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.
Ian Holloway has admitted he could miss some Argyle games before the New Year to check out potential new signings. He said: "I'm looking to move the playing side of this club forward. That's my job and I shall be looking at every single option. Whether I can do it or not - whether the people I want might choose other clubs - I don't really know yet. All I do know is that I'm very pleased with the structure and I'm very pleased with the scouting organisation. I might have to pop off before January and miss my own team play so I can see a target with my own eyes because I don't like doing things blind. I have got to make sure everybody I bring here has been recruited professionally and properly. Together, we will do our utmost to take this club where we want it to go." Argyle are continuing final negotiations with Plymouth City Council about acquiring the freehold of Home Park for a £2.7 million sum, which should then open the way for the club to decide on plans for the redevelopment of the Grandstand. Holloway said: "It's all very positive. What I'm continuing to look at is the standard of my playing staff. At the end of the day, I believe your playing staff are the lifeblood of your club. They are what the fans turn up to see. Sometimes in life you can't always get what you want when you want it, but you have got to keep walking towards it. I can assure you that's what we are trying to do, but it's getting increasingly difficult, particularly in the Championship, to find the resources to pay the sort of wages these players want. Roy Keane said they were becoming greedy. I think greed is an evil sin and it is in football, and it's rife. So it's very, very difficult. It's a balancing act. We are probably where everybody wanted us to be, but when you are there it's a little bit different than you were planning it to be. We are getting there bit by bit. I think the reality of it all is sinking in and I think we will have a very good chance to continue moving forward. You have got a fella here who wants to do it. I want to do it, and I know everyone else does. I realise the patience I have got to have and I realise the enormity of what I'm saying to people. Even if we were bottom of the division right now, I would still be saying: 'We are going to the Premiership' because that's where I know we are heading. All you need as a manager is evidence to back that up, so if I can bring in one or two players to help us then I will."
Marcel Seip has been fined £750 by Plymouth magistrates for his part in a fight outside a city night club on November 6th
Mathias Doumbe has recovered from a knee injury faster than expected, and looks a certainty to be able to face Birmingham City on Saturday. There was also potentially good news regarding Lee Hodges and Paul Connolly, who both picked up injuries in the win against Luton Town on Tuesday. Paul Maxwell said: "It's not too bad, but it's something we'll know more about today. They're a bit sore, but we always give the lads a couple of days to see where we are." Maxwell added: "Mattie's been training since Monday and he's fine and will be available for selection." Tim Breacker added: "We hope they have got a chance for Saturday but we are not yet 100% sure. The physio has given us an extra day to look at them. They have not trained and we are not sure if Saturday's game may come too soon but we will assess that. They will be traveling with us and we will go from there. Paul felt something near the end of the first-half on Tuesday and had treatment during the break. We were keeping an eye on him and knew that we may have to cover him. Eventually he felt it again and we took him off but he did very well to set up the goal. I don't think he has had any hamstring problems in the past, so there is no reason to believe that he won't make it but, at this time of the season, we don't want somebody to be out for six weeks. There are a lot of games to come over the Christmas period." Fortunately, Lee Hodges injury does appear as bad as it first appeared to be and Breacker said: "We are hoping that it is not too severe. We will have another look at that one tomorrow."
Ian Holloway has plenty of options ahead of Argyle's away game at Birmingham City on Saturday, after making several changes against Luton Town on Tuesday. He said: "I had some tough decisions to make, and I was really pleased with the lads. It's a squad game, I wanted to freshen it up, and I thought every single one of them justified their place in the team, so I've got an ever bigger problem now on Saturday." Luton were beaten with a team using three midfielders and three forwards, two of whom dropped back to assist in midfield. "I've used that formation late in games before now, but this time I started with it," Holloway said. "We got one or two things wrong, and I'm still learning about how my players cope with that shape. It just got us the right result, but it was a scrap. We ended up far too narrow in the first half at times. When your wide men come inside, your inside players have to go outside, or your full-backs have to give you width. We lost our width, and that made it easier for Luton than it should have been." Holloway and his coaching staff now have to prepare for Saturday's visit to St Andrew's. "Let's see if we can get back-to-back wins now," he said. "We're away at Birmingham, and I think we owe them one. Let's see if we can turn them over 1-0 like they turned us over down here." Only 9,965 spectators, Argyle's lowest crowd for almost three years, turned up to watch the win over Luton. "Perhaps I'm not just very popular," Holloway said,. "Maybe they're all bored with what I'm saying already, but it's a long old haul. I can understand it. We'd only won twice at home before this game. Some of our football here has been really enjoyable to watch, but we've got to turn it into winning football more often."
Gary Sawyer made his full debut as Argyle beat Luton last night, and along with Luke Summerfield put on an impressive display. Ian Holloway was full of praise for the two youngsters and also Stuart Gibson. "I thought they both did very, very well," said Holloway. They have been knocking on the door for quite a while. The boys did fantastic. I did not want Stuart to leave but if he wants to go and be a manager then good luck to him. He has done a fantastic job here with the attitude and level of some of these boys. What a fantastic performance on his full debut from Gary Sawyer. He looked like a senior pro out there. They have both got all sorts of qualities and I am delighted to have them at my club. I have inherited a couple of absolute brammers. Luke has got such a great strike on him - it is frightening. He is only 18 and when I was that age I was absolutely useless. I was five stone five and five foot nowt. If he ends up better than his Father, then he will be one hell of a player but the resemblance is quite astounding. He will grace the Premiership one day and, hopefully, it will be with us in a Green shirt."
Bojan Djordjic confessed that his recent exile to Argyle's South Western league side had been a 'kick up the backside', after he scored the goal that beat Luton Town. "I'm very happy," said Djordjic. "A few months ago I maybe I was dead and buried, but I just tried to come back and - I'm not going to say 'hit back at my critics' - it was nice to please just myself. It's always been 'potential', 'talented' or 'been here and there and never done anything' - the last step has always been missing. It's nice to get some form and, in this game, help the team to three points. Talking about his time in the South Western League, Djordjic said: "It was a kick up the backside with both legs. It made me a much stronger person as well, mentally and physically, to be honest. If I had chucked it in when I was put in the South Western League, I wouldn't be speaking to you right now. Maybe I'd be somewhere else, lower down, thinking what might have been. Sometimes when you are on your own, it is quite hard to go through all the problems because you always think everybody is against you, but, this time, I thought to myself 'There is potential in there - do yourself justice and show these young players in the South Western League that, if they are in your position one day, to react like you do.' I think what I have learned is to take one game at a time - sometimes, if you score in one game, you think you have done something, but one game is really nothing. Djordjic paid tribute to Paul Connolly, who laid on his goal, and Barry Hayles, and said he was looking forward to Saturday's game against Birmingham City. "It was a fantastic run by Connolly," he said, "and Baz did a run at the near post to take his man out. I am just happy the ball came my way. The game against Ipswich here, we should have won 7-1 and we drew 1-1; the game against Birmingham, we lost although we were clearly the better side. So it's nice to get the 1-0 win, especially at home, where results have not been as good as last season. If we get our home form going, we can still be a contender. We still believe in ourselves. We proved here that we can match Birmingham, so there is no fear here, but it is going to be a tough game at St Andrews."
Ian Holloway was delighted to secure a win at Home Park last night, for only the third time this season. He said: "We would have slipped away from where we want to be if we had not won tonight. If you have not won in five games and not won in November then that is not very good but we have put that demon behind us. People have been talking about our home record but you have just got to keep believing." Holloway made four changes to the team that lost at home to Leeds on Saturday, and said: "I rolled my dice a different way. People say you can't win with Djordjic and Buzsaky in the same team, and maybe you can't in a 4-4-2 but you can in a 4-3-3 and I thought they both did very well. Bo has responded and what a great player he can be, and he will be. It is brilliant to see him come through what I put him through and he has come back firing. Three goals in three games is fantastic for a wide player. All you need is end product and long may it continue. He has got to keep doing it now because he is a wonderful player and the fans like him. He needs to produce it week in, week out now because that is what we want form him and it is what he wants. It was very difficult for him with all the expectation heaped on when he was signed by Manchester United as a 16-year-old. Hopefully, he has listened to what I said from the heart and it is now in his heart, and I am delighted for the boy. Sometimes you don't realize what you have got until it has gone. He went down to the youth team and trained with them. He scored seven goals in the South Western League and I still turned a blind eye to it. I made him go through it until he came to me and asked to come back because it has to come from him. All I ever do is tell people what I feel and the standards that I set, whether you are piano player or a piano carrier, it does not matter." Holloway admitted the 4-3-3 formation was a bit of an experiment and that he is learning all about the system with his players. He said: "It was difficult. I did not really play anybody up with Hayles tonight. I thought Buzsaky and Djordjic got a couple of things wrong but, to be honest, I am learning with that shape as well. We ended up far too narrow in the first-half. When your wide men come inside, the inside men have got to go outside or your full-back has to overlap. I thought we started brightly. We played through them a bit and I don't think they expected that. I have gone normally to that formation late in games. I felt I needed to freshen it up a bit and it worked. It has not always been one of my strengths - I have always been a bit too loyal." Holloway also praised Mike Newell's Luton team who have now lost seven games in a row. He said: "It was a scrap and I thought Mike's lads played fantastically well when you consider how many young lads they have got, and I feel for them." Next up for Argyle is a trip to Birmingham and Holloway will be looking to avenge the 1-0 defeat earlier in the season. He said: "We are away at Birmingham and we owe them one. Let's see if we can turn them over 1-0 like they did to us here. I have got another tough, tough decision to make. When you have got a full squad it can be a nightmare. Normally, some decisions are made for you by injuries." That decision may be made easier as Paul Connolly and Lee Hodges hobbled off the field. The Hodges injury was particularly worrying as it looked to be a recurrence of the knee injury that kept him out for over a month earlier in the season. "It is all about using your squad and obviously the injuries we have picked up this evening is a little bit worrying," said Holloway. "We ended the match with ten men but we will have a look at the walking wounded. Connolly might be a hamstring. It is very concerning for Hodges because it was the same knee and he looked quite down when he was coming off."
Argyle beat Luton Town 1-0 at Home Park, the goal scored by Bojan Djordjic after 61 minutes. Argyle: McCormick, Connolly, Seip, Sawyer, Hodges, Norris, Wotton, Summerfield, Buzsaky, Djordjic, Hayles. Subs - Ebanks-Blake, Capaldi, Nalis (not used - Larrieu, Chadwick). Attendance - 9,965.
Michael Dunford has confirmed Argyle are close to agreeing a new contract with Luke Summerfield. Dunford said: "Luke is another promising youngster who Ian rates very highly and who has come through the youth system. I'm certain he will be putting pen to paper very shortly and committing himself to a longer future here at Argyle."
Argyle will be aiming for their first win in six matches against Luton Town tonight, but Ian Holloway does not believe that the players' confidence has been damaged by recent results. He said: "I don't think the players' confidence has been affected. There is no reason for it to have been affected. I thought we totally dominated on Saturday and the players were very disappointed at the end. Maybe people went into that game thinking we were definitely going to beat Leeds. If that's the case, wake up and smell the coffee. You have got to earn every single point in this division." Holloway is unlikely to make many changes to his starting line-up, and said: "We have got a decent squad and some of them haven't been given a chance yet, or not had as many chances as others. Some of them have been out through injury or sickness, so do I need to freshen it up tonight? But I don't believe we need wholesale changes. If we had lost five or six in a row then we might have needed to roll our dice differently. I will have a look at it and come up with a team that I think will beat Luton. If we do that, we are back on a roll again. Onwards and upwards. Luton are the next, then it will be Birmingham and then it will be nearly Christmas. Then the January transfer window will be open and closed and it will all take shape. But, as it's going at the minute, we are three points away from the play-offs. That's where we want to be. Automatic promotion is slipping away. We have got to make sure we catch up. We need a good run and some quality performances. And we also need to do better at home, because anybody who gets in the play-offs does better at home than we are doing. That's fact and I'm not scared to say that. What we have got to do is make sure we don't panic. I thought we looked a little bit edgy on Saturday and we went too deep. Too many times we have been one-behind at home, and I swear to you our general play hasn't deserved that."
David Norris is relieved Argyle have another home game so soon after the defeat by Leeds. "We want to win our games at home and Leeds were there for the taking, so everyone was disappointed," he said. "But, with this game against Luton coming around so quickly, if we can get three points tonight it will give us a massive boost."
Paul Wotton has insisted Argyle's game with Luton Town tonight is 'just another game', despite the rivalry which developed between the two clubs during the 2001/02 season. He said: "The rivalry was more with Joe Kinnear than Luton Town. That season they pushed us all the way, but it's a long time ago and tonight is just another game in the Championship as far as I'm concerned." Wotton will move into sole possession of sixth place in Argyle's all-time league appearance chart, above Mickey Evans and Jack Leslie, if he plays tonight. "I wasn't sure how many games I was on so that's nice to know," he said. Luton have lost six successive Championship matches, but Argyle have not won any of their last five league games. Wotton said: "Luton are on a bad run but we aren't on a great run ourselves. No matter who we are playing, when we are at home we look for three points and tonight is no different. They can't keep losing and we have got to make sure their win doesn't come against us." Ian Holloway will not be taking Luton lightly, either. "Whoever you play in the Championship, I can assure you that on any given day they can hurt you if you aren't at it," he said. "A lot of the things we tried to do on Saturday were right, but we need to get back to winning ways, particularly at home. When you look at the stats, our record at home hasn't been good enough. I will be the first to hold my hand up and say that. We have got to try to put that right and who's to say it will not be right by the end of the season? You have got to keep believing that. Sometimes, it's hard to be like that, but I am and my team will be."
