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 expressed a bittersweet feeling the day Argyle surrendered a 2-0 lead at Blackpool to draw the game 2-2. On one hand, he praised Argyle's performance in the game. On the other, he bemoaned two points dropped: "If we had taken the four points from the last two games, we would have put ourselves in a fantastic position. We would have been in 12th position; we're still in 14th position; we have opened up a five-point gap between ourselves and the relegation zone. Other results have gone with us. It's a tough old league and we've shown that we've got the quality to compete in this division. Before the game, everyone would have said 'Come to Blackpool, take a point, go home' we would have done that, but to be 2-0 up with not so long to go we have every right to say that we should have had the three points. It was a very good game from us today. We played ever so well. We started the game in top form, played a ball in behind, Ruben Lameiras got on the end of it and squared it for Freddie. It was a perfect start for us. We knew we would cause Blackpool problems and that's what we did. We got that goal ahead and there was nothing much in the first half from Blackpool; it was mostly Argyle who played on the front foot.
"The second half was a different game from the first half but we get a goal, a great finish again from Eddy, a great ball into the box from Graham Carey, and it looked like we could make it three or four: Jamie Ness has a great opportunity; the goalkeeper makes a wonder save from Carey and, even at 2-2, Niall Canavan could have got a goal at the end. Antoni Sarcevic, as well, a shot. Overall, we were better than Blackpool. The ball got knocked out of the box at 2-0 for us, the player on the edge of the box takes a hit at it and it goes in the bottom corner. Then, Blackpool throw another ball into the box, it gets headed up, and Tilt decides to do an overhead kick and it goes into the back of the net. There's not a lot you can do when that happens. Could we have defended better? Yes, we could have but somebody takes an overhead kick, and someone has a slap at the ball and it goes in the bottom corner sometimes you just can't deal with that. I don't mind if a team passes the ball five times, plays through us and scores a great goal. We could say that the second goal is a great goal because Tilt's thrown himself at it to get the overhead kick, but the first one, I don't think is a great goal. I do not believe they were putting us under immense pressure. We were containing them very well. We've taken a point; we should have taken three points."
Adams added that the green army can play their part home and away in cheering Argyle to safety. He said: "The Blackpool fans helped their team immensely with the atmosphere in the stadium. It has happened a few times recently where they have sucked the ball into the back of the net for them that's what they did today. The Green Army were here and were terrific for us. Unfortunately, there were a lot more Blackpool fans here and they created a very good atmosphere for their team, and that is what is required. That's what the Argyle fans give us. We've added a point to our total today. We feel we should have had three points but the great travelling support that we had here saw a very good Argyle performance. We've lost four points in the last two games from wining positions. That sometimes happens, but we've put ourselves in that winning position and we've competed well with a team that is sitting eighth in the league."
Like Adams, goalscoring centre-back Ryan Edwards bemoaned Argyle's poor game management, saying: "They shouldn't have had a goal, they've had two chances, which they've scored from, through our lack of game-management. We haven't learned from last week. I believe it is another point gained from teams around us, we just have to go again and get over the line sooner rather than later. It happened last week, we haven't learned from it and it's happened again. I suppose, maybe you would have taken a point coming here against a play-off team, who are going for it, but not when we are 2-0 up with 10 minutes to go. The way we played, the chances that we created but never took, we take one point instead of three, which is disappointing. It could be the goal that keeps us up. Teams behind us have got to pick up a lot of points to get over the line, which is going to be difficult with some of the fixtures they've got but you never know in football. People are fighting for different prizes and different targets. We have to get over the line as quickly as possible."
For the second week in a row, Argyle conceded a stoppage time goal to draw 2-2 in a game which a win would have almost certainly seen them secure League One survival. Argyle went 2-0 up at Blackpool thanks to goals from Ladapo and Edwards but a late rally from the hosts ensured the away side were still looking somewhat over their shoulders. Argyle: Macey, Riley(Threlkeld), Edwards, Canavan, Sawyer, Fox, Ness, Sarcevic(Songo'o), Carey, Lameiras, Ladapo(Taylor). Subs: Letheren, Jones, Smith-Brown, Anderson.
Derek Adams believes the current race for League One survival is the tightest he has ever managed in. Adams said of the scrap: "As many teams in the mix, the better at this stage," said Derek. "Everybody needs wins and we're no different. We've got to pick up a good number of wins between now and the end of the season to be safe. We're sitting in mid-table and there are a clutch of teams that are relatively close. We want to get the three points that will enable us to get closer to going over that 50-point mark. We have to look after ourselves and three points on a Saturday will obviously keep us ahead of the teams below us. We look at other results afterwards but the focus is on three points. It is remarkable how tight the league is and, with seven games to go, we have to go all out for victories. Everybody would like to be safe, any team in the division would like that, but League One is very competitive. There are a lot of teams picking up wins from each other. It is definitely the tightest league and with the number of teams involved. It's quite extraordinary that you can be sat in mid-table and still be involved, but that's because four teams go down. We've got work still to do with seven games to go. It's extremely tight but, from our point of view, we need to pick up some valuable wins on the way and draws to get to the points total everybody requires. There is always pressure on everyone, from the start of the season to the end, it doesn't matter where you are in the league table. We're trying to finish as high as possible and we've had a really good spell."
Kyle Letheren returns to Blackpool with mixed memories having had a spell there in 2015 ridden with turbulence. The keeper recalled: "As many teams in the mix, the better at this stage. Everybody needs wins and we're no different. We've got to pick up a good number of wins between now and the end of the season to be safe. We're sitting in mid-table and there are a clutch of teams that are relatively close. We want to get the three points that will enable us to get closer to going over that 50-point mark. We have to look after ourselves and three points on a Saturday will obviously keep us ahead of the teams below us. We look at other results afterwards but the focus is on three points. It is remarkable how tight the league is and, with seven games to go, we have to go all out for victories. Everybody would like to be safe, any team in the division would like that, but League One is very competitive. There are a lot of teams picking up wins from each other. It is definitely [the tightest league] and with the number of teams involved. It's quite extraordinary that you can be sat in mid-table and still be involved, but that's because four teams go down. We've got work still to do with seven games to go. It's extremely tight but, from our point of view, we need to pick up some valuable wins on the way and draws to get to the points total everybody requires. There is always pressure on everyone, from the start of the season to the end, it doesn't matter where you are in the league table. We're trying to finish as high as possible and we've had a really good spell."
