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THE DAILY DIARY

A Round-up of Argyle News

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Sunday 29th November 2015

Despite the last-minute equaliser that saw Argyle avoid a humiliating loss at Dagenham, Derek Adams was not pleased with the general level of performance in the game. After decrying the performance however, he did find positive words to say about Ryan Brunt and his fantastic goal that saw the game end on a happy note. Adams mused: "We never had one ball in behind Dagenham in the whole game and Dagenham had a lot of balls in behind us all game. We didn't perform to the standards we're capable of today. Last season, Plymouth came here and got battered 2-0, and today we came here and it was exactly the same. Sometimes you come to venues where it's difficult to get a win, and this is one of those venues for Argyle. It was a very poor performance from us today, from start to finish. It wasn't a good display, and it didn't improve throughout the 90 minutes.

"It was a fantastic strike. Ryan is capable of scoring goals like that, and when it comes to him on the edge of the box, it's a fantastic finish to give us a point. It's a horrible thing to happen to you as the manager of the opposition's team, but our team do go to the final whistle that's the good thing about us. It was the only shot we had on target all game, and we score a goal.I think that it's always important you pick up points away from home. We have the best away record in the league, but today our performance levels were very poor.

"We didn't play to the standard we are capable of, but obviously there are a number of reasons why that is the case. Come the end of the season, you look back at these points and say that's one of those that's got you to where you are. We've played 25 games this season, and we've put ourselves in a very good position on 40 points. If somebody had said that at the start of the season, any Argyle fan would've taken that."

Injuries to Argyle players continued to pile up during their 1-1 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge and Derek Adams intends to make sure he has a competitive squad to choose from after their fortnight's break. Both Graham Carey and Josh Simpson were forced off at half-time with groin and knee problems respectively. Adams gave a progress update on each injury: "We obviously had a lot of changes to make, and personnel changes. We had to make two changes at half-time the physio wanted me to take both players off at half time, so we had to change that as well. It's not easy with the threadbare squad that we've got at this moment in time. It's been a bit stop-start for the last couple of weeks with the injury situation, which is not helping us. It's not a good situation to be in. For the players, it's been very difficult for them. If you look at the team we had out at the end, we've got a good number of 20 year-olds playing in the starting eleven, which is not easy for them. The ones that came off the bench are very young as well, so it's been a hard afternoon, and it's been a learning curve for them.

"We've got a two-week break and I hope to have a fully fit squad other than Hiram Boateng, going into the Cambridge game. They'll be off Sunday and Monday, then they'll train and we'll have time to work with them and get the injured players back.I'll go back up to Scotland next weekend and spend a weekend there. I'll go and watch a number of Scottish games and see if they are any players up there. The rest of my staff will be scouting in England."

Derek Adams revealed that the players coming back from injury mean that he has no wavered over his decision to let Lee Cox leave the club on loan. He explained how the transfer came about on Thursday: "I think it was about half-past-two. Lee's agent phoned us and so did the chief executive from Stevenage. In the conversation we had with Lee's agent he intimated that he did want to go on loan and the deal went through quickly. We have got the two-week break. We have got players that will be back into the fold before the next game."

Ryan Brunt gave a midterm review of Argyle's season so far before the two-week break due to Argyle's departure from the FA Cup. He is very pleased with the general overview but disappointed with the recent dip and is looking forward to the opportunity to get back on the training ground and sort that out. Brunt said: "We've probably lost the spine of the team, to be honest, which is not great in any team. It's frustrating because, although we've got through it, we have not got the results we would have liked with the roll we were on. It's come at the right time, before Christmas, and hopefully we can turn it round and keep pushing like we were before. Sometimes, when you are leading, you are looking back all the time. Now we have to put our foot on the gas and keep going. We need to be in and around the top three. We can't get ahead of ourselves where we've come from and where we are: we have got a fairly new squad; most of the players are new this season; the way we have gelled is phenomenal but we have really got to push on now./"Looking at all the individuals, we've got personalities, we've got characters, but they're all down-to-earth solid people and it takes a lot of doing to get a squad like that. Everyone gets on. All the strikers are competing for a place but are all working with each other every day. It's a club where it's nice to be at the moment. I've been at clubs where it's not nice to be. That sounds horrible, but we want to go into training and we want to do better for ourselves every day."

Finally, he assessed his own performance and that of his team in the Dagenham game especially: "We hadn't had a shot all game; it fell to me, and was there to hit. I had to hit it and luckily it's gone in. It might have taken a deflection, but I'll take anything it that sort of game. It's fantastic, personally; it's what I play football for. It's great for the team to get the point and keep us where we are. It's just frustrating it was on the back of a rubbish performance. It was a rubbish performance we can't hide away from that. We weren't great today we know that we need to get better. But a point's a point away from home, against Dagenham, where we got stuffed 2-0 last year so...it's not pleasing, but it's a point.

"That's not something we've had all season we've had shots and good play and today we just lacked that bit of focus in the final third. We played into their hands a little bit. We have got to get better. We have got two weeks now to regroup; rest ourselves mentally and physically; and work on what we need to do to get better. The positive is that we got a point with a poor performance and go away on a two-week break; a loss and a two-week break is not great, so at least we've ended on a high."