Ian Holloway described as 'complete madness' a report that Bolton Wanderers have made a bid for Akos Buzsaky. He said: " Complete madness. Absolute madness. I would strongly suggest the reporter should stop getting a whiff of wine gums or glue-sniffing, or whatever he is doing, because we have not had one call about Akos Buzsaky. I have spoken to the chief executive and the chairman, and we have not had one call regarding Akos's availability. I honestly don't where that is coming from. If they would like to ring me up, I will talk to them and I will be honest with him." Buzsaky has been on the bench for Argyle's last two games, with Holloway calling for him to improve his end product. Holloway said: "I believe in the boy, although I did not pick him and the person I replaced him with has scored two goals in two games, but I would call that management. If Akos wants to do something about it, he should continue his efforts because there is not a lot wrong but, for a player of his ability, you need an end product. That was all I said to Bojan a few weeks ago. I need a cross or a finish because you don't always do it going the other way. I have seen him trying his heart out to get back and get his foot in, and I have also seen him put the ball in at the other end, so well done to him."
Ian Holloway has come up with a solution to Argyle's habit of conceding early goals. He said: "Kick-off five minutes later. I have asked the league if we can kick-off five minutes later because that would definitely eradicate the problem. It has happened in four games but there is always a problem with something. I don't think I have got half as many problems as some people who are so-called bigger clubs than us with bigger crowds, that are way below us in the league."
Bojan Djordjic's goal and man of the match award on Saturday provided little comfort after Argyle's defeat. He said: "To be man of the match is only a little consolation for me, after being out of the side for so long. We were a little bit nervous because they scored so early, which was understandable, but after we scored the equaliser I think we played some good stuff. They didn't create that much, whereas we had some good chances and build-up play." Djordjic scored with a back-header after a Tony Capaldi free-kick in the 40th minute. "It was a bonus that the free-kick was retaken," he said. "I gambled, the ball went over their 'keeper, I jumped with Douglas, it skimmed the back of my head and it just went in. I turned around and I saw the ball in the net, which was quite pleasing. It's still a goal, and that's two in two now, but of course it's only one point out of six. We need to get three points on Tuesday." Luton Town visit Home Park tomorrow. "We know that we need to win our home games," Djordjic added. "We have to hold our heads high and focus on Tuesday."
Akos Buzsaky could be a transfer target for Bolton Wanderers, according to national newspaper reports
Ian Holloway thinks he may have to turn a bit nasty to get a reaction from his players. He said: "Good old Ollie is a laugher and a joker; well I don't feel like that because I thought we had the beating of Leeds today. Sometimes the pat on the back can be worse than a punch on the cheek. Maybe my lot need to realize that they are not doing that well. Everybody is pleased with the football but it is all about results. I know Martin O'Neill is the nastiest fella in the world when his team loses and I am starting to feel like that. It was another disappointing day for us where we have created more chances on our own patch and lost. We are not defending well enough and we are not taking our chances, and that is a fact. All this 'well done and your doing great' - I am not having it anymore. Some of the football is nice and attractive but we need to win games. We need to get our cutting edge back." Holloway felt his team came out of the blocks brightly enough but they then conceded an early goal for the fourth time this season. He said: "It is a funny old game football. It was probably the best start we have had and then we end up 1-0 down. The lads were bright, we had a tempo about us and it looked like we were going to have a good game today. Before you know it, we have missed a header at the back, half a slip and they have scored." Holloway's frustration was compounded by an unconvincing display from referee Dean Whitestone. After the game, Holloway spent 15 minutes discussing matters with Whitestone in the referee's room. "I felt better for speaking to him," said Holloway. "I was expecting the only person who can do something about it to see things. When you chase a game, particularly against them, it can be very difficult. I thought they made it virtually impossible for the referee today. There was gamesmanship flying around left, right and centre but fair play to Leeds. They are scrapping for points and they deserve some credit for a much better performance than they have given in a while. Leeds manager Dennis Wise criticized Argyle for being very physical but Holloway saw things very differently. "Dennis is entitled to his own opinion," said Holloway. "I saw their players looking for things and the ref fell for it time after time. My lads were fully committed but we may have been late once or twice and deserved a yellow card. I did not think we were over-physical. If Robbie Blake fell over any more, he would need handles on his shorts. It was embarrassing." Despite his frustration with the officiating, Holloway refused to use that as an excuse for another disappointing result at home. He said: "We did not lose the game because the referee scored two goals. We lost the game because we let in two stupid goals. We did not defend the cross properly. Why did we not block the cross? We got that wrong. They had two chances and scored two goals, whereas we had about four chances just in the second half. How many more chances do we need? We got in behind them in the first half and kept hitting the first defender. I think their goalkeeper is a complete flapper. He flaps more than a bird with one wing. He does not come off his line and we scored from it. Are we clinical enough? Are we precise enough in our marking and defending? Are we as good as everybody keeps thinking we might be?" There was a nasty incident at the end of the game involving the two captains that left Holloway seething. Shaun Derry thrust a blatant elbow into the face of Paul Wotton and, once again, the referee got it wrong. "I am absolutely incensed with the last challenge on Paul Wotton," said Holloway. "I watched as it went in the air and I knew their bloke was going to hit him, and then we are punished because of the poxy rules about blood on your shorts. It was obvious he was going to do it and if I can get good enough footage, I will be sending it to the FA because we are trying to eradicate that from the game. I have asked the referee to look at it but he said he can't. Red tape, red tape, red tape."
Argyle lose 2-1 to Leeds United at Home Park, the goal scored by Bojan Djordjic after 40 minutes. Argyle: McCormick, Connolly, Seip, Aljofree, Capaldi, Norris, Wotton, Nalis, Djordjic, Ebanks-Blake, Hayles. Subs - Chadwick, Summerfield, Buzsaky (not used - Larrieu, Sawyer). Attendance - 17,088.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake takes plenty of confidence into todays game - but also has respect for today's opponents. "Leeds are a great club," he said, "and it's a shame that they're down there at the moment. On their day, they can get a 3-0 win, like they did a couple of weeks ago, but if you get about them you can beat them 3-0, like Southampton did last weekend. We'll approach the game properly, we'll press and close them and do what we do best, and we'll try and get a result. Our performances in those two games merited three points each time, but unfortunately we only came away with a draw against Ipswich and an unlucky loss against Birmingham. That's just the nature of football. You can't keep not getting what you deserve in games, if you're putting in the correct effort and the right attitude. If we keep showing the determination we've been showing, then I think the points will turn into three points very quickly and we'll keep pushing up the league." Ebanks-Blake returned to the starting line-up in last Saturday's draw at Southend United. He was unable to add to his tally of two goals but came up with a hard-working display, which he hopes will stand him in good stead. "I was quite pleased," he said. "I was out of the team for a couple of games so I was lacking a bit of sharpness, but I was happy to get a start. Whoever starts up front, we all want to put in a performance and do a job for the team. We all want to help each other."
Ian Holloway has admitted that he may make changes to his team for the visit of Leeds United tomorrow. He said: "I am thinking about changes and may freshen it up. I am thinking about that all the time. I am thinking about the team I need to beat Leeds but it won't be anything drastic because there is not much wrong. Southend beat Manchester United and they could not score against them. They also drew with Preston who could not score against them. Unfortunately, we did not make the most of the chances that came our way in the first-half but I was not that disappointed." Holloway will be looking at the threat Leeds pose and pick his team accordingly. He said: "I am looking at their strengths and thinking about who will combat them the best, and I am also thinking about three games in a week. With a fully fit squad, I might try and pick a different team in the week to keep people fresh." Dennis Wise is the new manager at Leeds and Holloway sympathizes with the off-field distractions he may face. "They were in the Premiership recently but it is very unsettling when you have management changes and board changes," said Holloway. "Wise has come in now. He is a tough, competitive little character and it is his job to sort it out but these things off the field do hurt you, particularly fans' expectations. I was quoted on the radio the other day as saying I want to ban the word expectation. I want to be optimistic. I am very optimistic that we can show Leeds fans what we are all about. So far in management, I have not done very well against Leeds and I want to put that right."
Reuben Reid has returned to Home Park after his loan spell at Kidderminster Harriers was cut short by a sending-off, and Ian Holloway said: "Reuben is back but I have not approached him about it yet. I have asked to see a copy of what he did. It is a learning thing for him and he will be twiddling his thumbs a bit but we shall have him doing some hard work with Scott Laird, who was sent-off two games running. That was very out of character for Scott but there you go. They won't be happy. Have you seen Ben Hur? I have got my chariot and it won't be me doing the running."
After taking Bojan Djordjic off the transfer list yesterday, Ian Holloway said: "I've just told the players and everybody else that Bojan is no longer on the list. I think the lad has shown me that he wants to be here and work hard, and at the moment I'm seeing him do it so I've brought him back. I've warned a few of the other ones that, if they start not doing what I want, am I going to treat them any different? No. They'll all be bombed if they don't do what I want. I'm not here to tolerate their behaviour, I'm here to get promoted and to better myself and my club. I'll have anybody who wants to be part of that."
There were no new arrivals at Home Park yesterday, as the deadline for loan transfers passed. Ian Holloway did attempt to add to his squad this week, but to no avail. "All my hard work on the phone has led to nothing, but that doesn't bother me," he said. "I couldn't get what I wanted, so let's get on with it. My boys are doing very well, that was why I didn't need to do that much. Believe it or not, there aren't that many people available. Everybody is keeping hold of their squads. I wouldn't let anybody out, so would anybody else? I don't think so, but you might see some movement in January."
Ian Holloway has praised the work done by departing youth team manager, Stuart Gibson, also revealing it was unlikely there would be an internal appointment to replace him and that he would have a major say in the appointment of his successor. "I have only been here a few months and I think I'm seeing the work he has done with the young lads we have got," said Holloway. "I was surprised when Stuart came to see me, and I'm surprised he wants to be a manager. Anybody who wants to be a manager must be a complete, barnstorming lunatic in my eyes, but he feels the time is right for him and he's going to Norway. I wish him all the best. I think he has left me with some fantastic young players and a set-up that is moving in the right direction. I personally want to thank him for his hard, tenacious work." Holloway added: "I want to have a massive input into who his replacement is. I will be sat in on the process. A huge part of my plans, to get us to where I want to go, is relying on the youth set-up, as well as the recruitment and development of the youth."
Ian Holloway welcomed Tim Breacker to the club as his assistant manager yesterday, and said: It's fantastic to have him here. It's another piece in the jigsaw. It's all about recruiting new players, looking at the ones you've already got and training them. It's a huge task, and I need a structure in place and staff to keep it going. Tim has helped me with it before, and I choose my people very, very carefully. Tim will be working on the training ground as a coach with the first-team players, and then he'll go further than that all the way down into the youth set-up. I want the youth set-up to do exactly what we do and it will be part of Tim's remit to make sure that's up and running. He knows how I want things run. He'll observe how things are run here and then I want to maximise some of the ideas that Tim has to make us more efficient. I believe you have to get up with the times in training. It's all scientific now, and Tim is trained in that. He's going right the way through it, and I want it documented so I can read it to know exactly what any one of my players is up to. I want to pull a file off a shelf and find out what he weighs, how much he's lifting and how much he's improving. If I don't like the look of it, I'll call him in and absolutely rake him across the coals. I've had to be far too nice so far because I've had to coach them as well. Now Tim is here, I intend to step back a bit and clarify everybody's roles here."
Hasney Aljofree believes he and Marcel Seip are starting to develop a good understanding as Argyle's centre-back pairing. He said: "Obviously, I have not played with Marcel that long and he's a little bit different to Mattie. He does defend higher up the pitch and he likes to play on the front foot, but you get to learn how people mark and the shape they want to play. Marcel has done well. He's a different type of centre-back and he has added to the competition for places. We have got Marcel, Mattie and me, as well as Gary Sawyer, and you have got to play well to stay in the team. It's important the two centre-backs have a good understanding because it helps the team. If one of us gets it wrong, it usually leads to a goal, especially at this level, where the strikers are so good. Through working hard in training each day you notice little habits that each other has got. You have just got to try to get an understanding as quick as you can and, hopefully, it comes off on a Saturday." Argyle have gone four games without a win, so will be hoping to beat struggling Leeds tomorrow. Aljofree realises, though, that the Elland Road club have some very talented players. He said: "Leeds are a massive club. They aren't doing too well at the moment and they will want to come here and get three points. We have got to treat it like any other game. We have got to be very positive and, hopefully, put in a performance like we did against Birmingham in our last home match. Although we lost 1-0 that day, we deserved much better than that. It's going to be very hard tomorrow, even though they are third bottom of the league. That doesn't mean anything. Anyone can beat anybody else in the Championship. Leeds have got a lot of quality throughout their squad and we have all got to be on our game to get a result. We haven't done too well at home, in terms of picking up points, but, hopefully, against Leeds we can get a win. They pay big money at that club though and they have got Premiership players. Obviously, things haven't worked out there this season, for whatever reason, and they have got Dennis Wise in as their new manager. They are going to be trying to impress him so we have all got to be together."