Kyle Letheren spoke about his return from injury after a spell out of the team. The welshman explained: "The tendon on my groin is inflame. I went for a scan on the Tuesday, so its just some inflammation I hoped it would have settled down by now. I have even been in sub-zero temperatures to try and get rid of it. I was in a cryogenic chamber at minus 140 degrees, it wasn't the best three minutes of my life but you do anything you can to get back out there. I was pencilled in to play here on Tuesday in the central league but I asked the gaffer if I could have an injection on it instead, just to settle it down because it is still niggling away at me. I haven't trained yet because the injection has to do its work, so I will know more today. As strange as this sounds, I have been diving around and throwing myself to the ground, here, there and everywhere. As soon as it comes to striking the ball, I start to struggle somewhat. If I am fully fit for Saturday, all I can do is train to the best of my ability and hopefully I'm in his thoughts."
Meanwhile, Derek Adams said he was hopeful but not certain for the fitness of Graham Carey, Joe Riley and David Fox who are all doubts for Saturday's trip to Blackpool. Adams said: "We're very hopeful all three of them will be fit. Joe Riley went off with an ankle injury, David Fox groin and Graham Carey has been out with a back injury, which was causing a problem in his hamstring. We're hopeful all three will be ok. We've got two players out long-term injured in Conor Grant and Joel Grant. Between now and the end of the season, that's the way we want to keep it. David will be very keen to play against his old team. He's been a very important player for us with his ability to keep the ball moving and play the ball into good areas."
"I'm still extremely disappointed not to have won the last game. To be ahead in the match and concede so late, and lose the two points, which would have put us in a good position, was disappointing. With Bristol Rovers losing in midweek with their game in hand, that was obviously beneficial to us. We go to Blackpool this week but obviously wish we had all three points instead of the one against Rovers. We go from picking up a point against Bristol Rovers, probably should have been three, but we've got another point on the board."
David Fox is hopeful of Argyle's good home form starting to translate on the road as well, as Argyle aim for points in their final 4 away matches. The midfielder said: "We've had some good results away from home, but I don't think there's been that level of performance to go with the results. There's been times where we've not done ourselves justice away from home. That's frustrating because we prepare well. I know people talk about the long distances, but it's been the same since the club started, so we can't use that as an excuse. It's frustrating because we travel in good numbers and want to put on a good performance. We've got four or five away games left, and we need to pick up points in those games, so we've got to sort it out before the end of the season. Fleetwood was very disappointing in terms of the performance and result. Hopefully, we're a lot better at Blackpool because we know we need to pick up points away from home. There's a lot of long trips coming at the end of the season. I do feel a goal is coming, but it's not the be-all-and-end-all. I was happiest with the assist against Shrewsbury, but I do need to chip in and help the team more. I do feel like one's coming. Certainly, at home, I feel like I'm due one because a lot of the game is played up near their goal, and I get the opportunity to be a lot nearer. I feel it's coming and hopefully it'll be a good one."
On the off-pitch side of things, Derek Adams revealed he has had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Simon Hallett ahead of the close season and the management restructuring with Andrew Parkinson taking over as the new CEO. Adams revealed: "I was out with Simon Hallett, the chairman, and the previous chairman, James Brent, for two-and-a-half-hours on Thursday evening. We talked about a lot of things Argyle, and we have a lot of interest in things we want to see around the football club and how we want to move it forward. It's always an enjoyable time, it's something that I enjoy because we can speak about different areas of the football club. I think that both of them are going to be good for the football club. The Chairman will act differently from the previous chairman, that's what happens. Some things will change, and we'll move forward. I came into the football club, four years ago now, and the club had come out of administration in 2011. From our point of view, it was all about building a football club that could be sustainable. At this moment in time, that's what we're trying to get to. This year's been a difficult year for us, because, off-the-pitch, it's been hard because of the grandstand and the associated costs with that. From a playing point of view, when we talk about budgets, we talk about 'what can we afford as a football club' and we try and spend what we can afford."
"Andrew's obviously going to come in and oversee the aspects outside of the footballing side of the business, taking over from Michael Dunford in the summer. Andrew's obviously got the remit to improve the finances in the football club, to help not only the first-team, but reserve team, academy and the whole structure at the football club. The roles are very separate, he's got one side of the business to look after, and I've got the other side, and that helps, but there'll always be dialogue between us."
Jamie Ness admitted that he would rather Argyle be in a more comfortable position going into the final 7 games but commited to doing all he can to pull the greens out of trouble. Ness said: "You would rather be a bit more comfortable but there are big games at this end of the season. This is the business end of the season and it's one that I personally thrive on. I'm sure a lot of the players do as well. "I got my second wind in the second half. It was a pretty high tempo game the first half. I have done a lot of work when I have been injured. It was me and Conor Grant. We have done a lot of stuff in the gym and swimming pool. Lots of extra things just to make sure we were in the best condition possible for coming back in. I definitely felt the benefit of that. Hopefully that will stand me in good stead for the end of the season. When you are not in the team and the lads are playing well and winning, you are happy but obviously you would like to be playing. There is not much you can do when the lads have been performing so well. I got an opportunity against Bristol Rovers and I tried to take that with both hands. It's important that we will have a competitive squad. When you look at the bench we have got, it's a very strong bench at the moment. The lads are going to be pushing each other all the way to make sure we stay as competitive as possible."
Derek Adams admitted he was feeling frustration at the fact Argyle came so close to all three points and missed out at the last hurdle but had a lot positive to say about our performance throughout the game. He said: "It feels like a loss because we were up with injury-time to play. We obviously outwitted them at the start of the game the game with the formation that we played and took control of the match from that by getting our full-backs on the ball. We dominated their centre-forwards, in Tom Nichols and Clarke-Harris, and that allowed us to get on the ball and move it, and Lameiras and Ladapo to play further forward. It was a very good performance at home for us. We should be sitting here with three points. I knew we would score. I said to everyone before the game that we would score we scored two goals; I said we would score off a set-play and we scored off a set-play because we know that they are weak, defensively, from set-plays. I didn't see them scoring the way they did from Clarke-Harris, which was an unbelievable strike and we should have made a tackle before that, and we could have done better in the first half with the opportunities inside the 18yard box, but we didn't. I didn't see them scoring. I didn't see how they were going to score. We were dealing well with them through the middle of the pitch and, if it was going to be something, it was going to be from a cross, and that's what happened. You get to that stage of the game when you aren't really allowing Bristol Rovers to see sight of your goal, and they put one ball into the box there were a lot of players inside the box and Reilly's been able to get a flick on it into the bottom corner. We probably went too deep, just in the last minutes of the game, or we didn't clear our lines properly. If we had done that, we would have seen out the game. Reilly is always on the front foot and gets himself into these positions. It was a good spectacle; 2-2; goals were scored again at home. Over the piece, we are happy with the performance. We are performing well and creating opportunities. We were the team that was in ascendancy in the first half; when we went back to winning 2-1, Bristol Rovers pushed back against us. We've added to our points total today; we've taken our unbeaten run at home to eight games; and we feel that it's another point gained."
