think is something I will look back on, concentrate more on, when I do finish playing, and think 'I'm actually quite pleased with that'. At the moment, there are a lot more important things."
Derek Adams is expecting a fierce test when Argyle play Wycombe tomorrow- a game which has produced a strong rivalry over the past few seasons. He said: "It's an important game for us. We have got 10 games to go now where we have got to try to pick up as many wins as we possibly can from here on in. The two clubs have been in the division for a number of years ago, and they have come up against each other in the play-offs. They are always entertaining games. It was earlier on in the season in a 3-3 draw. I don't see it being any different this time. They are two good sides. Yes, Wycombe try to get the ball into Akinfenwa as quickly as possible but who wouldn't? That's what we have to deal with."
The aftermath of the game was dominated by a bizarre spat between the two managers- Steve Evans and Derek Adams both laying into eachother in their respective post match interviews. Evans said of Adams: "The supporters have been magnificent. They've stuck behind the team and they've seen a good performance today. They will be as disappointed as I am. That's the lowest I've been since I became the gaffer here because we didn't deserve that, but then again we've come up against the best manager in British football. It's the best football played here in five years. I'm not being funny. Plymouth are a very good team and we've made them look a very poor team. Their manager will say something different about character, but he talks nonsense. When somebody tells you in the tunnel they're the best manager outside the Premier League it's hard to palate that. He failed last year, he's got a huge budget this year and that was a big result for them today, so we'll give him the credit. He gets back on his bus, he's got terrific players, he's got an excellent assistant in Craig Brewster, who worked for me, a good man, but you can't be telling people you're the best in the business. I wonder why he's not working in Scotland.
"I see the best manager outside the Premier League's got his team up there in second. If that had been me at the start of the season, playing last year with Plymouth's resources we'd have been in League One. From that point of view, we can't allow ourselves to get too low. The performances are very good."
Adams responded coolly however, denying the allegations made by Evans. He said: "I don't think that's quite right. Steve is one of these guys that talks a lot and tells a few fibs along the way. Listen, we are not best pals after the game. It is 90 minutes of football and we each want to win. We are both Scottish. We have had words and that's the way it is, but what he said is untrue."
Derek Adams heaped praise on his Argyle players following their 11th away win of the season, labelling it an 'outstanding' performance. He gushed with praise for his players after the game: "It was our best performance of the season," said a visibly buzzing Adams after the game."It was an outstanding performance from start to finish. The eleven that started the game, the eleven that finished the game; it was terrific. They didn't really trouble us all afternoon. It was dominant defending from start to finish. It was just a top-class performance from a group of players who have done exceptionally well this season. The run that Mansfield were on – we were all told about that. We've kept a clean sheet and scored two goals against them, so that tells you how good the afternoon was. We were in total control of the game, from the first minute to the last minute. Really, throughout the 90 minutes, did they work Luke McCormick? The answer is no, and we've come away with three points It was just a thoroughly top-class performance, and the fans here were exceptional. The backing they gave us from start to finish: it just shows you when you give your team the backing they showed us today, the players really respond to that.
"We're looking to continue the form that we're on. We've won 21 games this season out of 36 games. It's a tremendous points total to have and we'll just keep on going. It's another midweek game for us. We've had a busy schedule, but to do as well as we've done through the busy schedule, through the ones that we've had out injured; it just shows you how good a squad we are."
Graham Carey once again starred for Argyle in the win, leading Adams to label his talismanic Irishman as 'the best player in the league': "Graham Carey is the best player in the league. There's no doubt about it. He's got the ability to play. He's without doubt the most talented, creative player. He's played in a lot of games this season; a lot of assists, a lot of goals – he is the best player in this league.I thought the back four did really well. Yann Songo'o just in front won his headers and knocked the ball the way he's facing – that's what he's there to do. David Fox gave us a bit of guile in there, and Carey's the one that plays off the front and gives us something extra. Jakub Sokolik was immense. Start to finish, he won his headers, cleared his lines, and him and Sonny Bradley in central defence did really well. Good on the ball, good man-to-man; a thoroughly good performance from him.