Tim Breacker arrived at Home Park yesterday, and said: "I must have a bigger garden than Ian! I was basically placed on gardening leave the same day as Ollie. A fax to him had my name on it and that was it. I am glad that side is over and I want to get back working. I enjoyed my time with Ollie before. He gave me a chance in the coaching side of the game when I finished playing. I want to achieve something here with Ollie and I am looking forward to the challenge. It is not a nice period and I know that Premiership clubs are not allowed to put people on gardening leave and it should be the same in every division. It is different for a manager. If the club does well, you get a lot of praise and when things go wrong you tend to look at yourself. A lot of the time it was a case of speaking to Ollie and reminding him that he did well and should be proud. He is a good manager and it will be shown in the future. You can understand how he was feeling but maybe the way QPR struggled after he left made him feel a bit better. It is a difficult time mentally for a manager." Breacker has spent his time in the footballing wilderness watching games and working on his coaching license. He said: "I have been able to use my time well, although it is not the same as being at a club. Once Ollie arrived here, I spent my time going to matches, watching players and also doing my Pro License. I have watched a lot of games on video and I have been speaking to Ollie and Gary. I also know a lot of the players from when we faced them at QPR. I think there was a lot of mutual respect between the two sides at the time. The challenge is to keep what was here before and try to add to it. If you can do that, you have every chance of doing well in this division. It was similar at QPR where we had a lot of the strengths from League One and we took that into the Championship. Wigan and Reading are good examples. They have both now gone into the Premiership and kept the same ethos and attitude, and you can see that in their play. I think Ollie wants me to look at all aspects of the club and advise him, but there is not an immediate need to do things. The chairman has been very good with me and very patient. He spoke about his vision for the future and it all sounds very good." Breacker is not a complete stranger to the South West, having been married in Ashburton and spent a number summer holidays in Devon. He said: "My ex-wife has family in Devon and I actually got married in Ashburton. My boys, Jamie and Sam who are 14 and 13, have a cousin who is a season-ticket holder and they always go to games when they are down here on holiday. I have told them that I can get tickets now that Ollie is here but they want to stand where they normally stand. They spent a lot of time on holiday down here when I was playing. I have a feeling for the area already and you can immediately see that it is a community club, and there is that feeling about the place."
Bojan Djordjic has today been taken off the transfer list by Ian Holloway
Tim Breacker will finally be introduced as the newest member of Ian Holloway's coaching team today
Ian Holloway is unlikely to make any loan signings before todays deadline. He said: "I'd thought of adding a player to the squad before the loan deadline to cover us if we had injuries. We've got a busy time coming up with lots of fixtures, so it would have been nice to get someone in just in case. For example, we've got three matches coming up over the next week, so with that in mind I made a lot of phone calls and inquiries. But I'm not of a mind to bring a player in for the sake doing so. We'd want someone who is a better or just as good a player as the boys that are here. I'm a great believer in the adage that 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. So, unless something comes up at the last minute, at this moment we're not anticipating any loan signings. We're concentrating our thoughts on when the transfer window reopens in January. I think that's the right way to go."
Matt Kouo-Doumbe is the only injury doubt ahead of Saturday's game with Leeds United. Ian Holloway said: "I've got a fully-fit squad with the only doubt over Matt. He's had the scan which showed nothing unusual, but he is still complaining that the knee locks up from time to time. That sounds like it could be a cartilage problem. We'll just have to keep a close eye on the situation."
Argyle have today confirmed that Stuart Gibson is leaving Home Park to manage Norwegian side Steinkjer FK. Michael Dunford said: "Everyone at the club would like to wish Stuart every success in his new job. He leaves with our sincere thanks for the admirable effort he has put in to running the youth department." The search for Gibson's replacement has begun. Meanwhile, Exeter City physio Claire Turner will be joining the Argyle staff next month, to replace Ian Leigh who left the club recently, and will have responsibility for the reserve and South Western League teams
Hasney Aljofree has come up with a way of trying to steer clear of any more injuries - saying a prayer before every match. He said: "It was nice to get the Southend game out the way with nothing else happening to me. I did get a little clip on the nose, right at the start, but it didn't really effect me too much. Since Southampton, when I got a bad knock on my head, it has just been one thing after another. I say a prayer now before every game. Honestly. I get my Mum to say one as well. Being a centre-half you expect to get a few knocks, but mine have been a bit bizarre. It seems every elbow does hit my nose and every ball hits my nose. It's getting bigger all the time." Aljofree revealed that unusual steps were taken by Paul Maxwell to ensure he finished the game against Leicester, despite his nose bleed. He said: "One of their lads caught me with an elbow and then the ball hit me as well. Maxie told me: 'I can't stop the bleeding' but I said: 'I don't care what you do, I'm not coming off this time.' So he shoved some Vaseline up my nose. I couldn't breathe for the rest of the game but it did the trick. It has just been a bit bizarre this season." Ian Holloway has regularly cracked jokes about Aljofree's plight, who added: "Ollie has been giving me all sorts of stick. Well, I don't want to look like him! To be fair, when we played Barnsley away, he said: 'The ball is in your court, I want you to play, but if you can't then you have got to look after yourself.' I just thought: 'Football is more important than my looks' and I got through the game okay. Ever since then I have had a knock, but I have tried to get on with it."
Anthony and Joe Mason were born and bred in Plymouth, but are making names for themselves at international level by playing for the Republic of Ireland. Both have made their youth international debuts this season, qualifying for the Republic through their mother. Stuart Gibson is very proud of their achievements, which has emulated that of the Laird brothers. Gibson said: "To have two sets of brothers playing international football within the space of a couple of years is very unusual. No disrespect to the Laird boys, because they are from the South West, but the Masons were born in Plymouth and that's another plus, if you like." Argyle's under-16s squad have played up an age level in the Under-18 Youth Alliance this season, and despite the physical disparity, they have put in some encouraging performances, none more so than Joe Mason. That led to his call-up for Ireland's under-16 friendly against Wales in October. Gibson said: "Vincent Butler rang John James after that game and told him how impressed he was with Joe." Anthony made his debut for Ireland after being included in Argyle's first team squad for their pre-season tour to Austria. Gibson said: "Anthony had not played for Ireland before this season and to come into their squad at under-19 level is unusual. He must have made an impression. Boys come through from when they are 15, 16 and 17. Anthony got into our first team squad, went to Austria and played against Real Madrid and Ireland wanted to look at him." Gibson believes playing international football will be beneficial for the Masons because it will broaden their experience. He said: "Unless you are playing any of the teams from the British Isles, it's a slower type of football. It then becomes more a game of subtly - of touch, awareness and vision. You have got to be able to see passes. As a striker, you have got to make better runs to get into space because you are playing against better defenders. For me, the big plus is that it puts Plymouth Argyle youth development in the limelight. When I first came here in 2001, I don't know when the last youth international was. All of a sudden, we have not had one, two or three. We have had six youth internationals, and they don't just come about by waving a magic wand. A lot of hard work has gone into it, especially by the boys themselves, but also by the staff, and I don't think we have had the plaudits the youth development deserves." Gibson feels there are many similarities between the Mason brothers. He said: "Anthony is stronger in his upper body, but I see the same characteristics in Joe to when Anthony was 15. Joe is going to grow and, hopefully, fill out a little bit more." Anthony spent some time with Tiverton earlier this season on a work experience basis but is now playing for Argyle's under-18s in the South Western League. Gibson said: "Anthony was getting a bit uptight a while ago because he didn't think he was scoring enough goals. But if he had been scoring goals left, right and centre he would probably have been in the first team now. Joe seems to have reacted to the success Anthony has had. In the last six to eight months he has come on leaps and bounds. Anthony is still learning his trade, that's why he went to Tiverton to help with that development. I got some good reports from there, apart from he was not putting the ball in the net, but I think it's something that will come in time. Brian Clough used to say: 'If you are a striker you either score goals or create goals'. Anthony does his fair share of creating. Now, if we can get him creating and scoring goals we are going to have some player on our hands." Joe trains twice a week at Argyle's centre of excellence at Ivybridge Community College, as well as during the school holidays and Gibson added: "Boys like him should, in my opinion, be training five or six times a week. The system in this country doesn't allow that. When I go to Hungary to visit Grund FC their under-16s are training eight times a week. "And their 11 and 12-year-olds are training four times a week, so, if you ask me, there is something wrong somewhere."
Ian Holloway has admitted that Argyle have had a bid for Gillingham midfielder Matthew Jarvis rejected. Holloway expects Jarvis to leave Gillingham sooner or later, but he would not say whether or not Argyle will increase their bid. "We made a bid, but it got knocked back," he said. "I don't know about increasing the bid. That's not up to me. We're moving on. He won't be staying there, but it's out of my hands. It's behind us. If we could have agreed something, we could have borrowed him, but it doesn't look like that's going to be the case. Some chairmen can have an unrealistic valuation of their players, or have too many big debts to even consider what we offered." Holloway did not disclose the amount of the bid for Jarvis, but Gillingham manager Ronnie Jepson has said: "The chairman had an offer in black and white, and I think it was about £250,000, but I don't want Matt Jarvis going anywhere."
Argyle's FA Youth Cup tie at Wigan Athletic will be played on Wednesday, December 6th (7.30pm) at Robin Park, a football and athletics venue next to the JJB Stadium. Argyle's league fixture at Exeter City scheduled for December 5th has been postponed due to a clash with the trip, and will now be re-scheduled
Ian Holloway believes the return to form of Bojan Djordjic is all down to positive encouragement. "I am the biggest encourager of people I have ever met in my life," said Holloway. "Why did Bojan run over to me? It was because I put things in a way that was not critical but positive and if he does it, I will reward him. It spoke volumes to me from a bloke I have treated the way I have treated. I have never shirked my responsibility as a parent and I am their Father." Holloway is now urging Djordjic to improve defensively if he wants a decent run in the side. "He has got to make sure that I don't have to bring him off because the opposition are getting a run down our left-wing," said Holloway. "He has got to work harder when he has not got the ball. Everybody can see that when he has the ball, he can do things. He must give me end product. He needs to give me what he gave me in the first-half because he was a bit short in the second-half."
Stuart Gibson looks set to leave Argyle in January to become manager of Norwegian side Steinkjer FK
Kidderminster Harriers have announced that Argyle have recalled Reuben Reid from his loan spell
Reuben Reid was sent-off in Kidderminster Harriers' game with Exeter City on Saturday and Ian Holloway was disappointed with the news. He said: "I don't know the full details yet but Reuben should not have done it. It sounds like he lacked restraint, lacked control and showed his immaturity, which is the reason he is out on loan anyway, so I am bitterly disappointed. The ban will take him past the date the loan spell expires but we might extend it. I need to speak to their manager first because I don't know if they want him. Some of his football is very good but you need to be mature about being a professional. I can't expect an 18-year-old kid to be totally right. I have to be understanding and listen to his side of it but hearing the bare facts, I am not going to be happy with someone who shows a lack of restraint on a football pitch. If someone is in your face, you have to deal with it. The last thing you do is take the law into your own hands."
Argyle won 7-1 at Penryn Athletic in the South Western League on Saturday. The goals were scored by Sam Malsom (3), Anthony Mason, Jamie Laird, Dan Smith, and Ryan Dickson. Stuart Gibson said: "The boys were really up for this game and served up an excellent all-round performance. I made certain demands at half-time despite us being three goals ahead and the lads followed them to the letter, so all in all it was a very good day." Argyle: Clapham, King, Kendall, White, Laird.J, Smith, Hopkinson, Duggan, Dickson, Malsom, Mason. Subs – Cayford, Davis, Gosling
Argyle's youth side lost 5-1 to QPR on Saturday, the goal scored by Martin Watts. Chris Souness said: We got exactly what we expected today against a good quality and much more physically developed side. We were looking for the players to shine through with character over the 90 minutes of this type of game and a few did themselves no harm whatsoever. We were disappointed to be three goals down at the break - not with the goals but the manner in which they occurred."
Argyle have been drawn away to Wigan Athletic in the third round of the FA Youth Cup. The tie must take place before December 16th. Stuart Gibson said: "When I told the boys on Friday, they were really pleased to be drawn against a Premiership club. The players are looking to test themselves against players of their own age, which shows that their confidence is sky-high after playing against men every week."
Ian Holloway was inspired by Winston Churchill to recall Bojan Djordjic for his start in more than a year and Djordjic rewarded his manager with a goal. "I thought we needed to freshen it up a little bit," said Holloway. "At Leicester, I thought, for the first time, we looked a bit tired, a bit jaded, and it was a bit of a Winston Churchill moment - never has so much been owed by so many to so few. I am using too few of my squad. I need to spread the pressure around a bit. I can't fault my boys and I certainly can't fault Bojan Djordjic today. He has shown, on a consistent basis, that he is going to give me what I'm looking for, and that's why he was rewarded with a place in my team. I thought he did fantastic. He showed that he wanted to play for my club and he was absolutely delighted to be back. I was expecting him to get a few more crosses in but he popped up with a goal. Wingers, wide men, it's all about end-product - end of story. I thought he got tired late on, which is understandable because the gulf between how fit you've got to be to play in the Championship and our reserve level is massive." Asked if Djordjic remained on the transfer-list, Holloway said: "He is at the moment, yes, and my 'phone hasn't rung off the wall. I can't understand why. Or maybe I can, if you get my drift. All I do is to say to my players, not what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Then I stand back and wait for the right reaction. If he continues to do what I want, I haven't got a problem. Certain players have ingrained habits and I don't put up with certain ingrained habits. It's always been between me and him. He's deserved the plaudits; he's deserved getting the goal. He played fantastic in the reserves in the week and he got rewarded with a first-team place. Whether he'll be in it next week, I don't know. It's all about spirit. It's not about individuals. It's about the team, it's about the badge, and it's about where you are going to go with this badge on your chest. Everybody has to earn that right - everybody - and they have to keep earning the shirt. That's how it is. Even John Terry and Wayne Rooney keep earning the badge on the shirt."