Adams went on to look at the positives of the day, such as Argyle gaining ground on 21st place: "We're a point better off than we were at the start of the day; we're a point ahead of Bristol Rovers; and it's still extremely tight. We have been on a terrific run to put ourselves in the position we are in. There's much of a muchness between teams. The standard is very good at all levels, and teams are just picking off each other. You look at the results Saturday and it is quite scary. If you have got a few technically better players in your side, it will give you a better opportunity to go forwards. At times, he played in an area where was difficult for Bristol Rovers to pick him up and he's drifted into the box and got a very good goal, right into the corner of the net. It gave everyone in the stadium a huge lift. He played either side of Upson and we knew that, if we could get him into these areas, he would cause Upson trouble."
"It's hard to read any team at this moment in time. You see games and results and you think 'Where's that come from?' but we always thought that the teams that were in the middle of the table to start the season could falter and come back towards us. I always say 'Let's wait until there are six games to go in the season and see where everyone is' 18 points to play for with six games to go. They should just make it a six-game season."
Jamie Ness enjoyed his return to the starting eleven, replacing the injured Graham Carey from the starters. He said of the game: "I think, looking at the big picture, for me personally, it was good be out there and play 90 minutes after such a long period of time. Graham's been brilliant for us, with his goals and his assists, we knew we'd all have to step up with him out of the team. I felt first-half we did that, we played well, created a lot of chances. Second-half, obviously being in front, we sat back a little bit more, probably too much towards the end, but I think overall we deserved to win with the performance. It's a bit gutting to lose the late goal. I had a couple of shots today. I would like to weigh in with some goals, especially with Graham being out of the team, we all had to step up. I thought Ruben was excellent, creating things, and he deserved his goal. We know that we have to get goals all over the pitch. Obviously Graham had picked up a little injury, but I didn't know if I would come back into the team, or not. I'd prepared just as if I was going to play, I've done that for the last while anyway, but it's nice to get the opportunity and I'm delighted to be back out there in front of the fans. I've done a lot of work when I was injured, a lot of extra work. It was me and Conor Grant, actually, doing a lot of extra stuff in the gym, the swimming pool, lots of extra things just to make sure we were in the best condition possible for when we came back in. I definitely felt the benefit of that and hopefully that will stand me in good stead for the end of the season. When you're not in the team and the lads are playing well and winning, you're obviously happy, but you'd like to be playing. There's not much you can do when the lads have been performing so well. I had an opportunity and I tried to take that with both hands, and it's important that we have a competitive squad. When you look at the bench we've got, it's a very strong bench, so the lads are going to be pushing each other all the way to make sure we're as competitive as possible."
Argyle were pegged back from a leading position twice against Bristol Rovers as a 90th minute equaliser ensured the greens had to settle for a 2-2 draw. A Ruben Lameiras strike and an own goal were Argyle's source of action but the resilient opponents secured a share of the spoils. Argyle: Macey, Edwards, Songo'o, Canavan, Riley(Threlkeld), Fox, Ness, Sarcevic, Sawyer, Lameiras, Ladapo. Subs: Letheren, Smith-Brown, Anderson, Taylor, Fletcher.
As Argyle prepare to face Bristol Rovers, David Fox admitted that he has never seen a league table that looks quite like the current one for the sheer number of teams who are still in the relegation dogfight with Argyle meeting Bristol Rovers, another of them, at Home Park on Saturday. Fox said: "I don't think there's ever been one as tight as it is, and we know that we've got to get a lot more points, even though we're mid-table. I don't know how many points it'll take to stay up because there's that many teams in and around it. It's important that we focus on ourselves, and don't take too much notice of the league table. We need wins and draws, and a good end to the season for ourselves. The way the league's panned out is strange. It's unique, it doesn't happen like that every year, where there's such a small gap between us and the bottom, but there are so many teams between Argyle and the relegation places, and Bristol Rovers are one of those. It's a good opportunity to try and push away, like we've been doing the last couple of months, and try to catch teams above us. We know our job, and we know we need to win games. Even though we are where we are in the league, we know we're not safe, and we know we have to win. It's simple really, I don't think you need to look at the league too much to know what you need, and Saturday, at home, we need to pick up some points."
"You've got to look at it as a positive that we've put ourselves in this situation. We were a long way off it for a large part of the season, so to put ourselves in the position where we are, that's a real positive. We had to put a run together because we were in a bit of trouble, but the last few months have been a lot more positive, and we've got to finish it off now. I don't think you can go into it thinking '50 points, we're sorted'. You've got to keep going, and we've got eight games to amass as many points as we can. We've got some good fixtures in there, some tough ones we're looking forward to, and games against teams in and around us."
Derek Adams also looked ahead to the game, saying that it was all about getting enough points to edge over the line at this stage. Adams: "We have eight games to go and they are eight very big games, but we are hopeful we pick up the required points well before then. This league is very difficult to predict but both of us have shown very good form. We have got players who are in form and we have one of the top goal scorers in the division in Freddie Ladapo. We have Carey and Lameiras both in good form and we know they have got a threat as well, we have got to be mindful of that."
"I think that we still see the situation where, I don't think that many teams can get above 12th position. Anybody can finish anywhere, after that, and that's the beauty of the league campaign at this stage of the season there's 12 teams still fighting to stay in the league. We've got points on the board, we want to add to that. There are teams down the bottom that have picked up some good wins and still not been able to get themselves out of the drop zone. If you continue to pick up the wins and the draws, then you'll finish in a good position. We're in the situation where we can open up a gap with the team directly below us and that would be hugely beneficial. We did that on the night against Shrewsbury and we got ourselves in a very good position. We are on 45 points. We have eight games to go and they are eight very big games, but we are hopeful we pick up the required points well before then. If you look at the stats from previous seasons, you can look at the point totals that will enable you to be safe. We're not too far away from that, but we've got to go and pick up the points to have that, and then finish the season strongly. How tight the league table is, shows you that it's very competitive."
Argyle have today announced that CEO Michael Dunford will leave his post at the end of the current season and move over to the role of vice-chairman. Meanwhile, Andrew Parkinson, who has been involved for a few months in the development of Argyle's grandstand project, will take over as CEO. Simon Halett said: "The Argyle Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Parkinson, who will take over from Michael Dunford on May 4, and we welcome the expertise and knowledge that he will bring to the post. We are extremely grateful to Michael for progressing the club and providing steady stewardship during a period of considerable transition over the last 12 months. We now look forward to Andrew building on the firm foundations that he has already helped put in place for an exciting future for Plymouth Argyle."