"Matty Kennedy was here; Sarcevic didn't travel. He's back home getting treatment. Matty Kennedy came here and did a bit of stretching before the game. He wasn't available because he had a slight knock. They're two very good players we've been without today."
Carey himself gave his analysis of how Argyle coped with Mansfield's physical threat and the game to come against Wycombe on Tuesday. He said: "We knew it was going to be tough. We knew they are quite a physical team and like to get the ball forward very quickly. We said, before the game, that we needed to give ourselves the basis to work ourselves into the game and it was tough, first half, but I thought we dug in. We always know there are goals in the team, especially with set-pieces, so we knew we needed to keep ourselves in the game and we'll eventually score; keep a clean sheet and we'll win. We know, when we come away from home, that we can sit in, and we have a lot of attacking players to go and punish teams on the break; that's what we have done.
"So many times this season, we've given ourselves too much to do in games," said Graham. "We've kind of, not gone gung-ho, but we've gone and attacked teams too early and we've got countered, and then we're chasing the game. We just haven't been performing to our standards; we know that and we have to address it, but we know, coming away from home, we're always dangerous. I think we have one of the best away records in the league, and it shows. It's important we just keep ourselves in games. We know the fitness levels in the squad and I think it showed, pushing towards the last 10-15 minutes of the game – we were closing down and the shape we showed was good, as well. Possibly, we need to do that at a little bit at home, as well. A lot of the time, we go out straight from kick-off, try to attack teams, and get countered, and, if you give teams one or two goal leads in this league, they are going to set up defensively and just counter you, and it's going to be really difficult. We know we can cause people problems in the later part of the game; we just need to be in them."
Carey stated that Argyle's togetherness was also a huge factor in their position in the league, saying: "I'm really pleased with the goal but I think the togetherness we showed today was really important, especially after Tuesday night. We obviously realise that some results haven't been great but we're the first ones to be disappointed, and we know the fans are disappointed, but we need to stick together. The job's not done, by a long stretch, but we have got ten games now and we just need to push on.
"It shows the recruitment from the manager, the staff and the club has been great," he said. "We have got a real bond – because of the distance that we travel, it is really important, as a squad, that we get on and I think the togetherness in this squad is unbelievable. We travel very long distances and spend a lot of time with each other, and that only brings us closer together."
Finally, he deflected praise towards him for his part in the win, stating that he needed to do better on free-kicks in the long run and praised his fellow scorer Sonny Bradley: "When we have those kind of players in the team, it is important we get quality in the box. He's come up with big goals for us this season. I'm chuffed for him. He's a great lad and we are lucky to have him. He's been a real catalyst for us at the back. It is good for me to have a player like that, who is going to attack every ball. He's definitely racking my assists up. It's great to have him, and he's been brilliant for us this season, defensively and attacking. He's a big asset for us.
"I've been disappointed with myself with set-pieces; I haven't scored one since I've been here. I've been working really hard on them in the last couple of weeks and been getting more consistent. One in the first one hit the post in the first half and the second one went in, so I'm really happy."
Argyle have gone ten points clear of 4th place with an impressive 2-0 victory over 2017's form team Mansfield. Goals from Sonny Bradley and Graham Carey in the second half gave Argyle a big win. Argyle: McCormick, Threlkeld, Sokolik, Bradley, Sawyer, Songo'o, Fox(Miller), Donaldson, Carey, Slew(Jervis), Taylor(Spencer). Subs: Dorel, Bulvitis, Tanner, Blissett.
Derek Adams wants his side to be more stubborn in the final few games to ensure his side scrape over the line to gain promotion to League One. He said: "It's the same with every team in this league. If any team in this league was consistent then they would have won the league by now because of the inconsistency of so many teams in and around the top half of the table. You see people changing places all the time. We have to be more consistent in picking up points and picking up wins. I think at times this season where we have been at home we have opened up too much. We had the onus on us to go out and score goals but sometimes that is not right and we have to tighten up a bit. We're up there with the top goals in the league and up there with the least goals against in the league so even though we have conceded a number of goals the other night, we need to get back to being stubborn and take our chances when they come.