Ian Holloway hinted that he will be looking to add to his squad during the transfer-window following Argyle's 1-1 draw against Southend. "I can't ask any more from this lot," he said. "I've been whipping them on my stagecoach, and they have been galloping off. Maybe I need to put a couple more horses on, if I can, when the window opens. But how can I be upset with our away record? What we need is to start winning at home. If we can add that to our locker, then we'll all be very, very pleased. Hopefully that will turn around. This division is all about putting the ball in the back of the net. If we had got the second goal, I think we would have gone on to win the game. I felt we looked a decent side. We had a good shape about us. We got a fantastic goal. That's what we talk about - getting the ball in there, getting people on the move in the box. Djordjic was unmarkable, he arrived at exactly the right time, with his right foot. That was a good start for us. We knew it was going to be tough. From the reports we had from when Preston came here, we knew Southend have got life in them. You don't end up champions and get promoted two seasons in a row if you haven't got something about you. We knew that they were going to come at us but there was a period in the first half when I felt our final ball, when we actually won it back, needed to be a little bit brighter, a little bit sharper, a little bit more crisp. The people with the ball were fine, but the people off the ball ran in straight lines. We didn't really get the same sort of opportunities in the second half, the way Southend started, so you have to give them some credit. We knew what they had. People are disappointed we didn't beat a team that got promoted twice. I think we have come a long way in a very short time but, unfortunately, the thing we want now is three points on a regular basis. Are we quite there?"
Bojan Djordjic felt like he was back at the beginning of his footballing life as he helped Argyle gain a point at Southend. "It was actually hard to believe," he said. "It's been 13 months. That's a long time to be in the freezer. I feel like I am defrosting a little bit now. There's still a long way to go. I'm just happy that I got a goal and I had a chance for a run-out. I felt like I was playing my first professional game, to be honest. I went through problems with Tony Pulis, and I was put on the transfer-list because of my attitude, so, to come back and start a game felt very nice; it felt nice that I have shown the right attitude, as well. It is the first time in my life that I feel I have done something right. People have to understand the frustration that was through me when Tony Pulis was here. I was seeing other people getting in the team ahead of me even at the end of the season, not getting a chance, and not being treated that fairly, to be honest. That's behind me now, but I think I took that frustration into this season. When you come from a big club to a smaller club, it is not that easy. I was still thinking I was there, when I was here. You have to prove every single game, every single training session that you want to be part of this. I really do, otherwise I would have left a long time ago." Djordjic scored with a crisp right-foot shot following a build-up involving Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Paul Wotton, and then ran to the away dug-out in celebration. He said: "I saw Wottsy was going to put the ball in and I just gambled, and when the ball was coming to my right foot I thought 'Just make good contact on it and steer it towards the goal.' I was very surprised when it went in - but I was aiming. I got some stick off the boys that I ran to the gaffer but, when you have been in the freezer for 13 months, I think I ran to the man who opened the freezer for me." Djordjic had other chances in the game but could not add to his tally and give Argyle the win. "The one I was most disappointed with was when I played a one-two with Chuck on the right wing," he said. "I came inside Sodje and I actually had time but I didn't steady myself. I was actually a little bit off balance and I shot wide. From the resulting goal-kick, they scored. I can't be too disappointed, though, - I'm just happy to be back, playing in front of people, being in Plymouth Argyle's first team. It is a step to where I want to be - I want to play football; I want to be a regular - but it's still a long way from where I want to reach."
Argyle drew 1-1 at Southend United, the goal scored by Bojan Djordjic after 5 minutes. Argyle: McCormick, Connolly, Seip, Aljofree, Capaldi, Norris, Wotton, Nalis, Djordjic, Ebanks-Blake, Hayles. Subs - Buzsaky, Summerfield, Chadwick (not used - Larrieu, Sawyer). Attendance - 9,469. The usual excellent coverage can be found on Greens On Screen
Paul Wotton knows how hard a slog it is to climb two divisions and therefore what Southend have achived over the previous two seasons. "Southend went up via the play-offs and then they were champions last year, which is a fantastic achievement," he said. "It means they've got a good unit there and a good work-rate, plus good ability as well. They might be at the bottom of the league at the moment, but they've still got a decent side there. Roots Hall isn't an easy place to go to, and their fans will be backing them all the way. A lot of teams have got a good shape and a good work-rate, and I'm sure that's what Southend have got. We've been told they can play a little bit on their day as well, so we know it's going to be a tough old game." Argyle will want all three points at Roots Hall to keep up their quest for a place in the play-off zone, higher than some clubs with far bigger salary budgets. "Just because someone is picking up massive wages doesn't necessarily make them a good player," Wotton said. "You earn what you earn, and with good management, good guidance and good players around you - players who are willing to work that bit harder than other teams - then you get your rewards at the end of the day."
Ian Holloway faces some selection choices ahead of the trip to face Southend tomorrow. The reserve match with Swansea on Tuesday gave some players the chance to stake a claim for a place and they did not disappoint, "Swansea had a very young side out but we did things very well," said Holloway. "We switched very well to the shape we played late on against Cardiff. I thought that worked well with the players we had out there. I was very pleased but I was not very pleased with last Saturday. All week, we have rehearsed what we do. It was a very strong reserve team because everybody is fit and I enjoyed it, but it was against a very young Swansea side." Bojan Djordjic, in particular, was impressive against Swansea and Holloway added: "Bojan played very well. I used him on the opposite side and I thought that worked well because he could tuck in on his left-foot. He does not always get past people because he has not got the blistering pace to kick it and run past people. It was a fantastic goal and I was pleased because we spoke about it." The game gave fans the rare chance to watch Djordjic and Akos Buzsaky play in the same team. Holloway said: "We spoke about playing those two more attack-minded players. Apparently, we always lose when they both play in the same team. That is probably right in a 4-4-2 but in a 4-3-3, we would probably get away with it. Akos asked to play in the reserves because the boy loves playing. I don't think he was happy with his last performance and he scored a great goal in training yesterday. I think he has got a lot more in his locker that he can give us because his end product has got to be better at times. I let him have the Monday off and then he asked to play in the reserves. I told him he could play the second-half because we had already practiced with that team." Holloway's dissatisfaction with the display at Leicester may have opened the door for someone else, and Djordjic appears to be near the front of the queue. "He is very close to playing on Saturday because we did not play anything like we can at Leicester and I might freshen it up," said Holloway. "I did not like our performance last week for probably the first time since I have been here. Although we got back in and got a result, I thought it was a poor performance from us. We have got a full squad and I might freshen things up but I don't know yet." Holloway was not only pleased with the attacking of his team against Swansea and admitted that he was paying close attention to their defending after conceding two soft goals at Leicester. He said: "It all worked out well. I normally hate watching my reserves, always have. I have never had a big enough squad to have a good reserve team but it is different down here when everybody is fit. I thought some of the football and some of the defending was outstanding. I did not like the two goals we conceded at Leicester, so we have done a lot of work on that this week. We have also added a bit of forward play but my defenders still had to do the right things because they can get a bit sloppy. Some of the defending was a bit lazy and I did not like it at all. It could have cost us all three points." Despite the performance at the Walkers Stadium, Holloway has been delighted with the attitude of his squad. He said: "The percentage of effort that everybody has given me has been fantastic. Even the ones I have said that I don't like what they are doing have come back and shown me. I will keep looking because that is all I can do. I can't reward everybody with a place in the first-team. My decisions will be for the betterment of this club. It will not be about individuals and massaging their egos. I have got to get performances and results."
Ian Holloway has warned his players not to under-estimate Southend. He said: "We have got to go there with the right attitude. When we are at it, closing and pressing, and passing and moving, we are a good side. When we are not on full throttle, anybody can beat us. They have got Freddy Eastwood, who's probably starting to think he's a real good player, and he should do. He is a good player. Southend have got promoted two seasons running, which is a fantastic achievement, and they are used to winning. The reports I have had about them have said they have played ever so well for long periods of games, but when they let a goal in they start to crumble. They have dominated possession in lots of matches, so we have got a hell of a game on our hands and I'm really looking forward to it." Holloway has a lot of admiration for Southend manager Steve Tilson. "Tilly has done fantastically well," he said. "It's like us. It takes a while to establish yourself as a Championship side and that's what they are trying to do. Colchester had a bad start, but they have got a consistent run of games together now. Southend could be two minutes away from a consistent run. We have got to go there and understand that. I think my lot will be fine. I have been very pleased with their preparation this week and the spirit seems very good."
Paul Connolly believes Argyle are reaping the rewards from taking a more positive approach to away games this season. He said: "I haven't looked at the stats, but it has got to be one of the best away records in the league. Getting the late goal against Leicester has set us up brilliantly for Southend. I think the boys are really enjoying playing away from home, whereas a few years ago we were very nervous before games because of our record. Everyone always mentioned it, so it was hard for us, but now it's a case of sorting our home form out and making sure the away form continues as it is. I think the away form has been so good because of our style of play. The gaffer wants us to play the same way, home or away. Take last Saturday, for example. He made a substitution when it was 1-1. He didn't hold back. He went to win the game. He put Sylv on and played with three up front when we had the ball, but when they had the ball it was one up. A couple of managers in the past would maybe have thought: 'Let's take what we have got and shut up shop'. But the gaffer thought: 'No, we are going to win this' and I think that's the attitude we have got this season. He also put on Bojan as well, and we are just a lot more attacking away from home than before. It's the same at home." Connolly believes Holloway has been a breath of fresh air at Home Park since taking over at the end of June. He said: "The training is good and everyone is enjoying it. I think you can see that on the pitch. We are passing it around and we are all trusting each other with the ball. It's really enjoyable to play in, I must say." Southend are bottom of the table, but Connolly promised Argyle would not take them lightly. He said: "If we were to lose three matches on the spin we would probably be back down to where we were last season. We have got to keep the momentum going, but there are no easy games in this league. Southend may be rock-bottom, but there is no way we are going there thinking we are just going to brush them aside. They aren't going to let us do that. They are going to come flying out of the traps and they might see us as a chance to pick up points at home, which could benefit us. Freddy Eastwood is on fire at the moment and now he's looking more than likely to move to a Premiership club in January. At the end of the day, it's up to us to keep him quiet." Argyle have not played at Roots Hall for more than five years and Connolly will be playing there for the first time. He added: "It's a proper English ground by all accounts, so I'm looking forward to it. It should be a good game."
Marcel Seip is determined to banish the disappointment of picking up just two points in the last three games with a win at Southend. He said: "I don't know much about them but I think we have to go for three points because the last three games were a little disappointing. We played one of our best games against Birmingham and we lost, and then we probably played our worst game at Leicester and get a point. Sometimes you don't get what you deserve. Sometimes you play terrible and get points. We have to turn it around and play how we have played in previous games, and forget Leicester." Seip admitted that he was probably responsible for Leicester's second goal and said: "If I did not slip I would have the ball but it started ten seconds earlier because I could have maybe headed it back to the 'keeper. We have talked about it but once I slipped, there was nothing else we could do." Seip and his fellow defenders now face the challenge of Freddie Eastwood, and Seip admitted he did not know too much about the striker, other than the fact he scored in Southend's Carling Cup victory over Manchester United. Seip said: "I heard that he scored the free-kick against Manchester United but I don't know much about the other teams. We discuss the opposition but I don't care about other players. We have to think about how we are and, if we play our game, I think we can beat every team. If we keep our shape and do our job, we can win." Seip wasted no time in showing his value to Argyle after joining and Ian Holloway recently rewarded him with a longer contract. "I like it here and I am pleased that I could stay longer," said Seip. "I think it was fair to sign here because they gave me a chance in the first place, so I am happy with my new contract. I hope to improve on what I am doing now."
Gary Sawyer is continuing to impress Ian Holloway with his performances in training and with the reserves, and Holloway revealed that Sawyer will be on the bench for the trip to Southend on Saturday. "At the moment, Gary Sawyer will be substitute on Saturday," said Holloway. "I thought he was terrific in the reserves the other day and it will not be long before he is in the first-team if he keeps defending like that. I love what he does and I think he is getting better all the time. I am delighted he signed a new deal and it will not be long before he is in the team. The kid is flying and I also thought Luke Summerfield and Dan Gosling were terrific as well." Holloway also conceded that he would be reluctant to allow Sawyer to follow Reuben Reid out on loan. "I would lose him for 28 days," said Holloway. "I was lucky with Reuben because I knew I had cover but with Matty Doumbe's knee blowing up, it was a bit dodgy to let Sawyer go out. He was wanted by Torquay and I might have done that for his development. The two years he had on loan at Exeter has brought him on leaps and bounds."