Parkinson himself opined: "I am delighted that the Board has invited me to succeed Michael, who I have enjoyed working alongside since I arrived at Home Park and who is a passionate Argyle man. On and off the field, the club is in a very good position to continue to make progress, with dedicated and hard-working football and non-football staff embracing Argyle's Vision and Values to ensure that the Green Army, the city of Plymouth and the wider Westcountry has a community club of which we can all be proud."
Derek Adams stated his belief that thegame against Fleetwood Town should not have gone ahead not because the pitch wasn't suitable, but because it is not much fun for the supporters. Adams evaluated: "I've been in worse but, with the wind, it does spoil it as a spectacle. I don't think it's fair for the supporters in the stadium to sit freezing, on a cold, wet day, when they could get it on a better day. That wasn't the referee's fault, that's the way it is, but don't tell me that the people sitting in the stands enjoyed that, because I don't think they did. The wind was all over the place, and I don't think football should be played at this time of year, in these conditions," he said. "That's not taking anything away from the result, it's a spectator sport, we're in an entertainment business, there's no way it was entertainment today. It was a poor football match, that's my view. We've dealt well with the important games, we beat Shrewsbury the other night, convincingly, but today, for a variety of reasons, we've not been able to get the result today. We're in a league that is extremely tight, we're still in the same position after all the results today, so we go to the game against Bristol Rovers on Saturday. It's extremely tight, it's excitement for everyone."
Adams also expressed disappointment that Argyle were not able to take one of the chances that came along in the first half, in which he reckons Argyle to have had the better of the game. He said: "I thought we were the better side in the first-half, and Fleetwood were the better side in the second-half. They were able to take the chances that came along, and when we got into good positions in the first-half, we didn't take that opportunity. We had ourselves in very good positions at times without finding that finish. In the first-half we were a lot better, I don't think we played very well in the second-half."
"They're difficult players to play against, Burns, Evans and Madden; later on in the second-half, they got a bit of space, and when they got that, they were able to get the two goals. They haven't scored and haven't created chances, so it would suggest that the two players in the same position on the opposite side, Burns and Madden, did better than ours. That's what you need, that's why you're in the position there, to create goals and score. We allowed far too much space for Fleetwood to get down the side of us."
Argyle went down to a 2-0 defeat to Fleetwood Town on the road. The game looked to be petering out to an uneventful goalless draw but two home goals in the last quarter of an hour saw the hosts emerge victors. Argyle: Macey, Riley, Edwards, Canavan, Sawyer, Songo'o (Ness), Fox (Jones), Sarcevic, Carey, Lameiras(Taylor), Ladapo. Subs: Cooper, Wootton, Smith-Brown, Anderson.
Derek Adams predicted that Argyle will enjoy their visit to Fleetwood, before going onto explain why loanee defender Lloyd Jones hasn't been seeing much gametime. Adams detailed: "I think that we will enjoy going away Fleetwood. It is a tight venue to play in, but the way that our players are playing at this moment in time, they'll look forward to going there. Fleetwood are in the top-half of the table, not far ahead of us at this moment in time. We played well against them down here, but they are a very good footballing side, a number of exciting players. They've got a good way about their system, they play 4-3-3, and they have been able to string a number of good wins together. They've got Madden, Evans, Hunter, Wallace and Holt in the middle of the park. They've got some experienced players in their team. We have changed it, we have moved things about, but not too much. We obviously assess the games that are coming up, but we've got a consistency just now that is helping us."
"It is difficult, because you always want to play. The reason he came here is to try and get some game-time, but Niall Canavan and Ryan Edwards have done very well. I do feel sorry for Lloyd, because he's a great boy. He's got a good future ahead of him, he's only 23 years of age, but he's got good passing abilities, he's quick and he's strong. I spoke to him a number of weeks ago, and he knows the situation. I was very open with him when he first came into the football club. He is one, the same as Oscar Threlkeld and Paul Anderson, that knows when they are to come into the team they have to fight for their position. We've got a lot of exciting players in the team," he said. "If you look at the front three, they're up there with the best in the division. We've got midfielders and defenders who are sticking to their task, wanting to get clean sheets, and looking a solid unit. In the midfield, Antoni can run about, create openings for other people and win the ball back. We've got David Fox who will take the ball anywhere on the pitch, Yann Songo'o will win headers and go for any 50/50. We took on Jamie Ness the other night and one of the tackles he made in midfield was outstanding. These are the type of players you need in your team to benefit a Ladapo, a Lameiras and a Carey."
The season is not yet over but Derek Adams has already began looking ahead to the next campaign, saying: "We've organised our pre-season schedule, we've just got to agree the games. We're obviously wanting to play here on the 20th and the 27th of July against opposition who are in a higher league than we are, to generate extra money for the playing budget. We'll go away on a pre-season break, to get the players together, and we'll play probably one game abroad. We haven't clarified just yet, but Delden is one of the ones on the itinerary. It's a very good one for us, because of the location and the training facilities. We will play a number of games against local opposition," said Derek. "We go to Tavistock because they provide the Academy with a training facility, so contractually we have to go there. We'll go and play against Torquay, we'll probably go to Truro as well because we haven't been there for a number of seasons and we have a couple of players there on loan. Unfortunately, last year, I couldn't get games here because of the stand being redeveloped, but I've asked for the ground to be ready for us on the 20th and the 27th of July. The staff behind the scenes are trying to get games against Championship sides, Premier League sides, or foreign sides to come across here and play us."
"It's obviously up to the Chairman and Board of Directors. They're obviously looking at the finances at this moment in time, and they have to set down the budget before we can start talking to players. They've obviously got a lot to consider with the new stadium, the implications that that involves, and the new staff coming into the football club out of the football side. They've got to structure it in a way where extra revenue can be found to take in new personnel. We've got a Board meeting at the end of the month, and we'll probably go out for dinner on one of the evenings, that'll be where we discuss things. It's something that we always want to do, keep your best players. We've obviously lost out on players before, because other clubs are willing to spend money that we can't afford. Players are in a situation where they hold a lot of power, from the point of view of their contract. Their agents will be touting them to other clubs, but nothing has changed over the years. That's what the players have employed them to do, to try and get them extra income from another source."
"I've always said that, sometimes, when you leave a football club, it's OK if you go and try to move to another club and chase the money. But, sometimes you don't fit into the style of play at another club and your career can take a nosedive. The only player who has gone to another club and really done anything is Sonny Bradley. He went to Luton, who are riding high at the other end of the division. There's not another player who has left this football club and gone on to much better things. They've got to be careful with what they do moving away from here, because they suit us, and we suit them."