"The target is to do that because we'll need to do that to get in the automatic promotion places. We need to go away from home and win games. Between now and the end of the season, we have seven away games. We are on 10 victories away from home and we'll need to win a good number of them to get ourselves into that automatic spot and if we do that, we'll beat the record. There's no two ways about it, we will have to win on the road. Our away record is the best in the league. From that point of view, we've been able to win a lot of games and that's given us a good points total. We're away for the next few games - to Mansfield and Wycombe - two very difficult venues that we have to go to, but ones that we are more than capable of picking up points at. We probably are underdogs going to Mansfield. We're the away team and usually the away teams are the underdogs but you have to look at our results away from home and we've had some impressive ones."
Luke McCormick gave another rallying cry to pick their heads up following the disappointing midweek loss to Blackpool and before the Saturday match away to Mansfield. He stated: "Over the course of the season, we have performed exceptionally well to get ourselves into the position that we're in. It's disappointing when we have results like we had during the week but, during times of reflection, it is important to look at how well we have done this season, look at the position we are sat in. I think that, ultimately, that will help us keep our eye on the prize and the end goal. Part of my role, not just as captain but as one of the senior players in the side, is to try to keep the lads upbeat and keep things harmonious. Clearly, we have had a lot of disappointed boys this week but, on the flip side of that, we have got a fantastic opportunity to go and win again on Saturday. The games are coming thick and fast so there's no time to sit about and dwell on it."
I'm sure there are hundreds of factors. I felt that maybe we were too eager to do well too early on in the game. As much as we want to, as much as the supporters want us to, we don't have to tie a game up in the first 15 minutes. That eagerness led us to compromise a bit of our composure. We gave the ball away cheaply and it's hard to win games of football when you keep giving the opposition the ball. It was just one of many things that we didn't get quite right on the night, but that's behind us and we move on to the next one. We're looking forward to getting on the bus and getting going on Saturday now.
"Up to now, we have done fantastically to get ourselves in the position we are in. There's a very positive outlook with regards to the 11 games that we have remaining. Looking the league table, looking at the performances, and some of the results that we have been able to achieve this season is where we are going to gain a lot of confidence. First and foremost, we trust each other and know what we're capable of, and we believe in the process and what we're trying to do. It's worked ever so well up until this point. We won't change anything; we'll just keep believing, keep doing what we're good at, and, in the end, we trust that it will be enough."
He also shared his manager's sentiment regarding away matches, being pleased that the majority of matches remaining are on the road. McCormick said: "It might be nice to get back on the road. We have done very well away from home – we have got one of the best away records in the league – so we can go with confidence that we are good on the road and look forward to a very big game. Mansfield have got plenty to play for, so it's going to be a very good encounter. We quite enjoy it when teams come and have ago at us. We have got plenty of pace, plenty of creativity, in the side so, at times when we have been on our travels this season, we have been able to soak up a bit of pressure and counter-attack. It seems to bring out the best of us. We're good on our travels, as we've proven, and we'll be going there positive and wanting to take all three points.
"We have done ever so well against teams higher up in the league – we know we could have done better against some of the teams from mid-table downwards – but we go up against a team on Saturday doing their utmost to get into the play-offs. It's a huge game for them, so there's a lot riding on the tie for both sides. Mansfield is a very, very hard place to go to. We have already been there once this season; that is something else we can gain confidence from. We have the ability to win games of football and we can do that better than 22 teams in this league, up to this point.
"We'll take confidence, again, from our away form and we'll look forward to getting stuck into the game. We are familiar with the surroundings and we had a good result there in the cup, but obviously we are aware that they have changed manager and there will be different personnel on the pitch for them this time round. With a lot on it for both sides, it will be a completely different fixture."
Derek Adams admitted that Matty Kennedy was currently suffering from a slight injury, having been subbed off at half-time in the game against Blackpool. He explained: "He started his loan spell very brightly and scored three in three. He has picked up a slight injury over the last couple of games and he just needs to get back to his best again. To come on loan and get nominated so quickly shows the ability he has to score goals as well as create."
Meanwhile, Adams is hoping that Argyle's scientific approach to preparing for matches will continue to pay off: "We use everything that we have. We have got Matt Neil who does our video analysis. We have got Greg Strong, who does our scouting of opposition, and we have got nutritionists and sports psychologists. We are well stocked in the people that we use. At half past one every Thursday afternoon we look at clips of previous games and clips of the opposition coming up."