Mathias Kouo-Doumbe will miss the trip to Southend on Saturday after a recurrence of his knee injury. Ian Holloway said: "Matty Doumbe has got a sore knee and he needs a scan. It is a recurrence of a previous injury. It is possibly the meniscus cartilage but we will have to wait and see. It is a concern to us and a concern to him. We have got to get it checked out. If it is a cartilage, you can sometimes play on. All players just want to know what it is and you never feel right until you know what it is. He is going to have a scan now. He is not fit for the weekend because if it is not the cartilage, I don't want to risk it." Hasney Aljofree has recovered from a slight achilles problem picked up in the draw at Leicester. Holloway said: "Hasney will be fine. He had a sore achilles at the start of the week but he is fine."
Newquay have applied to be reinstated into the South Western League Cup, and have Argyle disqualified. Argyle brought on Ben Joyce for the last seven minutes of last Saturday's first-round tie and Newquay claim that Joyce, who has played South Western League football for Newquay this season, was not registered to play for Argyle. The result of the appeal will not be known until the December management committee meeting
Ian Holloway insists Marcel Seip will travel with the team to Southend United, despite facing a court appearance next week. Holloway has no plans to drop Seip from his squad to face Southend, and said: "Definitely not. Why would I? He is fully-fit and, therefore, he is being considered for a place in the team."
Argyle's South Western League game against Wadebridge, scheduled for tonight, has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Bolitho Park
Argyle reserves beat Swansea City 3-0 at Home Park last night, the goals coming from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Cherno Samba and Bojan Djordjic. Argyle: Larrieu, Barness, Kouo-Doumbe, Sawyer, Laird.S, Djordjic, Summerfield, Gosling, Hodges, Samba, Ebanks-Blake. Subs - Buzsaky (not used - Saxton, Laird.J, Watts, Davis)
Marcel Seip has been charged with a public order offence following an alleged incident in the early hours of November 6th. He will appear before city magistrates on November 22nd
Lilian Nalis has paid tribute to the work ethic and the team spirit which have combined to give Argyle one of the best away records in the Championship this season. He said: "When we go out on the pitch and when we travel away, we are all friends. We are happy to be together, and we are happy to work hard for each other. That makes a big difference. When we have to get stuck in, we do it together." Asked what his feelings were when he scored against Leicester, one of his previous clubs, Nalis said: "Nothing. I'm in the game and we were losing 1-0 and we came back to 1-1 just after they scored. That's it, nothing too much. I don't want to say too much, because I have great respect for Leicester City." Barry Hayles was also on target at the Walkers Stadium and Ian Holloway was keen to hail Hayles' sixth goal of the season. "He's got a very big head and luckily it came off his head and went in the bottom corner. The lads call him 'Shrek'. I'm glad he got his head on it, and it was a fantastic bit of determination by Paul Connolly to set up the chance for Barry. Paul has been terrific over the last three or four games, I think."
Ian Holloway is in no hurry to reinforce his squad in time for the hectic schedule of Christmas fixtures. Argyle have until 5pm on November 23rd to make emergency loan signings but Holloway said. "I've got to get out and see players, but at the moment my lads are doing terrifically well. If there are people out there whom my scouting network has identified, I'll go and have a little look in the next couple of weeks, but I'll only bring somebody in if I need to. At the moment, I'm happy with everybody's progress." Holloway has confirmed that he is prepared to listen to clubs keen on borrowing other players who are not regulars in his first team, but when asked if he might consider allowing Romain Larrieu to go out on loan in the near future, Holloway said: "Not in a million years. I'm only one injury away from needing another goalie, and I've waited long enough for him." Larrieu might also face a long wait to dislodge Luke McCormick from the senior side though. "I like to reward people who do well for me, and it would be an absolute travesty if I left Luke out at the moment," Holloway added. "I know I've got a brilliant goalie who's now getting fit, I'll look at him in the reserves, but if it isn't broke then don't fix it. I've probably got two of the best goalies in the division." Argyle returned to training yesterday morning with no injury worries to deal with, including Akos Buzsaky, who failed to last the distance at the Walkers Stadium because of a sore ankle. "Everybody trained this morning," said Holloway, who was not entirely happy with the display at Leicester, adding. "I'll have to look at the balance of the team. Last Saturday was probably the first time I've felt a little bit disappointed with the overall performance, so it's almost a clean slate for next Saturday. I'll have a look at the reserves this week and I'll see what I can do. I'll try and pick the right team to beat Southend away."
Argyle's youth team won 3-0 against Newquay on Saturday in the South Western League Challenge Cup, the goals scored by Anthony Mason, Sam Malsom and Ben Joyce. Stuart Gibson said: "At the start of the season we were finding the physical side of games hard to handle. We were timid and wary, but now the squad is learning to compete and deal with that side of the game. It's a long, hard season and you are not going to be able to play well all the time, but the squad is learning to not play particularly well and still win. Although credit must go to Newquay, who never stopped working and tackling, I thought we played well in the first half, were workmanlike in the second and deserved to win." Argyle: Clapham, White, Laird.J, Hopkinson, Fenwick, Laird.S, Smith, Petnehazi, Mason, Malsom, Matts. Subs – Byrne, Joyce, Groves (not used - King, Kendall)
Barry Hayles came to Argyle's rescue on Saturday with a late, which gave them a point from a match in which they did not excel. "It was a tough game and we didn't play that well, to be honest," Hayles said. "Looking at the last ten or 12 games, that was probably the worst we've played, but we showed enough quality and we kept going and nicked a point in the end. We just didn't get ourselves going when we came out in the second half, but the lads deserve credit. We kept plugging away and luckily we won a free-kick. Tony delivered a good diagonal ball, it was knocked back across the box and I got my head on it. The 'keeper got a hand on it, but he couldn't keep it out." In injury time, Hayles created room for a shot which was well saved by Conrad Logan, denying Argyle an unlikely win. Hayles said: "I was put through on goal by Sylvan. By the time I looked up, the 'keeper was on me and I think I smashed it almost straight at him. It was a decent save, though." The goal Hayles did score was Argyle's second equaliser of the afternoon, following on from Lilian Nalis. Hayles said: "It was a great finish, after we'd gone behind to what we thought was a very dubious goal. We thought it was offside, but I don't think the linesman put his flag up once in the first half. There were a few times when they were clearly offside. We had to battle against the officials, but we kept going." For Leicester's second goal two Argyle players lost their footing, and Hayles added. "Marcel slipped, and unfortunately Luke McCormick slipped too as he came out. Their lad just went round him and slotted it in, and then you think you might come away with nothing, but the lads kept plugging away." For a while in the second half, Argyle had three strikers on the pitch as they went in search of a goal, but they were using their more familiar shape when they scored. "When we were three down to Cardiff we changed it to 4-3-3 and that brought us three goals," Hayles said, "but it's swings and roundabouts. Here it was 4-4-2 which worked." Next weekend the target will be more success on the road, at Southend United. "It will be a battle there," Hayles admitted. "We've got to go there and be solid."
Ian Holloway did not mince his words after Argyle twice came from behind to earn a point at Leicester yesterday. "That was as poor as we've been for a while," he said, "but that's life - we got one more point than we did last week, which is the madness of football. Sometimes, when you get a little bit of praise, it can affect your thinking and what you are doing. I don't think we played anything like we have been over the last few weeks, but I'd have been devastated if we'd come away from here with anything less than a point, to tell you the truth. If you look at the shots, I think Leicester had two attempts on goal and scored, so I'm very disappointed. At least we showed our character to keep going but we shouldn't have been 2-1 down. Today, we showed what we're all about - fantastic character." Holloway was convinced that Hume's early goal should not have stood, due to offside. "The stupid rules get on my nerves," said Holloway. "We played one of their centre-forwards offside when they scored a goal, and if that wasn't offside, I might as well give up. I was expecting the linesman to put his flag up for that. When he didn't, it was 'here we go - he wasn't interfering with play.' In a move like that, when you've got a bloke right up the middle, that ball could have been going for him as well. That's offside, in my book. It's very frustrating, but I felt we got our just deserts after that. It shows the character, again - we carved out a great goal for Lilian Nalis, which was nothing more than we deserved. FIFA should leave the game alone. Our offside rule is complicated enough as it is, and a lot of women don't understand it and can't get a Yorkie. At the end of the day, you have to have two defenders between the goal and the ball, and I saw today that their players weren't, but a goal stands. But there are far more important things in the world, really, so there we go. We've got to realise how far we've come. We're an evolving team. The ink's still wet on my contract - I haven't been here long - and I think we're getting better all the time."
Lilian Nalis refused to crow about his first goal of the season, at his former club. "We were losing 1-0 and we came back to 1-1 just after they scored, that as it, nothing special," said Nalis. "I don't want too say too much more about it because I have got great respect for this club. Tony did a great job. He recovered the ball from the corner kick and came in, so I dropped back a bit, he passed it to me, I had a shot, and it was a goal." Nalis agreed with Ian Holloway that Argyle have performed at a much higher level this season. "Today was probably not the best game we have played," he said. "When you consider Ipswich and Birmingham, it was not the same kind of play. We tried our best but, as a team, when you make the mistakes we made today, you are quite happy to get a point. A 90th minute equaliser got the point and we nearly won it two minutes later - it could have been a fantastic three points for us, but let's take the point, let's keep working, and we will see." Nalis put the comeback down to team spirit. He said: "We are all friends, we are all happy to be together, we are all happy to work hard for each other, and I think it makes a difference. When you go away from home and you score two goals, normally it is a game you should win, and there's a bit of disappointment. When you look at the goals we conceded, we could have done better. We got a point, it's in the past now, we have to carry on going, learn our lesson from today, think about Southend next week, and go forward."
Ian Holloway showed Hasney Aljofree little sympathy after the centre-back needed further treatment on his nose during the draw at Leicester City. "It's starting to look almost as big as mine now," said Holloway. "I just cheered him up and said: 'At least you haven't got the facial arrangement I've got - you're still a good-looking boy.' I've bust mine five times and can smell round corners now. I don't think he's too happy. He's getting married in the summer. Hopefully, she won't have any glasses yet, because that could be off."
Argyle drew 2-2 at Leicester City, the goals scored by Lilian Nalis after 31 minutes and Barry Hayles (90). Argyle: McCormick, Connolly, Seip, Aljofree, Capaldi, Norris, Wotton, Nalis, Buzsaky, Chadwick, Hayles. Subs - Ebanks-Blake, Djordjic (not used - Larrieu, Kouo-Doumbe, Summerfield). Attendance - 21,703. The usual excellent coverage can be found on Greens On Screen
Ian Holloway's message to his team this weekend is simple - keep going. "I just want to carry on with the way we've been going," he said. "The consistency and the performances have been good." Holloway is also not too unhappy about spending several hours on the road this weekend. "I'm quite relieved we're away from home," he added. "I still can't believe we only got one point out of six, considering the way we played. We'll need to be resilient and spring back, so that's what we'll try and do. Our unbeaten run has come to an end, so let's bounce back and try and win again. It will be a good test for us up at Leicester, it's a great stadium to go to, and I'm looking forward to it." Leicester are in the bottom half of the table, but Holloway will not be under-estimating the strength of the home side. "Anybody can win on any given day in this league," he said. "You've got to be consistent. We've done very well lately, but we're a little bit off the pace in terms of points now. We need to catch up. There's a little bit of a gap growing. We're five points away from Birmingham, which is a bit of a gutter, to say the least. We deserved a draw against them, but we've got to deal with it. We've got to look at what we've done well and at what we've got to do better, and get on with it." Argyle scored only one goal in their two home games last week, but Holloway has faith in his team's ability to find the net. "I'm not panicking," he said. "I think the people we've got here will find the net with the chances we're creating. I just need to sort out a little more movement for our wide men, because we've got to get behind people and cross it in a different way. If we keep coming back and crossing it in front of defenders, then we need a great big monster to win the headers. We need to get behind people and bend it in. I need my wide men getting crosses in."
Lilian Nalis will be returning to his old stomping ground when Argyle visit Leicester tomorrow. He said: "I had some great times at Leicester, so it is always enjoyable to go back there. This part of football is nice because you can go and see some old friends, and talk a bit but during the game it is another thing. It is nice to go back but it is going to be a fight. I have been back two or three times and always got a good reception. I enjoyed my time there and enjoyed my football. They were my first club in England and I learned a lot from them. I have great respect for the club." Nalis is expecting a difficult game, and said: "It will be a tough game. They play some good football at home and they have had some good results, and they have got some good players. However, if we keep doing what we are doing, working hard and believing in what we do, there is no reason why we can't get a result." Argyle are currently seventh in the Championship and it is a position Nalis feels the team deserves. He said: "I think being where we are now is always a surprise but we deserve it for the way we have worked with the manager and the way we have learned. We are really happy and you can't say it is a surprise with the way we are playing. With the games we have played at home we probably should be even higher in the league but that is the way it is. We have to keep working to go higher and higher." The main disappointment has been a frustrating habit of failing to get three points at home in games they have dominated, and Nalis added: "It is not necessarily easier when you go away from home but the team you are against is playing a proper game of football and not just trying to defend, so that may leave more space for us to try and get some goals. When you look at the two games between Ipswich and Birmingham, I think we deserved more than one point because we played really good football, maybe the best since the start of the season. We only have one point because we made a mistake at a set-piece, which is a really important part of the Championship. We have to continue to play in the same way and I think we can win games at home, and away from home. Birmingham played in the Premiership last season, so they have plenty of experienced players. It makes things a bit more difficult but if we had scored the goal we deserved, we would have won that game."