Adams was also keen to impress the importance of not taking League One football for granted until it is secured, in spite of Argyle's position in the top half of the league. He said: "Anywhere from 11th, all the way down, I think that there's still the opportunity for teams to get dragged into it. We've been able to get a gap between ourselves and the bottom three, and I think that that's important. We've just got to pick up as many points as possible, to provide ourselves with safety at the start, and then to see how high up we could finish in the league table. We've put ourselves in a much better position, but it's still extremely tight. We've obviously got the nine games left, and the Easter period where we play a couple of games over that weekend. We play four games in the space of seven or eight days, so it will come around quite quickly towards the end. It's a tight league, there's a lot of teams in it and a lot of teams that thought, a number of games ago, 'we're fine, we're away from the relegation zone', but not now. We know how many points we've got to get to get to safety, and then we'll go from there."
"You never say never, because we have shown in the past that we can catch the teams above us, but we will have to go on a very good run. I'd say we'd have to win seven out of our nine games to do that. We're obviously two wins away from getting to that 50 points figure and then we obviously take it from there, but we've got to get there first. Three wins would surely put us in the league for next year. It is important that we're in League One as a minimum, and we finish as high as we possibly can."
Derek Adams insisted that at this stage in the season it is only obtaining three points that matters as Argyle battle the drop, but he did praise the performance in the 2-1 victory against Shrewsbury. He said: "Three points is vital, and nobody looks at anything other than the result. We can sit here all night and talk about how many chances we created, but at the end of the day it's 2-1 for Plymouth Argyle and we've got the three points. Well, the first-half performance was excellent, we probably should have been 5 or 6 nil up at half-time. The opportunities we had on goal was very good, we started the game very well. Credit to Ruben Lameiras and David Fox taking a quick corner kick and getting Freddie Ladapo a goal. We should've been out of sight, won the game, and had the three points in the bag but we gave away a free-kick, right after half-time, we then give away a corner inside that minute, and then a penalty not long after. They were able to get themselves back in the match without really troubling us. Physically, they were very good, and caused us problems, but the way we passed the ball, it was a better performance from us tonight."
"Going in at half-time, we obviously knew the results everywhere else, and we knew we could get ourselves into twelfth position with a swing of goals. We've been able to do that because Wycombe have lost, but we really should have helped our goal difference a lot tonight, the amount of good openings we got ourselves into and didn't finish it off. It's extremely tight, and we've had a difficult period of games, we've still got nine games to go, and we've obviously got a number of wins that we require to put us in a good position."
Adams was also sure that the referee got both penalty decisions spot on, analysing the two incidences: "I think that both were penalty kicks. When you come into contact with a player inside the box, it gives you a problem. They were both penalties. Matt Macey stood up well to the penalty kick, saved it with his feet, but he just wasn't quite able to kick it far enough out. Credit to one of their players for following-up and getting the rebound. Graham obviously gave away the penalty, and he took it very well. There was a lot of pressure on him, but he was composed and he dispatched it very well. It was all about getting the three points and we were able to do that."
"I think that home form is vital. We've shown that we can go away from home and get points. There's a lot of pressure on us at home because of the expectancy of the supporters, and there was another big crowd here to cheer us on. It's extremely tight, and we've had a difficult period of games, we've still got nine games to go, and we've obviously got a number of wins that we require to put us in a good position."
Antoni Sarcevic gave his thoughts on his thoughts on his return to the starting eleven that saw a victory against his old club Shewsbury, with another soon to be faced on Saturday, musing: "It killed me to miss Sunderland away and Luton at home, two massive games. I was enjoying it, we were flying and that put a bit of a stop to it, I was just gutted. It felt like two years, honestly it felt so long but it was nice for the gaffer to bring me back in and we won, so happy days. The lads were saying I was missed in the last two games. Not only for the gaffer to say that but for the lads to say that I would have done well in the games, it gives me a boost. I was sort of lost with football before I came to Plymouth, the gaffer brought me here and, since day one, he has been a sort of blessing for me. I think Tayls messaged me and I didn't expect that because the gaffer doesn't give much away, so for him to say that, it felt really good. All I can do is try and pay him back as much as I can. He has done a lot for me and my football at the moment. It's a crazy league and I feel like the teams below us have to win as well, and are going to find it tough. We have just got to keep winning and producing performances and I think we'll be okay."
"G was a bit nervous but he has that in his locker. We all had a lot of confidence in him and he stuck the penalty away well. He said the most nervous he felt at a penalty was Crawley away when we got promoted. I don't even want to think about that. If it had ended a draw, that would have been a nasty one to take for the boys because in the first half we should have been a couple more goals up. I think we all could have had two each before half time. I don't want to be disrespectful to Shrewsbury but I do look forward to Fleetwood. I still have a lot of friends there, still speak to a lot of people but, as soon as we get on the pitch, I hope we beat them. If we beat them, we almost catch them. It feels like seven seasons in one, just that sort of year, we have to keep going."
Argyle have climbed into the top half of League One for the first time all season with a 2-1 victory over relegation-threatened Shrewsbury. Freddie Ladapo put Argyle into the lead early on with a poacher's finish before a tackle from Graham Carey gave away a penalty at the start of the second half. Matt Macey initially made a save but Shrewsbury's Ollie Norburn tapped in the rebound. Argyle won late on though, through a penalty of their own which Carey smashed home. Argyle: Macey, Riley(Threlkeld), Edwards, Canavan, Sawyer, Songo'o(Ness), Fox, Carey, Lameiras(Taylor), Sarcevic, Ladapo. Subs: Cooper, Jones, Smith-Brown, Anderson.
Following the clean sheet and all round good performance from goalkeeper Matt Macey against Luton, Derek Adams said he is happy to have competition for places in such an important position. He also confirmed Antoni Sarcevic will come straight back into the starting eleven following his two match suspension. Adams said: "Matt Macey is a very good goalkeeper, and we've got two good goalkeepers vying for the number one jersey. Matt's now played 29 games, starting appearances, this year, and Kyle's been in goals for a good period of time and done well, so I'm delighted that they're fighting for that jersey. We're still assessing Kyle Letheren, he did try and train on Friday but he still felt it, so we'll wait and see if he's fit, but we've obviously got Matt, who has done well on Saturday. I think that the thing is, we want to have competition for places, we've got Matt and Kyle Letheren fighting for that number one spot, which is great for us. Sarce will come straight back into the team on Tuesday night. He's obviously been a miss when he's been out. We've missed his power, but he'll come straight back in. Lloyd Jones will be back, because he wasn't able to play against Luton."