Luke McCormick has urged on the green army to one last push to support the boys as Argyle go into their last 11 games. McCormick said that belief and trust would be paramount to success: "Players and fans alike have to believe and have to trust in each other. If we can continue to come together as we have all season, we will be able to achieve what everyone wants. We know there is an expectancy from the supporters, and you can feel that. The atmosphere that the fans create transcends on to the pitch – whether they are up, whether they are down. They are a big part of what we do. We know that expectancy is there. Having said that, I'd say that the expectancy we are putting on ourselves is also as great. Before we were players ourselves, we were football fans, so we understand that they want us to do well, but we want do well more than they do. We understand there are going to be grumbles, but no-one will be more disappointed than the lads and staff after games like Blackpool. It helps us an awful lot when they get behind us but I understand that it's a two-way street and we need to get them up and going. It all works together. The supporters have been great to us all season, so sometimes they are entitled to a mumble and a grumble.
"As players, it helps and awful lot when the supporters get behind us," he said. "It was particularly noticeable when we played Exeter and they were making extra effort to get behind the lads; even when there were little lulls in the game, they were still singing and getting behind us. As a player, you know that the supporters are willing you on at that stage. Sometimes they might have to be a little bit patient with us – that will be appreciated – but 'Keep coming; keep supporting; and keep getting behind us' would be the message."
Derek Adams has dismissed the notion that performance is important at this stage of the season and stated that he is focusing only on points as his Argyle side enter the final furlong. Adams: "Performance is not important to me. Points are; wins are. Between now and the end of the season if we're able to grind out wins, then that is the main focus. A good performance comes with winning games. That creates confidence and that is the same throughout the league. We've seen already this season that shock results happen. They're not shock results as such but they are in terms of where teams are in the table. Nothing does shock you because anybody can beat anybody on their given day.
"We've played two up front a number of times this season and it's not worked. That's the problem. It hasn't worked. We've played in a style many times this season that has worked. We've won over 50% of our league games and it's proven to be the right way because when we have gone with two up front – We haven't scored. We didn't create enough opportunities in the second half against Blackpool. We went two up front and became direct and it didn't help us. We have to change our style of play when we go away from home and we have to change our style at home from an away performance. We've been too open in some games that our supporters feel we should win and we need to change that from now until the end of the season."
Argyle have so far won 10 away games this season- if they win three more of their final seven, it will break Argyle's all-time record for away wins in a season. Adams admitted he is glad that Argyle have so many away games left, saying: "That's the target. We will need to do that to get ourselves in the automatic promotion places. We need to go away from home and win games. We enjoy playing away from home. We have been able to win 10 games, which is a good points total."
Adams also set a challenge for Argyle centre-back Nauris Bulvitis to get back into the team following his falling out of contention in recent months. He said of the Latvian: "The arrival of Sokolik has put him down the pecking order, so to speak. It's up to Nauris now to get himself back in there. He's a model professional and an experienced defender. There is good competition there with Sonny Bradley, Songo'o, Sokolik and Bulvitis. "He has been in and around the squad for most of the season. It's only natural that when you have competition for places some people are not going to get a game."
Derek Adams admitted he simply cannot understand how his Argyle side can go from one extreme to the other- an excellent and professional performance against Carlisle on Saturday before the capitulation against Blackpool on Tuesday. Adams said: "That is the hard thing being a manager. You have seen a very good performance on Saturday and tonight you have seen a performance that hasn't enabled us to take anything from the game. I thought that Blackpool deserved to win the match. Our performance was not the same performance as Saturday. It is difficult to see how that can happen. We will have to look at the video and watch the game again and see what the problems were. We obviously didn't create enough chances tonight in the first-half or second-half and we allowed soft goals from Blackpool. Over the 90 minutes they thoroughly deserved to win. In this league it is important you get the first goal and they were able to get that. They got a wee bit of momentum and were able to get the second goal and it is an uphill task after that. We didn't do enough tonight to get a goal.