Ian Holloway has a fully fit squad to choose from for the first time this season. "Matty Doumbe is fit again and Lee Hodges played very well on Tuesday," said Holloway. "Hodges did well but I don't know about starting with him. I have got some tough dilemmas. For the first time since I have been here I have got a full squad to pick from, which is great. I count it as a full squad now because Romain was missing before." Holloway has some tough selection choices to make and he admitted that there would inevitably be some disappointed players. He said: "They are not many times in your managerial career that you get a full squad, so there will be some disappointed people. The bench is where your strength comes from. Most games are either won or lost from what you have got on the bench and that is a fact. I will pick the right team for each game but it will never be too far from what I picked in the previous game. I thought we played terrifically well against Birmingham, so I don't envisage too many changes."
Ian Holloway wants Tony Capaldi to be the next player to sign an extended contract. He said: "I'm going to have a word with Tony. We've left lots of calls with his agent and the fellow hasn't rung back, which is a bit rude, but I'm sure there's a reason for that." Holloway revealed that Argyle are also close to agreeing an extended contract with Luke Summerfield
Marcel Seip has set his sights on promotion to the Premiership after signing a long-term contract with Argyle. He said: "It's good to get the contract sorted out. I'm happy that I could sign here longer and the deal has been made. The last game was my first loss, but we have been playing well. It has gone well so far. It's a nice club with nice people. The lads are good. From the games I have seen and played in there has not been one team better than us so I think we have a decent chance to go up. That's one of the reasons why I wanted to stay here longer. We are a couple of points behind so we have to keep winning but, hopefully, after 46 games we will be in the first six." When Seip first signed for Argyle he thought his aggressive style of defending would be better suited to England than Holland - and that has proved to be the case. "I had seen a lot of English football and here they don't look at how you are on the ball," he said. "Your first job is to defend, and that's why I like it here." Seip also admitted there were not many managers in Holland to compare with Holloway. He said: "In Holland, there is a gap between the players and the manager and his staff. Here, we are in the same dressing room. You are a lot closer to the manager, and that's what I like."
Ian Holloway has revealed that players are now calling him and Gary Penrice with a view to joining Argyle, rather than the other way round. Holloway said: "I am now getting phone calls from players wanting to come to Argyle, instead of the other way round. Gary Penrice is looking to replace every single one of my players in case of injuries or people moving on. That is his job and he is working very hard." The more immediate concern for Holloway has been securing his current players on longer deals with Paul Connolly, Marcel Seip and Gary Sawyer all signing contract extensions in the last couple of weeks. "It is nice to get things sorted out," said Holloway. "Paul Connolly's last two performances have probably been the best since I have been here. It is not a very nice time when you are re-negotiating a contract because you can take it very personally. You never get offered what you deserve. It is only ever what you can negotiate." Holloway also revealed that he would now consider sending Gary Sawyer out on loan if the right offer was made. He said: "I could not do it last week because of the injuries we had but maybe I could now if I got the right phone call. I like the kid. I think he has got one hell of a chance." Luke Summerfield is another player Holloway has been hugely impressed with and wants both him and Sawyer to spend plenty of time bulking up in the gym. Holloway said: "The other day, in the friendly, Luke Summerfield probably scored the goal of the season. If that was a Premiership player doing what he did, everybody would be shouting about it. He is a fantastic player with such vision. He came on against Barnsley and almost played the best pass I have ever seen. He reversed it and just needed a little more height but it is great just to see that type of pass. It is very difficult because youngsters need to play and they gain from playing. I think he is almost ready for the Championship anyway. There is a lot of work off the field we need to do with both Summerfield and Sawyer. We have to get them in the gym and it will be done. They are joining me on this long path. At the end there is a gold effigy of them as strong as they want to be and as good as they want to be. Every single day they are working towards that, whether I pick them or not. If they veer off the path, I will pull them back on it. If they go off twice for the same reason, I will shove them off and they won't ever see me again because they are wasting my time." Holloway also confirmed that Anthony Barness is available to other clubs. "As a family man, you can't go rushing around the country if your wife is expecting," he said. "His name has been out there for a while but the most important thing was getting his wife and new baby sorted. Hopefully, by the end of the season we will find him what he deserves. If not, he will still be here and I have got no problem with that. He is a great fella, a great trainer and a good player. He will be frustrated because he is not being picked but I am not paid to keep them all happy."
Bojan Djordjic is ready and willing to make the most of his return to the first-team squad. He said: "It's been an interesting season. It's been a learning process. When I came back for pre-season I hoped for a new start and I got that. The gaffer gave me an honest opportunity and I played in every pre-season game. I would be lying if I told you that I wasn't disappointed when I didn't get picked for the first game, but maybe I shouldn't have sulked. Maybe I should have put more effort and more work into it. People say to me that, when I'm angry, everybody can see that. It shouldn't be like that, really, but it was also the frustration from last season at not being involved when I felt that I should have been involved more. Sitting there for almost eight months not playing under Tony Pulis, it builds up. It was still there, even when I came back and Ian Holloway was in charge." That frustration was a factor in Djordjic finding himself taking on opponents who would not normally have been on his agenda. "I played at some interesting stadiums," he said. "I've been down to Porthleven, I've been away to Torpoint, I've played against St Austell." Djordjic took the SWL games seriously, and did what he could to help his young team- mates, and he added: "If I had wanted to leave this club, I would have left a long time ago. That's what people need to understand. I know people have said that I'm on the transfer list but no clubs want me, but if I had really wanted to leave I could have asked. I could have gone back home if I didn't want to stay here and prove myself. I want to say: 'Listen, this is me. I can break into the side because I'm good enough.' It's been hard at times. You sit at home and you don't see any light at the end of the tunnel, but I've been trying to work even harder so that the rewards will come. Sometimes life isn't fair, but you learn from it. It was a big shock to find myself on the transfer list. I'm not going to lie. I thought I did well when I came on in the first two games of the season against Wolves and Colchester, and it was acknowledged. I came on as well against Sheffield Wednesday, when we lost, and then I was left out of the squad against Walsall. I could easily have thrown the towel in, I could have said I'm injured and not played in the South Western League, but I didn't. I said to myself: 'I've been at big clubs, and I want to show why people have seen something in me.' I wanted to prove to myself and to the manager that I want to play for him, and I'm trying to do that." The hard work in training is paying off, it seems. "I feel much fresher," Djordjic said. "I feel that I can run more, I feel like I can close people down, I feel like I can do something to change a game. It's hard to do that in 15 or 20 minutes when you come on late in a game, but even if you only get five minutes you need to go on as if that's the last five minutes of your life. That's the way I play football. I love this game too much to give in and give up, but sometimes this game drags me down as well. But it's a privilege, I know that. I kick a ball around and I get paid." Ian Holloway has not abandoned Djordjic, and the midfielder is looking forward and is in a positive mood. He said: "The manager has offered me a chance, and I've tried to do my best and he has acknowledged that. You can never please everybody, but the only thing I can do is work hard. The team are playing good football, and I'm hoping for more playing time and that we as a team can push on and be even better."
Luke Summerfield is ready to be patient as he waits for a first team recall. He said: "Lately, I have had itty-bitty sub appearances, which I can't argue with at my age. I want to get back in the team but, if it's itty-bitty, I will still work as hard as I'm doing now. The team has been doing outstanding, even on Saturday when we were unlucky to lose to Birmingham. Every performance we have had in the last month has been superb, to be fair. You can't knock any of the lads. They have all been excellent. I'm going to have to be patient. I will keep working hard and putting the sessions in, but Plymouth doing well is all that really matters." Ian Holloway has regularly praised Summerfield since taking over at Home Park and that has been a shot in the arm for the midfielder. He said: "Ollie has been magnificent with everybody, but he has given me a chance in the first team and I owe him a lot for that. I will keep working hard and, hopefully, I will get the rewards later on." Summerfield has been very pleased to play in 10 of Argyle's 16 Championship matches this term. He said: "Pre-season went well and I played in all of the games so it was a good way to start. It's always important to have a good pre-season, especially at my age when you need a decent platform to build from." Summerfield provided further evidence of his ability when he scored a spectacular goal against Cardiff City in a friendly on Tuesday, and he added: "I got a good ball in from Bojan and I just turned and ran forward. Cherno was shouting for the ball but, as I looked up, I saw the goalie was off his line and I thought 'I might as well have a go'. Luckily, it paid off for me." Summerfield's father, Kevin, was at the match. "It was good to see my dad," Luke said. "It made it a bit better playing in front of him. It was a good game and nice to get 90 minutes under my belt again."
Argyle won 2-0 in yesterdays friendly with Cardiff City at Tiverton, the goals scored by Dan Gosling and Luke Summerfield. Geoff Crudgington said: "I thought we were excellent in the first half, but as tends to happen with friendlies it petered out at the end. Still, the lads worked hard, all of them, and it was good for Romain and Lee to get another 90 minutes under their belts." The team included substitute Finnish trialist Janne Turpeenniemi, a midfielder recommended by a contact of Des Bulpin. Argyle: Larrieu, Barness, Sawyer, Laird.S, Hodges, Djordjic, Summerfield, Gosling, Dickson, Mason, Samba. Sub - Turpeenniemi
Anthony Barness looks set to leave Argyle when the transfer window opens in January. Ian Holloway said: "He has just become a dad for the second time. Hopefully, by January his situation will improve for him and his family. He's a lovely bloke, I have got to say, and he will do a great job for another club, but I need to push Paul Connolly with somebody else. That's just the way it is. He will be out of contract next summer and I'm just trying to help him in his career."
Bojan Djordjic is still transfer-listed, although that could soon change, according to Ian Holloway. Djordjic has recently been restored to the senior squad and made his fifth appearance of the season as a substitute on Saturday against Birmingham. Holloway said: "I looked at the Birmingham game and felt we might need somebody to unlock the door, and we did. I thought Bo did ever so well when he came on but whether he will be involved at Leicester this weekend, who knows? That's what having a squad is all about." Holloway insisted he had never fallen out with Djordjic and only ever wanted to get the best out of him. He added: "I only look for value for money when it comes to my players. If he knuckles down like he did in training last Friday then I will reward him. If I see that on a regular basis I will take him off the transfer list. I want to develop him into a great player and I will not do that by pussy-footing around him and not telling him the truth."
Marcel Seip has signed a contract with Argyle until the summer of 2009
Ian Holloway has confirmed that he insisted on a 24-hour recall clause when agreeing to let Reuben Reid stay on loan for a second month at Kidderminster Harriers. Holloway said: "Their manager asked me if he could stay for longer and we have got a 24-hour call-back, so I think it's perfect. You aren't allowed to have a call-back in the first month of a loan so I did take a bit of a gamble. I have had a chat with Reuben and he's enjoying it there. He quite likes his strike partner and they get on really well. His manager says he's doing everything asked of him, which is all that matters. With Reuben, I think it's all about playing games. If he stays at too low a standard he will get bad habits. Playing for our youth team or the reserves is too easy for him. And there is nothing on those fixtures. He needs to play real football."
Marcel Seip has been arrested on suspicion of affray following an incident outside a Plymouth nightspot in the early hours of Monday morning. A spokesman for Argyle said: "The club is fully aware of an incident involving one of our senior players. That incident is now subject of the legal process and, in light of that, the club feels any further comment at this stage would be inappropriate."
Mathias Kouo-Doumbe is expected to return to full training on Thursday after a knee injury. There were plans for the knee to be scanned but Paul Maxwell revealed they had been dropped because it had improved considerably over the weekend. Maxwell said: "It looks like he took a whack on the knee and it just puffed up. It's not actually in the joint, which was where we first thought, but it's more generally around the knee. It had settled down quite a bit but over the weekend it got even better. We let it settle for one more day yesterday and we will do a little bit today and on Wednesday and then he will join in training on Thursday. He will be fine for the weekend, I think."
Gary Sawyer is determined to repay the faith shown in him by Ian Holloway, after signing his new contract. He said: "To get a contract of that length is really good for me. I'm just delighted the gaffer has shown a bit of faith in me. I knew it would be tough for me this season, coming back to the club. It's a massive gap from the Conference to the Championship and I knew I wouldn't be able to get into the team straight away. So it's nice to have this contract as a sort of insurance, knowing I can work towards that aim and I have got the time to do it. It takes a load of pressure off me. Obviously, now I can try to settle down and enjoy my football. When you are only on one-year contracts it gets halfway through a season and then you are not really sure what's going on. I'm delighted it has been tied up now and I'm really happy to be playing my football here." Sawyer added that he enjoyed working with Holloway and thought it would benefit him in the long term. "He's a great gaffer and a really nice bloke," he said. "He's a good motivator and if anyone can get us to the Premiership I think it's him, to be honest. He has got such an energy and I think you need that here because of where we are on the map. The big-name players don't tend to come down this far. Barry Hayles was a big player to come here. That probably took a bit of persuading by the gaffer. But we have a great team spirit that I don't think you will get anywhere else, so this is a better place to be." Holloway has spoken in glowing terms about Sawyer and admitted he was getting closer to challenging for a first team spot. Holloway said: "I think Gary Sawyer is going to be an outstanding young gentleman and an outstanding young player. He needs to work on one or two things but he's very close to pushing my senior ones in the first team. I don't see anything stopping him being a top-level player. He's quick, he's hungry and for someone who is not the tallest he's great in the air. He can play at left-back or as a left-sided centre-back, and I think he could maybe even play the holding role in midfield. I like everything about him. He's an absolutely top-class young gentleman. I never pull any punches or tell any lies. I'm very proud of him and so should his family. I know they are." Sawyer has only had limited first team opportunities so far, but patience will be the key. Holloway said: "It's hard to learn your trade in the Championship. That's the problem Sylvan Ebanks-Blake will have, and Nick Chadwick. That's why I have loaned out Reuben Reid. You need to play games to learn." Sawyer has relished his limited experience of playing in the Championship this season, and is eager for more. He said: "This time last year I was playing in the Conference. To even be on the bench against a team like Birmingham on Saturday was fantastic. It seemed miles away last season. We played them at Exeter in a pre-season friendly and there was such a gap then, and now I'm playing in the same league as them. There are some great players in the back four and it's going to take me a while to get in, but I will not stop trying. I will do my best and if I'm good enough I will get in. I do appreciate the fact that when you are a young player you don't get as many chances to get in at the back. It is harder, and it is frustrating sometimes. But, obviously, with the new contract being signed now it's not such a worry. For me, that's a big plus."