"Antoni Sarcevic will come straight into the starting 11. He gives us running power, he is a goal threat, he can win the ball back and also create attacks from midfield. He is a big player for us, so we are delighted that he is back in. He will be looking forward to playing against his old clubs, but I'm not looking at it that way, I'm just trying to get one of my best players back into the team. it did not help him] because he was in a good vein of form and was as disappointed as everyone when he missed out, but that's what happened. He's missed two games that we performed well in but when you have your main player coming back, we want to start him. I think it is always good to have that competition and we have very good competition for places, but we will make changes, not only in the starting 11, on the bench as well."
Argyle made a notable switch in their 0-0 draw with leaders Luton- moving to 3-5-2 from their favoured 4-2-3-1 formation. Derek Adams explained the successful rationale: "We played Sawyer and Riley against Justin and Stacey," said the Argyle manager. "We knew that they would play high up the pitch, so that allowed us to defend with the three at the back. We had the two wing-backs that the two full-backs from Luton pushed on to, and I think they did very well against them. I thought it was a good football match, it was very competitive. We started the game well, and were perhaps unfortunate not to have gone ahead, with Ruben Lameiras having a shot just past the post. I thought we had the better of the first-half, and Luton had the better of the second-half. We had to obviously deal with Hylton and Collins, and we dealt well with that. Early in the game Hylton obviously got substituted because he was obviously going to get himself sent off. We dealt with the threat that they've shown this season, we kept a clean sheet, and we tried to get into their final-third a number of times, but we just didn't find that killer pass."
"They had to make the change because if he made another foul then he was going to get sent off. He got warned, after he was booked, for his conduct. They've taken the decision to take him off rather than the referee making the decision. We had to deal with the threat that Luton have with their two strikers they always like to run in beyond, so we wanted to cause Luton a problem by playing in a different manner, where they had to work out a way to beat us. They weren't able to get the better of us. We're on a great run of form, and we've been able to come into the new year winning so many games, and picking up points against very good teams is vitally important."
On his return tio the side, loanee keeper Matt Macey spoke of one excellent save that he made in the game and stated his hopes of keeping his place in the side: "I think you put that save down to being instinctive. I remember seeing somebody out the corner of my eye coming to the line and you have to trust the defender to clear it, but I've stuck my hand up. I am quite lucky to have massively long arms, so I'm pleased with that. If you make three or four saves, stay calm and don't try to chase the game. To be honest, if you keep a clean sheet you're happy. If you're busy and keep a clean sheet, great, but if I do nothing, we win the game and keep a clean sheet, I am just as happy. Because you're so confident, you don't want to do something stupid; it's all about staying in the game."
"As a goalkeeper, you are going to be busy and have stuff to do. The first game I come back, it is against the team at the top of the league - I quite like the idea of that. We all know what a good team Luton are; they are flying and unbeaten in 20-odd games. We still had a lot of opportunities on the break; we have G and Ruben; we are still a threat; I didn't feel that we were just hanging on. We played the game as we should. In my opinion, it could be a good 0-0 - even if there are not a lot of chances, people were pressing and getting after second balls; it was a good day."
"Kyle has come in and not really put a foot wrong; he set the standard. Unfortunately he got injured last weekend, I'm happy to come in and do my job when I was needed. Of course, I want to try and keep it. You just have to work hard every day. You have to believe that an opportunity will come, whether it's within a week, eight weeks or maybe not this season, if Kyle had managed to stay injury free. We have both had that period out the team and come back stronger."
Argyle secured an encouraging point on the way to securing their League One status with a 0-0 draw against Luton. Matt Macey and Joe Riley returned to the starting eleven for the clean sheet. Argyle: Macey, Edwards, Songo'o, Canavan, Riley, Fox, Threlkeld(Ness), Carey, Sawyer, Lameiras(Anderson), Ladapo(Taylor).Subs: Cooper, Smith-Brown, Wootton, Fletcher.
Derek Adams set down the gauntlet for Saturday's clash with Luton Town, insisting his players are in a buoyant mood as they prepare to face the league leaders. Adams: "We've done really well at home, recently, winning our last game 5-1, so the players are in confident mood. We've put ourselves in a much better position over the last couple of months with a lot of good victories, home and away. It's allowed us to catch a number of teams above us, it's put us in a position where it becomes very tight in the middle of the table, all the way down to 24th position. Luton have sold out their section, and it's another game where we're looking to try and do our best at home," he said. "All the games between now and the end of the season, with 11 games to go, are very big games and we know what we have to do to get ourselves in a good position. We're always looking to catch the teams above us."
As Argyle prepared to face the hatters, Adams also paid tribute to his opposite number in the Luton dugout, Mick Harford, for the job he has done since taking over from Nathan Jones: "Mick's a really nice guy, and he's been able to take things on to the next level with Luton. He's been able to put a run of results together, they haven't been defeated for a good number of months now, which tells you how well he has done. You look at Nathan, he's struggled when he's gone to Stoke, Mick's taken over and seriously taken things on. He's been great for Luton Town football club, and he's a big figure there. They've had a right go at it, recruited to try and get into the play-off positions or above. That's why they're there, if you look at the talent that they've got throughout their squad, and on their bench, that's why they're top of the league. We had a big game last week, away to Sunderland, 30,000 supporters there, riding high up the table. This week's no different with Luton Town, who have done really well this season to get themselves into the number one position."
"We tried last week against Sunderland to try and defeat them at home, but we weren't able to do that. We'd like to try and do that against Luton. They're a very good side, and we have to play the way we have done, over recent weeks, to get the win that we need. We obviously have to limit them to not many opportunities on goal. We've got to play in a way where we're going to create chances. We've done that ever so well, recently, where we've been able to score goals and win football matches. We've competed well, at times this year, against the top sides. We'll have to do likewise on Saturday. The players are in a good place, and ready to go."
With just eleven games of the season remaining, Freddie Ladapo reflected on a successful season so far for himself and stated his desire to score more goals between now and May: "Whenever people tell me my stats, I don't think it surprises me because last season I was making my Premier League debut, so it's not like I'm coming from somewhere not good. I hope to get back there, I think I need to keep proving to people that I've got the quality and the ability to score braces and everything. From my first interview, I always had my targets and I've still got quite a lot of goals left to score but I'm on track. My ambitions are to get back from where I fell from, good performances and a lot of goals. When you drop down a couple of leagues, it is sort of like falling but I don't think it's a bad thing as long as you pick yourself back up and get where you need to be, that's all that matters. It's a huge learning curve, life throws a lot of curveballs at you that you have to then deal with. You may find yourself in the promised land, good scenery, good facilities, and then all of a sudden you might find yourself in a non-league facility and then you have to take that with you, and try to make the best out of it.