"It's very difficult. We had passages of play that could have led to an opportunity. We have hit ones past the post and we have been in good areas with set plays as well and haven't been able to get that goal to take it back to 2-1. They pushed us back and I thought they played well at times. There was opportunities for us but we didn't take them when they came along. We have got 11 games to go. We are looking to change the performance and get it back to the performance from last Saturday."
He did however, deny that Tuesday nights were the reason for Argyle's malaise and put Argyle's poor record under the lights down to coincidence. He said: "Looking at it. It is not possible to look in the cold light of day that there is anything different we do. We have changed things about over the weekend. It just happens to be that we have not been very good at home on a Tuesday evening. If you look at the Leyton Orient game we should have won the game. That makes it easier to make up something because it is a Tuesday night, because we haven't won. It is easier to write that than we could have won that game. I am not going to dwell. After Saturday's performance, to win 2-0 against Carlisle and also to take a draw against Luton was encouraging. Tonight we have lost and that is disappointing.
"We haven't done enough attacking for whatever reason. We have got a lot of attacking players on the pitch and we haven't been able to create the opportunities and get the better of the opposition. We had so many attacking players on the pitch both first-half and second-half."
Argyle's inconsistent recent form continued with a surprise 3-0 loss at home to Blackpool. Two goals in quick succession shortly before half-time made it tough for Argyle but the visitors sealed it with a third in the second half on what was to be a miserable DJM takeover night at Home Park. Argyle: McCormick, Threlkeld, Songo'o(Slew), Bradley, Sawyer, Carey, Fox, Donaldson, Jervis(Tanner), Taylor, Kennedy(Spencer). Subs: Dorel, Bulvitis, Miller, Blissett.
Derek Adams admitted that he thinks the current Argyle home kit for the 2016/17 season is 'too green'. He also said this is the reason why Argyle have of late been wearing white socks, to ensure visibility. Adams explained: "We have an issue with the strip. We have changed to white socks because we feel the strip is too green. We don't want to change too much but that's not to say we won't in the future. We just feel the white socks allow us to stand out more. I have had it before at other clubs, where we have played with white socks many times. It definitely helps the players standing out."
Adams also explained his controversial decision to call back the ballboys into the stand with five minutes remaining in the match, to buy Argyle some time whilst defending their lead. He said: "If they are retrieving it too quickly then they get removed. On Saturday the ball was getting moved too quickly and there was no need for it. Some grounds don't have any ball boys or girls. We have just got to realise the situation we are in.
"If the game is stopped for five seconds it makes a difference. If you are winning it allows people to get back into shape. If you are losing and the ball-boy gets it back in quickly then you can get the game moving. We go to some grounds away from home and there are towels around the edge of the pitch for players to take long throw-ins. It's the same both ways."
In other news, Argyle's Good Friday trip to Portsmouth has been chosen for TV coverage by Sky and will kick off at the somewhat earlier time of 2.30.
With two goals, a clean sheet and some excellent performances, Derek Adams declared himself a happy man after Argyle's victory over Carlisle and gave his thoughts on the game. He said: "I think it was probably one of the better performances we've had this season. It was a complete performance today. We scored two goals and we keep a clean sheet. Today was one where we're in control of the match for the majority of the game. We won the second ball, we defended well when they had crossed into the box. We took our opportunity when it came along, then we got a penalty kick, and then it was about seeing out the game.
"The two defenders – Jakub Sokolik and Sonny Bradley in the first half, then Yann Songo'o and Sonny in the second half – were never under any pressure.
"We've done very well today to open up that points gap. It's important that we've been able to do that. We are looking to try and catch Doncaster, because they are close to us. We have to use the game in hand on Tuesday night to try and do that. Winning three points is vital in this league. We've played second against fourth last weekend away from home, this weekend we've played second against third, and dealt well with the situation."
Regarding David Fox who returned to the side following an injury that kept him out of Tuesday's match against Notts County, Adams said: "I think that he's done well for us. Today, we just wanted to control the game in the middle of the park, and he did that well. He can play in a variety of positions for us. Later on in the game he played as the sitting midfield player and took the ball and moved it. At this level, it's difficult to get a player like that. I think that he's an important player, but we just have to look throughout the squad; we've got a lot of important players in the squad.