Luke McCormick is hoping the fans who were at Home Park on Saturday will come back again, even though Argyle were beaten by Birmingham City. He said: "We were well aware there were more people inside the ground today. The gaffer has been saying for so long how he wanted more to come along. It's just a shame we haven't been able to get the result we wanted. Hopefully, they will be happy with the performance and they will realise the boys put in a lot into it and were just unfortunate on the day." McCormick was powerless to prevent Jaidi scoring with his close range header but, other than that, he did not have a save to make all match. He said: "Yet again, we are coming out of a game feeling very hard done by. I don't think I have had a save to make, but they have popped up from a corner and the lad has headed it brilliantly, to be fair. We are disappointed not to get anything out of the game. We have got to start killing teams off. We saw it on Tuesday night with Ipswich, but I think it will come. It's still very early on in the season and come this Saturday, hopefully, we can put that right. At least we are creating the chances. That's the main thing. We are actually getting in the positions." Holloway preached a positive message to his players after the defeat and McCormick added: "The manager said to us after the game that we have got to realise how far we have come in such a short space of time. We are going into every game now believing we can win, and that's something we haven't done for a long time. It's credit to the lads that's the case. Birmingham have spent a lot of money and have got some great players, but we still feel we should have got something out of it."
Argyle's youth team beat Tavistock 2-0 on Saturday in the South Western League, the goals scored by Shane Duggan and Dan Smith. Argyle: Sandercombe, King, Laird.J, Gosling, Kendall, Laird.S, Smith, Duggan, Mason, Davis, Dickson. Subs - Malsom (not used - Grant, Groves, Fenwick)
Paul Connolly has signed a one-year contract extension, which will see him remain at Argyle until 2008
Argyle were unlucky against Birmingham City on Saturday, according to Akos Buzsaky. He said: "Nobody likes losing, and it was very disappointing because I felt we played well. They didn't have many chances to score, maybe just from set-pieces. We were unlucky, but I'm sure if we work as hard we can win our next game. We will keep looking forward. It should not be a problem to lose one or two games. It is a long season, and we will keep working hard and doing our best." Playing so well and losing might have seemed especially disappointing, but Buzsaky said: "Football is all about picking up points. It doesn't matter if you play well or bad, you have to pick up points. We gave our best and we tried hard to play well, but we couldn't win the game. That's life. We had some good chances, and I don't think Birmingham were better than we were, even though they are a big club with great players. All we can do now is look forward and try to get a result against Leicester." Winning away from home has proved easier for Argyle than at Home Park, where they have won only twice so far this season. "Maybe teams sit back against us at home, and it doesn't really suit us to try to create chances against a standing defence," Buzsaky added. "Now we are away at Leicester and Southend in our next two games, and we will try hard to pick up six points." Buzsaky also feels that the home crowd could do more to boost the team. He said: "It was a big crowd, but I still feel that they could help us a little bit more. In the last ten minutes of the game, when we were 1-0 down and we had some corners and free-kicks, I didn't feel that all of the stadium was getting behind us and helping us to score a goal."
Argyle's youth side drew 1-1 with Bristol Rovers in Saturday's Youth Alliance fixture, the goal scored by Mark Petnehazi
Ian Holloway remained his normal positive-self after yesterdays defeat to Birmingham City. "I don't think we are a million miles behind them, if at all," he said. "I am devastated that we lost 1-0 today but, in my heart, I am delighted that my boys can take the game to a club like Birmingham." Goalscorer Jaidi was allowed the freedom of the penalty area and Holloway admitted it was down to confused messages after Nick Chadwick was replaced by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. Chadwick had picked up Jaidi at corners and Holloway conceded that he had probably given his replacement, Ebanks-Blake, too many instructions before he went on. "I took off Nick Chadwick and maybe I should have told Sylvan to mark his man," said Holloway. "I wanted Barry Hayles to pick him up but, whether he was told or not, I don't know but those are the margins of error. I told him to tell Hayles to pick him up but Sylvan had to go on there with three different instructions. Their 'keeper caught too many of our corners and they hit their bloke on the head, and he smacked it in the top corner." Holloway was still pleased with the performance and singled-out Hayles for praise, both in the way he plays and the influence he has on the younger members of the squad. He said: "Once again, I felt we were absolutely terrific. Hayles experience and where he gets to is different class. I think he was better than anything they had on the field and how much are they spending? He is helping my youngsters learn and we are doing this with unproven young players. Luke Summerfield is 18 and he has come on. I am delighted with them and this time last year, we would have been trying to shut up shop and now we are disappointed because we gave Birmingham one hell of a game." Despite his satisfaction with the performance, Holloway admitted that his team must start to take their chances. "You have got to finish it off when it is one-way traffic," said Holloway. "They are on a roll and they have got spirit. They kept their shape well, kept their discipline well and when little McSheffrey went up front, they looked quite scary because he is lively. I tried to sign him a couple of years ago but he was too expensive. I was probably more upset the other night in a funny way. It is a weird old game. I am still very proud of how we are playing but I am just annoyed about their corner. That is two separate corners in the last two games we have conceded from." The attendance of just over 17,000 was hugely encouraging and Holloway is hoping they will come back again, despite the loss. He said: "They have gone away unhappy because we have lost. Birmingham are Birmingham and we are Plymouth, and we are a big club. Just because our suit might not cost as much, it still looks very nice. We are dressed very smartly and we are trying our best. The stats we are producing are fantastic and I think they are getting better all the time." Holloway will not be panicked into signing new players as Argyle push for the Premiershp, as he insisted that sealing the contracts of the players he already has is the top priority. He said: "I want four or five of my players re-signed first. They have shown me what I want. There were only three players I have added out there and that was Seip and Hayles, and then on came Ebanks-Blake. It speaks volumes for what we had here before. They are starting to believe in themselves like they used to when they climbed up two divisions. I am very pleased with how they have responded to what we are trying to do and what we are trying to put in place. The first-team makes a football club tick and I think this place is buzzing at the moment. Even though we lost today, everybody I bump into thinks we are playing great attacking football. I really do believe that we can get into the Premiership and we have to build the foundations right. I want to drag in the best kids from the area. If we can't afford to buy, then we have got to produce them ourselves. We are working towards the Premiership. I got there when I was 29 but I should have been there a lot earlier."
Argyle lost 1-0 to Birmingham City at Home Park. Argyle: McCormick, Connolly, Aljofree, Seip, Capaldi, Norris, Wotton, Nalis, Buzsaky, Hayles, Chadwick. Subs - Ebanks-Blake, Djordjic, Summerfield (not used - Larrieu, Sawyer). Attendance - 17,008.
Playing against Birmingham today will be a special treat for Tony Capaldi. "It's a game to look forward to," he said. "They're my home-town team and my first club, so this game means a lot to me. I supported Birmingham when I was growing up, but I've never played against them before." Only three and a bit years have passed since Capaldi left St Andrew's, but there are not too many of his former colleagues in the City squad nowadays. "Mat Sadler, Stephen Clemence, Damien Johnson and Matthew Upson were all there when I was there, but I think that's about it," he said. "I was disappointed I never played for their first team, but the next best thing will be playing against them and beating them. We'll see how it goes, it will be a tough game, but it's definitely one to relish." Capaldi was left out of the Northern Ireland squad by Lawrie Sanchez after the defeat to Iceland in September and admitted afterwards that it is hard to do yourself justice in international football when you are playing in an unfamiliar position. Now, though, Capaldi is looking increasingly at home in defence. "It's the first time I've been out of the Northern Ireland team since I made my debut, and now I'm playing left-back for my club," he said. "It takes a bit of getting used to. You have to learn when to hoof the ball up the park or head it clear, when sometimes if you're playing in midfield you'd try and get it down and pass it. But I'll do my best in any role I'm given by the club, and as long as I'm playing I'm happy. Defending is not something that comes naturally to me and it's something that I've got to work on, but I'm working hard in training and, with the team doing so well, it makes it a lot easier for everyone. It's enjoyable playing for Argyle at the moment. We're playing some good stuff, and it's good to be a part of it."
Ian Holloway's attempts to bring Tim Breacker to Home Park have had to be put on hold. Breacker is still being paid by QPR, but is not part of John Gregory's staff. Holloway wants to hire him, but an agreement that had almost been reached with the London club seems to have collapsed. "I feel for Tim at the moment," Holloway said. "QPR are being a bunch of idiots. They're still paying him, but they've reneged on certain things that they said they were going to do and there's no deal any more. I can't understand it, to be perfectly honest with you. I don't what QPR are doing. It's absolute madness. I don't think you should treat people like that, and I'm very, very, very disappointed, to say the least."
Ian Holloway will restore Barry Hayles to his starting line-up for today's match with Birmingham City. Holloway however, would not disclose whether it will be Nick Chadwick or Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who will make way. He said: "Barry will be playing and, as for the other two, one of them won't be, but that's life. Barry was probably aggrieved he didn't start on Tuesday, but I felt Chadders and Sylvan did so well up at Palace that they deserved to play. I thought they looked a little bit tired on Tuesday, but I'm delighted I've got them and they will only improve. Barry has improved over the years. He's 34 and you can see he's got that experience that the other two haven't quite got yet, but they're working on it. They're valuable members of my squad, big-time." Birmingham have won their last three games, and are fourth in the table. "This is our biggest test so far," Holloway said, "but we're on a good run ourselves so let's see what we can do. I think we're playing very well, and we'll need to be to beat Steve Bruce's team. Steve's a great fellow, but I shall be looking to try and whup him tomorrow! If my team can do that, I shall be more than proud of them again." Argyle fell behind in the first minute against Ipswich on Tuesday, but pleased their manager with the way they responded. "After their goal, which I thought was a very good goal, I thought we were absolutely terrific and how some of those chances didn't go in I don't know," Holloway added. "I've just told them: 'Well done, I'm very proud of you, now let's get on with it again.' I think we're improving, and we're looking more and more like the sort of team I want them to be." Even the players not in the first team are impressing Holloway. "In today's training," he added, "that's as bright as I've seen Bojan Djordjic since I've been here. I had to notice it, I couldn't ignore that. I played a practice game, 11 against 11, and it was very refreshing. Both teams were showing good habits, but that was our coursework. The examination comes on Saturday."
Mathias Kouo-Doumbe is out of todays game with Birmingham City. Ian Holloway said: "Matty Doumbe is not fit. He is definitely ruled out. He has not trained for the last couple of days because of a swollen knee, so he is out. Hasney will come in and he is fine." Lee Hodges is another absentee as he continues his recovery from a knee problem, and Holloway wants him to play in the friendly against Cardiff on Tuesday as part of his continued rehabilitation. "Hodges is out there training but he needs to play in the friendly next week," said Holloway. "He has a medial knee ligament problem, which is horrible because whenever you catch it slightly wrong on your toe or your ankle, or you strike a shot, it hurts and you feel like it might go again. That happens for weeks. He has only played 60 minutes and we need at least another reserve game to feel confident in what he is doing. There is competition for places and we have done very well since he has been out, and that is an occupational hazard. He gives me another option, a left-footed option but Akos Buzsaky has gone in there and done very well."
Ian Holloway is confident Marcel Seip will sign a new deal with Argyle within the next few days. "As far as I am concerned, we have agreed a deal with his agent," he said. "He has done very well so far. I don't think we have lost since he has been starting for us and it is a great thing. He has added to us on and off the field. Despite the language barrier, his English is very good, and he is a very decent human being. I have been very pleased with how he has settled into the group. It is all about the group, the team, the squad, and he has added to that. He has been rewarded by being penciled into the team. If you look at Leon Cort for Crystal Palace last week, who cost £1m, I think we have had a bit of a bargain."
Gary Sawyer has agreed a new deal with Argyle, signing a contract which ties him to the club until 2009
Reuben Reid has had his loan spell to Kidderminster extended to a second month
David Norris is confident that Argyle are on the brink of producing a consistent winning run at home. He said: "I think luck has had a big part to play in the results at home, because we've been playing well. If the performances had been bad, then we might have had to look at something else, but we have been doing well at home. Maybe we could have done with a bit more composure at times, but we're creating chances and playing well so we've just got to keep going. The crowd are appreciating the performances we're putting in. If we weren't playing well, then we might get a different reaction, but they are appreciating what's going on and we've been getting a good response from them." Argyle face Birmingham City at Home Park tomorrow, a club that has spent millions of pounds, but Norris is adamant that Argyle can take on anybody in the division on without cause for trepidation. "That fear factor has gone now," he said. "We've been in this league for two seasons and we can look forward to the big teams coming down here without worrying about them." Not for the first time this term, Norris collected the man of the match award after Tuesday's game against Ipswich. "I'm really happy with my own form," he said. "The team seems to be clicking as a whole and I'm glad to be a part of that. It's going well for me, which seems to have carried on from last season. I just hope I can keep the consistency in my game. The gaffer doesn't mind you moving away from our shape to cause problems as long as you can get back for when we have to defend. He gives us that freedom going forward, not just the men up front but the midfielders as well, and so far it's working for us."