"When you make that push from non-league to Premier League, it is drastic and I'm not sure many people make that direct move. When you have players that have been bought for millions and are on a lot of money, it's hard to break into the team, so to come down and actually prove to people with regular games that I can score goals is what I've always wanted to do. That's what I came here for, the regular games and to prove to people that from those games, good things can come of it.
"To have scored 15 goals right now is obviously what I wanted and where I'm looking to see my career. The reason that brought me to Plymouth in the first place was seeing the quality of Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras; the assists, the good link-up playing and everything they do on the pitch helps me to score more goals. Most of my career I've played up front as a solo striker. Coming to the club, I watched them play the 4-3-3 with the one striker, so that is what I've been more used to because we've played it more regularly but Ryan Taylor has a lot to offer to the team, and hopefully we can find a way to get around things. I watch a lot of football and I watch a lot of strikers - people like Lukaku, Harry Kane - and I try to emulate what they're doing. I watch the best, so I want to be the best, those guys score goals out of nothing. When you watch them, you can pick up and learn things from them and from some of the goals I've scored, you might be thinking 'he must've been watching some of these players.' I obviously had ambitions as a player to return to the Premier League and make a lot out of my short career, so hopefully good things happen from now until the end of the season."
Ladapo also stated that the role of the green army was pivotal in seeing Argyle over the line in home matches, adding: "It's only three sides but it's always jam-packed and loud, and it always makes me feel at home anyway, so I think everyone else would feel good. The crowd is fantastic, the fans sing my name and sing all the boys' names, they've been great for me this whole season and they've given us that extra bit of lift and extra boost. You can see it in the team how much more positive we play at home. This is a key period," Freddie explains "This is where people clinch titles or avoid relegation, so it's the business end of the season and we have to prove to people that we are good enough to stay in this league. It was a big stadium, big crowd and a lot of fans. Knowing that they were in the Premier League two years ago, you know that they come with that big-club name, so there was a lot to do at that stadium. I've played in front of twice that size, I've played away against Manchester United in a Premier League game, so that was 75,000 and that was very loud."
Derek Adams stated his hope that keeper Kyle Letheren would be fit to face League One leaders Luton following his late substitution due to a groin injury at Sunderland. He said: "I didn't think it was too serious on Saturday, he felt a tightness in his groin, so we're very hopeful that he will be able to play. He's put in some good performances, like the whole team have, and it's allowed us to move up the league. He's progressing well, so hopefully that will be fine. He's had an ultrasound scan, the damage is not too serious, which is beneficial to all of us."
Adams also hoped that the call-up to Wales' under-19 squad would be beneficial for developing star Luke Jephcott. Adams added: "He's got another call-up for the under-19 squad. He's been part of the Central League, Premier League Cup and the first-team squad, so he's had an opportunity to experience some games in the first-team. It's up to him now to kick on, push on, and score some goals in the Central League, and obviously perform when he goes away with Wales to keep him pushing ahead. At this moment in time, it's good progress for him. Hugely beneficial for him, all the youngsters have had a lot of game time, in the Peninsula League team, the Central League team, the Premier League Cup or out on loan. He's progressing well, he's been able to get some minutes under his belt, and he's ready now to push for first-team action."
Adams went on to reveal that Argyle will be looking for a new head of recruitment following the departure of Greg Strong. Adams gave an insight as to how the role will change from Strong's old role: "The role's going to change, we're looking for a Head of Recruitment to come in and do a wee bit more than be a Chief Scout to oversee the recruitment side of the first-team and the reserves, and really set down a marker about taking in players for next season. One that we'd like to try and get is someone experienced in knowing the leagues and getting good players into other teams. Over the last number of years, it is difficult, more and more so, because you need assistance. Greg Strong was the Chief Scout, but he was going to matches to watch the opposition, while we were trying to get players in at the same time, which we're looking to change. We don't scout the opposition at this moment in time, we changed that role before Greg Strong left. We've got other sources, so instead of going live to the matches, we use a lot of different platforms to scout the opposition now."
Freddie Ladapo meanwhile said that Argyle could use the bad memories of the recent 5-1 loss to Luton as motivation to put in a winning performance to end their unbeaten run. He said: "That's how it can be when you don't bring the quality on to the pitch. I remember my days when I was in non-league playing for Margate, you'd go to matches thinking 'I could score a couple here' or 'we could win' and when you're chasing that title, the game becomes more important and you try a little harder. I think we all really struggled in that game, I don't think I saw much of the ball because they had it for the majority of the game. How we started off that game wasn't in the best way, we conceded too early and then kept conceding and we weren't really tight as a collective. The main thing for us is to match the desire that they will obviously bring. They're going to have smiles on their faces, they're going to want to try things, they're going to have a lot of quality, which they've had all season. They've got strikers who are scoring 20-plus goals, midfielders who are assisting all the time and defenders who are keeping clean sheets, so, if we are going to stand a chance, we need to match all of that."
"The vibe has been good this year, starting off with a lot of wins, some draws and only a couple of losses. We have a lot to take to this game. They've had a great season, their unbeaten run stretches to over 20 games and I know when you're up the top, you come to games with a buzz and I think we are going to have to match that buzz and that desire that they're going to bring. As a whole, we need to match everything that they're going to bring; their quality, their desire, their work rate, everything. We need to match all of that and hopefully we can give them a good test. Look at Manchester United coming back from a 2-0 home defeat in the Champions League. Things are meant to be broken."
Derek Adams has been nominated for the Sky Bet League One manager of the month award for February, making it back-to-back nominations for the Argyle gaffer, following his nomination for the same accolade in January.
Derek Adams admitted that his players may have been caught up in the big occasion in the first half, as Argyle went down to a 2-0 loss at the Stadium of Light. Adams polemicised: "We didn't play very well in the first half. Our ball-retention was poor; we didn't press Sunderland enough. It looked like we were scared, to be perfectly honest. Some of them are not used to playing in front of 30,000 people and that's not an easy thing to overcome. We weren't able, especially in the first half, to cope with that. I think the occasion got to too many of the players today. The choice of passing was poor, as well."