"We've won the most games in the league, which is twenty, and I think from that point of view it shows you how well we've done. You look at this league; it's a difficult league to do that in. There's only ourselves and Doncaster who have been able to do that do far. We've put ourselves in a very good position. When you're at home, you want to keep that going. It's a difficult game on Tuesday against Blackpool, because they're a side who are trying to push into those play-off positions. I thought they played very well at the start of the season."
Jake Jervis and Graham Carey are Argyle's top two goalscorers for the season with plenty of assists between them as well. Jervis spoke of the friendly rivalry that the pair enjoy: "We both want to be top goalscorer and get as many assists as we can. It's all good and it's going to push both of us on. It doesn't really matter who finishes top scorer; if we both keep scoring goals, it's only going to help the team. Graham was excellent today. He shows, week in, week out, what he can do. Getting a goal will be massive for him. He let me take the penalty, as well.
"If one of us has scored, the other one takes it; if I've scored, he takes it, and vice versa. It's good that we've got the option because we've both scored our penalties this season, and we've provided assists for each other. I wasn't too sure, whether it was a penalty. As soon as he went down, I looked at the ref and then tried to get the ball!"
Argyle's opponents Blackpool will likely field two players who had a pivotal part in last season's campaign- Kelvin Mellor and former loanee Jamille Matt. Jervis said of the pair: "The squad they have got...with their front players, they are strong. It's going to be a difficult game. Obviously, Jamille was here last season, and Kelvin – he's their main goal-threat now! "He's a good player – he got a bit of stick in the second half of last season, down to a few mistakes, which was difficult because we were going for promotion. But, on the whole, he has done well and he's gone there and continued it.
"Jamille's a good friend of mine – we're in touch regularly – and it will be good to play against him on Tuesday. It's a game in hand on a few teams, so hopefully it can stand us in good stead."
Finally, Jervis spoke about how he viewed this week as vitally important for Argyle's season and hoped the team would continue to rise to the occasion as they have done so far. He said: "I think it was massive and the manner we did it shows what a good group we have here. Getting a clean sheet, as well. It was a comfortable game and we threatened quite a lot; hit the bar; had chances. It was good. We had to get the three points. I don't think it was just the loss on Tuesday – it was the performance. It just wasn't us. We started booming balls and that sort of play; today, we used wingers; got the ball in the box; moved the ball about; and we were a much better team.
"Self-belief-wise, the boys are good at that but I think, in terms of settling the fans, settling staff, settling everyone else, we need to show how good we are. We've showed that all season and got back to today and got the win. If you look at it, everything is in our hands. We have got to go to Doncaster and Portsmouth and, obviously, they are big games. We have risen to the occasion well each time it has come to it. If we keep doing that, it shouldn't be a problem."
Argyle have returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion with a 2-0 victory over promotion rivals Carlisle. Goals from Graham Carey and a Jake Jervis penalty gave us a lead at half-time that we did not relinquish and established an 8 point gap over fourth place. Argyle: McCormick, Threlkeld, Sokolik(Songo'o), Bradley, Sawyer, Fox, Sarcevic, Carey, Jervis(Donaldson), Taylor(Spencer), Kennedy. Subs: Dorel, Tanner, Slew, Bulvitis.
Derek Adams is counting on his Argyle players to bounce back from the disappointment of Tuesday night's game against Notts County when promotion rivals Carlisle visit Home Park tomorrow. He said: "We have to allow them a night like that; we have done really well this season and sometimes that is going to happen. It was a disappointing result for us, but we move on. We probably didn't start the game quickly enough; that's something we have to change and we will change it because we have got the players in the squad to do that. Overall, the performance wasn't like us, because we have done really well – we have had a lot of good performances – and it is a big game on Saturday, second against third, and we want to do well in the match. We want to continue to either open up a gap or keep the gap as it is. It's a good match for League Two. It's two teams that are pushing for automatic promotion; they are in a very good position for this time of the season and both will want to try to get a win, or a draw, to keep that momentum going. We have done well on the big occasions. The games when we haven't done as well are the ones when the atmosphere hasn't been the best in the stadium, so, from that point of view, I think the players respond to the fans.