Ian Holloway has urged his team to sharpen up their shooting for tomorrow's game with Birmingham City. Holloway had the players in for special shooting training after seeing his side frustrated by Tuesday's draw with Ipswich. "Is it luck or is it finishing?" he said. "That's why we've worked on finishing in training. Having said that, as a manager I'd be more worried if we weren't creating chances. I thought it was a terrific performance on Tuesday night. It was one of the best performances this team has given me - except for the goals. Now our form is very good, we need to turn these draws into wins." Holloway does not feel that the result against Birmingham will act as a yardstick for his side's chances of remaining near the top of the table for the rest of the season. "It's a big game for us - there's no doubt about that," he said. "They are a good team and they will be a good test for us. But every game is a yardstick. Our aim this season is to try and blitz the best points tally this club has ever had in this division. Our target is to win the league and if we can't do that, to finish in the play-offs. And if we can't do either of those, then beat last year's points target. That's our starting point and my job as a football manager is to make sure I improve and the team improves year-upon-year. Your team has to get better and the squad must get stronger otherwise you lose the faith of the fans. As long as you keep moving forward - you should keep your job. It's false to talk about where we are now, it just breeds expectation and disappointment. In my view, it's all about moving from point A, which is the start of the season, to point B which is the end of the season. What we have to do is work towards improving by then. So in terms of success, we've done nothing yet." Holloway defended his opposite number Steve Bruce, whose five-years at St Andrews appeared under threat earlier this season. "They've won four in a row, which just shows you what football is like," said Holloway. "Steve Bruce got them promoted once and they stayed up there for a while, and now everybody is writing him off. What a mistake that is."
Tony Capaldi will fulfil a long-held ambition when he plays against his home-town club Birmingham City tomorrow. Capaldi began his football career as a trainee at St Andrews but failed to break into the first team and was lured to Home Park by Paul Sturrock in 2003. To add to his pre-match nerves, Capaldi's parents, family and friends are all travelling down for the match. So, no pressure then? "No, not really, I'm just looking forward to the match," said Capaldi. "Birmingham are both my home-town and my first club so, obviously, this game in particular means a lot to me personally. I supported Birmingham when I was growing up but I've never played against them before. I'll know one or two of the players from my time at City, but not too many others - they are a much-changed team from when I was there. I'll have my mum and dad, brother, cousins and a few mates coming down for the match - we targeted this game when the fixtures came out in the summer. My brother is a season ticket holder at City and, obviously, the rest of the family and also my friends are all Birmingham fans. There will be a fantastic atmosphere because I know City will bring with them a large travelling support. It's quite an easy trip for supporters from Birmingham to get to Plymouth. So tomorrow will be something special. But my priority is to do my best for Argyle and make sure that City go home empty-handed. They are on a good run and look like they have got to grips with the football in the Championship after getting relegated last season. I think both Birmingham and West Brom will be the sides who will be favourites to go up with the bookies. City have a lot of good players, but so have Argyle and we've proved that we can more than hold our own this year. It'll be a tough game - they all are in this league, to be honest. We'll need to keep it tight early doors and not let them dictate the game to us. We have shown this season that we're a match for anyone and with the Argyle fans backing us, I think we can give a good account of ourselves." Despite being preferred at left-sided midfield by Sturrock, Bobby Williamson and Tony Pulis, Ian Holloway has identified the left-back berth for Capaldi. "I don't care which position the gaffer plays me in, just so long as I'm playing," he said. "Hopefully, I can do a decent job in both positions. I'm just happy to be part of a very good team."
Akos Buzsaky is back as a regular in the Argyle team and thoroughly enjoying life after a difficult 12 months. "It has not been a simple year because I have been struggling with injury since November last year," he said. "I did not play much last season and, although I was training with the team, I was not 100%." The arrival of Ian Holloway should have heralded a new beginning for Buzsaky but a groin operation was a major interruption to his pre-season preparations. He said: "I had an operation in the summer and the problems surrounding the operation were a little hard. I am now back and very pleased with Argyle and with my life at the moment. When you are a football player, playing is your job and I don't think it is possible to be happy when you are not doing your job. If you are not playing then you see life differently. For example, when you play you can switch off any problems in your life. I am playing and doing my job, so other problems do not seem so important. Of course I miss my family and I miss my friends but this is the way my life is going at the moment and I have to accept it, and give my best." In contrast to the defensive approach adopted by Tony Pulis, Argyle are playing a more open game under Holloway and it is a style that encourages Buzsaky to show his full repertoire of skills. "I am really enjoying playing at the moment because I think we are playing good football," he said. "It is not attractive football in every game but, as you can see, the team shape and spirit has been fantastic. We have got some very, very good results and if we could turn some of the home draws into wins then we could be second in the table, or even first. The best thing is that we have not played a team this season that have been better than us. Cardiff were probably one of the best teams we played. They played very well in the first-half but we changed everything in the second-half and got a draw. We lost against Southampton but it should have been a draw. We lost at home to Sheffield Wednesday but we tried to attack them and they beat us on the counter attack. All of the draws at home we should have won. Wolves, Burnley, QPR and even the last game against Ipswich should have been wins. Ipswich scored from one corner at the beginning of the game and then we had six or seven great chances but could not score the winner. We don't have to be upset about that because football is like that. if you play like that, you are going to win games for sure." Buzsaky was occasionally criticized by Pulis for not working enough in the defensive area but he feels this has been rectified under Holloway. Buzsaky said: "In England, the only way you can be better than anyone else is to play the way the English players play and then give your extras. You have to do the same things like chasing, tackling, running a lot. If you can do that, you can be better with your extras. I understand that and I try to give my best. Buzsaky's ability on the ball has come to the attention of many observers but he insists that it is all irrelevant if the team is not winning. He said: "I am very happy if people think that way because it makes you feel very good. To be honest, the main thing is to win games. It does not matter if they say you are a good player when you are not winning games. The fans always remember the players that are scoring the goals or doing the extra things on the pitch but it is a team game. For example, Real Madrid bought the best players in the world but they could not win a trophy because it was not a team. They had Beckham, Cassano, Ronaldo and many more but they did not have success. At the moment, I think we are a very good team and we work hard for each other. We have gone behind a couple of times but we have the spirit to fight back and turn the game in our favour, and that is fantastic." The Hungarian national team is another side-issue for Buzsaky after more than a year out of the picture. "This question is hard to answer because there is one coach and he picks the team," said Buzsaky. "Not being selfish but if I play here in this division, I think I should be involved with the national team because not many Hungarians are playing at the high level that I am playing at the moment. The other Hungarians that play in this division, such as Zoltan Gera and Gabor Kiraly are the main players in the national team but I was not involved in the last couple of games. I am not upset or sad about it. I am just doing my job and if they call me up, I would be more than happy to go and play for my country. As a player, the most important thing at the moment is Argyle winning games and being as high as possible in the table." Buzsaky is relishing the opportunity to play against a side that has just dropped down from the Premiership. He said: "I am really looking forward to the Birmingham game. Every time you play a team that has just come down from the Premiership, it is always good to play and to prove that you can do as well as them. We want to prove that we can one day be a Premiership team and this is a very good test for us. We have not got the results we deserve at home, so it is very important to give everything and try to beat Birmingham. It does not matter who scores the goals. I will be happy for someone else to score for us as long as it is the winner."
Argyle will play Cardiff City in a friendly at Tiverton Town's Ladysmead Ground on November 7th at 2pm
Lee Hodges continued his comeback from injury and completed 90 minutes as Argyle won 3-0 at Bideford in the Devon Bowl last night. The goals were scored by Scott Laird, Dan Smith and Dan Gosling and Argyle will now play either Torquay or Willand Rovers in the semi-final
Paul Wotton insists Argyle are not worried about conceding three first-minute goals this season and dismissed the notion that they lack concentration at the start of matches. "That's the third time this season a team has scored in the first minute against us," said Wotton. "But the third time we've come back from it. It's not that we lack concentration. You can dissect the Sunderland goal and the one against Barnsley he has hit from about 60 yards, or whatever. Against Ipswich it was a good ball in and these things happen, you know, from set-pieces. It's certainly not a concentration thing, it's just the way it's happened this year. As soon as it went in, all the lads stayed pretty calm. We then hit their bar and created numerous chances and scored the goal. In the second half we've had an awful lot of entries into their penalty area and their keeper made a couple of good saves. The ball has fizzed across their box and on another night we would have got a second goal." Wotton's headed goal was only the second of his career. Although he was delighted with the equaliser, he was more upset at dropping two home points. He said: "It was only my second headed goal. I'm not normally in there, so I can take a lot of satisfaction from it. I'm normally taking them or on the edge of the box. It was a good ball in and I took my chance and, yes, I was very pleased with it. But I'm more disappointed that we didn't get all three points. We should have won really, but there you are. We've got to take positives from our performance - it was a very accomplished display again from the lads. At the end of the day, we'll think it was two points dropped, but you've just got to get on with it. We desperately wanted to win and the reaction that we're disappointed, although we've gone seven matches undefeated now, shows you the character of the lads at the club."
Ian Holloway was frustrated that Argyle failed to beat Ipswich last night. He said: "If they deserved a point out of that then I am a Scotsman called Jock McGinty. You have got to put your chances away and we did not do it. I was not very happy after the first minute. We saw the lad do it on the telly the other day. I don't mind someone heading it into our net as long as they have cut their eye or split their head open because that means you have been unlucky with your marking. For him to have a free header means you are not close enough with your marking from a set-piece in the first minute. We paid a high price for that. I can't really fault my boys for the rest of the game. I thought we showed terrific, terrific belief and attacking spirit. We played so well and it is a shame we could not rewind and start again. It blotted our copy book. I am not pleased because we need to get the points we deserve. I get very upset when I don't get what I want. I felt the performance we gave deserved all three points and it did not happen because we did not finish off our chances. If you want to get the Premiership then you have to be lethal in front of goal but fair play to Ipswich, they had a day less than us to recover and prepare. They played with spirit. It is a shame we are not getting the rub of the green at home because we are doing it away from home. I would like my lot to go home absolutely delighted because some of the football we played was the best I have seen any of my teams ever play but that does not matter unless you get three points." Holloway also praised the fans and appealed for more and more to come to Home Park and watch the entertaining football on display. He said: "I am proud of my team and my lads, and particularly all the number twelve's out there. I want a few more to be coming and I want to send them home happier with not so many draws as we are getting at the moment. I will go home tonight and watch the video, and I expect it will be very entertaining. I was on the edge of my seat and Ipswich more than gave me a few worries as well, so it was not all about us. It was a fantastic game of football between two very proud clubs." Despite the quality of the performance, Holloway was disappointed to see another two points dropped and he also criticized the lack of media recognition his team has received after going seven games unbeaten. "I am a stinging a bit because we have not gone away with two more points in the bag but there you go," he said. "It works itself out but when we look at what we perhaps should have then it is very frustrating, although we are improving. I am trying to lay the foundations for Ian Holloway's Plymouth but it is very early and the cement is still wet. I need the whole place believing and surely that will come with performances like that. Everywhere we go people are talking about our fans and how well behaved they are but I want them to also talk about our football. Every time I pick the paper it talks about so-and-so not being very good. Do they forget that we stopped them being any good? Do they forget that we don't let them play? It is a bit annoying really, to say the least. It keeps happening over and over again. We are sixth in the table and we have probably dropped seven or eight points at home. We have only beaten twice and the only team to turn us over was Cardiff, goals-wise not performance-wise, but we managed to turn that round and score three goals in the last 20 minutes." Holloway is expecting his players to produce and it only adds to the frustration he feels when it does not work as it probably should. "I find it very frustrating and I am a horrible little pig when I don't get what I want," he said. "When I watch the video I will probably be delighted and I will be kicking everything that moves and everything that does not move as well. I am expecting my players to score and that is a great feeling. I remember Sir Alex Ferguson saying that after Mark Hughes scored a volley in the Cup Final with a few minutes to go. He always thinks someone in his shirt is going to do something amazing and that is a great feeling. I thought Akos Buzsaky tonight was absolutely terrific. Some of the things he did were wonderful and David Norris does it pretty much every week. He has got great feet. If they keep going the way they are going, some of my boys will be playing in the Premiership and hopefully it will be with us. I am trying to wake people up down here to realize we can get there. It will not just happen. You have got to believe it will happen and come in here cheering. I cannot be happy because I am here to get wins and when I get one, I write it down in Green but tonight I have got to write another one in blue, which is a draw. I don't like red, so I write my defeats in black. I have never liked red and I never, ever will like red. It has something to do with where I come from but I am very proud of Green. I feel I am being haunted on Halloween by the nearly, nearly, nearly ghost. I am sick and fed up with it because it has happened time and time again, starting on the opening day against Wolves. If we can keep going, then who knows?"
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