"We changed it when Kyle went down injured in the first half and we got a better grip of the game. We were a lot better in the second half. I just don't think collectively, in the first half, we did well enough passing the ball and keeping possession was a lot better in the second half. We had to change things about a bit to try to help us, trying to get our creative players on the ball but also to stop Sunderland's creative players playing. We forced the players then to play forward and take chances and, with that, we created a few opportunities. It gave us a better threat. In that, the full-backs became free in their team but we dealt well with that at times. I thought we'd be under more pressure, today, than we were, but it transpired that we did not do well enough when we had the ball, and that caused us a lot of trouble because we gave the ball away needlessly. Sunderland should really be in a higher division than they are. They have got the resources to be there and we can see the class of some of their players that they have shown today. Nobody has come here and won this season. It was always going to be a difficult afternoon for us. We had to play at our best to get anything out of the game, and we didn't play anything like it."
Kyle Letheren came off injured in the second half and was replaced by Arsenal loanee Matt Macey. Adams said of the situation: "He didn't have a lot to do today. He made a couple of good saves. I don't know how many shots on target Sunderland had but it wasn't double-figures, which is quite surprising when you come here. He's got a groin problem and he's obviously struggling so we had to change him with Matt Macey. We'll have to assess him. He obviously felt it. We should have done better at the goals. For the second one, we have allowed the cross to come in very easily and we've had one, probably two, opportunities to clear the ball when it's come across the penalty spot."
"We probably should have had a penalty in the second half when, one, maybe two, hands were put up in the air. At 1-0, that might have given us a bit of belief. I didn't see it, but the players said he put two hands in the air and the ball hit them. The shot was certainly going in. It was a strong claim from our players."
New Pilgrim Paul Anderson certainly had a baptism of fire as far as away trips go and said of the venture: "It's incredible, that journey. We obviously had to do it yesterday, it's a long old way. You have to take your hat off to Argyle fans, they have to do it most weeks. To do that sort of distance, it's not cheap. It's a long way, you're probably going to have to stay overnight to get here in time. If not, it's a very early start. All the lads in there know that, and that's why we're probably a little bit disappointed that we didn't put a little bit more on for them. Even at the end, they were singing loudly. They were brilliant. I think, in football, you always get an opportunity the next week to try and correct it. We've got Luton next week, that's not going to be easy, they're a good footballing side but we have belief in that changing room that we're good enough to maybe be in a better position than we are. The run we've been on, prior to myself joining, and the Rochdale game, I think we showed how well we can actually play. We have to dust it down, there's nothing we can do about the result now. We have to focus on the Luton game and I'm sure the manager will have words through the week. We'll get ourselves as prepared as possible."
Of the game itself, Anderson added: We're a little bit disappointed in there. We could've maybe given ourselves a bit better of a chance. I think second-half we came out there, played some alright stuff, put it to them a little bit and if we'd have the rub of the green, at the right time, it would've been a completely different game. Unfortunately, the second goal at the end killed us.. With the hand-ball, perhaps it was a penalty, and, if it wasn't a hand-ball, it was probably going in from Gaz. Sometimes you get the rub of the green, and sometimes you don't. Unfortunately, I think it was a bit against us. It's always nice at whatever level you play at to play in nice stadiums, and big crowds. That's what we all want to do in our career. I've been very fortunate in my career to play in front of big crowds and I don't think it gets the better of you. I think that maybe, because of who they are and what they're doing, we gave them a little bit too much respect in the first-half, but I thought we gave a great account of ourselves in the second-half."
Argyle have lost 2-0 to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in a game that never really got going for the pilgrims. A goal either side of half time secured Argyle's fate. Argyle: Letheren(Macey), Smith-Brown, Edwards, Canavan, Sawyer, Fox, Songo'o, Threlkeld(Taylor), Lameiras(Anderson), Carey, Ladapo. Subs: Jones, Riley, Wootton, Ness.
Gary Sawyer prepared for another long trip on the road as Argyle prepared to face Sunderland but spoke of how the advances in technology make such trips a lot more bearable than they used to be. Sawyer said: "They all are [long trips. The first one or two games of the season, I think the new boys realised just how far away Plymouth is from everything, but now it's part and parcel. I'm certainly used to it - we were at Bradford the other week, it's an hour or so past that."
"The bus is quite enjoyable, we've got a good group of lads, and I think the boys actually quite look forward to away games. We play cards quite a bit. Obviously you have to stop on the way up, so we usually play for who is buying the coffees. That gets us a couple hours up the road. We're lucky in this day and age, you've got iPads, so you can download films to watch. I think the last time we went up to Sunderland, in 2006, you probably had those portable DVD players, times have changed a bit because you'd need bags full of DVDs. We don't have the television blaring out the top of the bus, anymore, usually everyone has their own thing."
"I know the journey's long, but hopefully this one will be a nice one for the fans because they get to go to a stadium that probably shouldn't really be in this league. For any of them that haven't gone when we were in the league with them before, it's a great opportunity, particularly for the younger fans. Hopefully, our travelling 1500 will give them a run for their money, which I'm sure they will, as they're great when they travel."
Sawyer added that he hopes Argyle can take the confidence from the Rochdale win into the game, adding: "The whole season can swing with confidence. We weren't overly confident in the early games, through this and that, and that's what happens in football. Unfortunately, we dropped to the bottom of the league. It's great to see the boys are confident with a bit of a spring in their step. It's been really good form from us recently, and we needed it. There isn't any blueprint for it, if there was, we'd have done it from the first game. It's just clicked at the right time, really, and the boys are in good spirits, good form, and looking forward to each game."
"It was one of the most comfortable, the boys put them to the sword a little bit. It could've been more, had we taken our chances in the first-half. It was a great performance, gets us another three points. It's nice when you can score five goals, that's big at this level."
Derek Adams, meanwhile, played down the match as just another Saturday. He said: "The fans are obviously looking forward to going to the Stadium of Light and seeing their team play. There is a factor in that they haven't been up there for a number of years and want to go and witness Plymouth Argyle playing at a different venue. We always enjoy trying to break records and we have done it many times in the past. We will look to try and do that on Saturday. It's another opportunity for us to try and get three points. Going away from home, we have obviously done well and picked up some good points against Bradford and Peterborough. With the form that we are on, we are looking forward to going there and playing, and trying to get another result. I'm not going to dwell too much on Sunderland. It's important that we look at how well we've played in recent times. We are one of the form sides in the league and I think that is testament to the players and how well they have responded. The amount of opportunities that we have created in games, like last week against Rochdale where we won 5-1, we have got the confidence that we can go and score goals.
"We have shown this season that we can go away from home at the likes of Peterborough, in the top six, and beat them. It is going to be important that we go there with the confidence we are showing at the moment and take the game to Sunderland. We will just leave earlier than we usually do and will go for a walk when we arrive in Sunderland, whatever time that may be. We will treat it as we usually do for an away game, we have obviously not been able to train on the Friday because of the eight or nine-hour coach trip."
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