"We're still in a very good position. There are only six teams in the 92 clubs* that have won more games than us this season and that is something we have got to be proud of; in the league, we have won 19 games out of 33. We'll continue to work away. We didn't play well enough on Tuesday night. The goal didn't help us, giving it away in the manner we did, and we didn't really force ourselves on Notts County enough in the later stages of the game. We didn't pass with the fluidity we have seen over the season. In the first half, we got ourselves into good positions a number of times and either we don't find the right ball or there is not the right person in the box to get the goal. I wasn't happy with the performance because it was an opportunity for us to get more points on the board. Looking at it, as I've said already this season, it's a difficult old league and it's difficult to get wins."
Derek Adams has defied critics who want Argyle to drop the one-up-front system that has been prevalent throughout his reign, stating that it has by and large got the required results. He said: "With a win percentage of over 50 percent since I have come to this football club, that's the way we play and that's the way we will continue to play. That is the way we have been successful. We have seen, a number of times this season, when we have gone two up front....Tuesday night is an indication of that – for 45 minutes in the second half, we lumped it forward to two strikers and we didn't create a chance. Sometimes, we can all get it wrong. We became very direct and it didn't work out for us. There are a lot of people who probably see the game in a different way from myself and other managers and coaches. I'm the manager of the football club. To have finished fifth last season, to reach a play-off final and having punched above our weight...this season, we are second at this moment in time and we want to continue the progress we are making to try to get automatic promotion."
He also gave injury updates on a number of players who are currently out of contention for Argyle, explaining: "Brunt's progressing; he's running; he'll begin to train very soon with the squad, so we are hopeful he can progress from there. He's been a year out now; it's been a long time, longer than we had all hoped. We are hopeful he can progress quicker over the next month. He has got to get his fitness levels up, his training regime up, and it's how quickly he can do that. Usually, you get a few setbacks, a niggle here and there, because you haven't trained for a long time. We have only got 13 games to go, so it depends how quickly he gets into training and gets game-time. You never say 'never'.
"We are hopeful we can get a Peninsula League game very soon for Gary Miller. He's progressing well. Connor Smith is probably a week behind him; David Ijaha is probably a number of weeks behind them; Arnie Garita has started to run – in the next few weeks, we'll see where he is."
Derek Adams tore into his Argyle players following the disappointing loss to County- rejecting excuses that bad luck was to blame and questioning the mentality of his side. He said: "It is not unfortunate. It is a bad mistake from a number of people. It is a poor goal to lose. It is poor play from us that gives away the goal. A number of players are culpable in that and it should have been dealt with. We did not do enough in the game. In the first period Graham Carey put three crosses across the six yard box and we did not have anyone there to go and take it. That was the period of the game that we looked strong. To lose the game in the manner that we did was really poor. I thought it was an extremely poor performance from us tonight. I did not think we played well. From the start of the game we were very slack and allowed Notts County to get a goal. We didn't start well enough. I thought the start to the game was slow and wasn't on the ball. Really, we were slack in possession and we were slack about getting around the pitch. We didn't run. We didn't keep the ball well enough and that is the reason.
"It was a poor performance and we did not perform well enough. Nobody on the park deserves any pass marks tonight because they did not do well enough. They have had a lot of praise over a number of weeks now and tonight was an abject performance from us. We have performed well against Luton in the last game, we have gone to the likes of Hartlepool and taken a point as well. We have beaten Exeter, beaten Cambridge and performed well against Leyton Orient, but tonight was a very poor performance. The point away from home is a very good point against Luton. You have got to look at it that way. Second against fourth. Going into the game there is a number of teams at the top end of the table that are struggling to get wins. We have come off a very good performance on Saturday against Luton, and tonight we have come up against a team that are down the lower reaches of the league. We did not play to the same standard and that is the wrong mentality to have. We need to sort that out between now and the end of the season. We have obviously performed well against the top sides in the league. We have not matched the desire of the teams that are at the bottom. The players have to solve that by working harder against these teams. They have got undoubted quality. But the players have to take responsibility about working that extra bit harder then they did tonight."
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