28th

Argyle have secured their second draw in a row with a last gasp Ryan Brunt equaliser at Dagenham and Redbridge. Dagenham had the better of the match and took the lead early in the second half but a goal from substitute Brunt brought the game back onto level terms with almost the last kick of the game. Argyle: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, Croll, Sawyer, McHugh, Simpson(Purrington), Tanner, Carey(Brunt), Wylde(Harvey), Jervis. Subs: Bittner, Bentley, Threlkeld, Smalley.

27th

Craig Tanner has revealed how delighted he and his Argyle teammates are for recovering Deane Smalley who is almost ready for a return for first team action following a devastating year-long injury. Tanner then went onto speak of Argyle's resilience through their recent poor patch of form and crisis of injuries, saying: "Everyone's over the moon for him, he's worked harder than anyone else. He's in the gym twice a day and then training, so it shows a real credit to him, and the type of person he is, to keep going after such a long injury which can be mentally very tough. You never know: maybe on Saturday he might travel, get the last two minutes and get the winner.

"I think we've coped really well. I think that just shows the depth; credit to the lads who haven't played as many games that they would have liked, but they've come in and everyone's done a job. It just shows that we've got cover in every position. Maybe, in another team, if any of the key players get injured it might be a different story, but I think we've shown the calibre that we have here. We're still top of the league by two points and still full of confidence. We just go into every game with the same attitude that we want three points."

26th

Craig Tanner has revealed that he uses video technology to build upon and improve his game by learning lessons from his past performances. The Reading loanee winger said: "I put a DVD on and watch it from start to finish. I have a notebook and I write everything down which I did well - and didn't do well, more importantly. I do that for every game and then I look through. I always watch my games back anyway and then I realised; why don't I just write it down so it sticks in there more? It's another way of learning so that way instead of getting one way of learning I get two goes. I work in five-game periods; after every five games I then re-read through and highlight any common themes that I need to work on and take that into training. I write a few pros, because if I write loads of cons it might put me down! Normally most of it is cons, so if I see a repeating factor I highlight them and that's what I take into training for that week.

"I've gone back to my first three games and I've seen a massive improvement from there to where I am now and I think I'm improving every game. I think recently I might not have the last pass but I have been involved in quite a lot of our goals in the build up, whether it's a dribble or a pass. I'm happy with the way I'm going. I think there's still more from me to come and I look forward to hopefully bringing that out. It might be crossing on my right foot, which is something I'm working on at the moment, to have a plan B with my plan A. That's my challenge at the moment, so I take that into training and do extras like right foot shooting and just get confidence with it. It seems to be working really well for me so I think I'm going to stick with it for now."

Derek Adams had positive news about the Argyle players currently out due to injury and gave an equally positive assessment of loanees Christian Walton and Luke Croll. Adams explained: Peter Hartley's only got bruising to his foot, so no break. Oscar Threlkeld'll be back very soon into action. He's got a knock to the leg, so he won't train today. We'll have to assess him tomorrow before Saturday's game. Boateng is away back to Crystal Palace, and they're looking after him. He's going to be with them until he's able to start training, and is being assessed by their medical staff. Luke McCormick will hopefully be back next week into training, and so will Reuben Reid. We're getting there. When we've had as many senior players out at the same time, it's not very helpful. Christian made a number of important saves the other night, late on the game. Luke Croll and him have fitted in really well. They've only been here a week but they've played two games already. It's been a derby match and then a real physical encounter against Leyton Orient. It's not easy being 20 years of age and coming into a different atmosphere, but they've handled it well. We've got competition now, which is good. You need that in your squad."

Lee Cox has joined Stevenage on loan until January 10th. The Argyle midfielder has found first-team opportunities hard to come by this season, making just five appearances from the bench.

25th

Derek Adams described Argyle's 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient as an 'excellent performance' and believed that Argyle had enough chances to win the game. He also praised loan goalkeeper Christian Walton for making saves that kept Argyle in the game in the second half. Adams: "We dominated for large spells after they scored an absolute stunner of a goal in the first half. It's a fantastic strike from Simpson, and he's a top quality player a very good goal from him. In the first half it was only us in the game. I didn't think that Leyton Orient troubled us in the first half. The first half was all ours - we had an open goal missed and another chance missed in the first half, but I'm very happy with the performance and the way we played. We probably should have scored in the first half. In the second half, they obviously came into the game a wee bit. Christian Walton has had a couple of good saves from our errors, but overall, another excellent performance. We put them under a lot of pressure in the end, and we got our rewards. It's difficult in this league, because you're going to get games where teams are going to come and it's going to be rough-and-tumble. Teams are going to come and stop the match, and that's what happened tonight. We got a point in the end. I think you've got to look at it in the cold light of day, with where we've come from to get a point. It was a good performance again tonight."

Adams was however, highly dissatisfied with the refereeing performance and the gamesmanship of the Orient players whilst defending their lead. He then went onto decry "We don't seem to be getting any penalties. I think we may be the only team in the league that hasn't had about a penalty, but we should've had about ten. That's something that we're annoyed about. It was a stone-wall penalty kick. He pulled Jake Jervis' jersey back. I saw it from where I was standing. You could see the reaction of the fans they certainly told you what they thought of the game. I certainly don't have to say anything, because the whole public saw what was on show tonight. The amount of time wasting was incredible. The stoppages in time the way that there was stoppages in play for injuries. For someone to get taken off injured, and for them to walk all the way to the half-way line instead of going off at the quickest accessible point - we all know the rules of the game."

Skipper and goalscorer Curtis Nelson was philosophical about Orient's gameplan and the changes that have been imposed on his defence lately due to injuries, saying: "It was a good point in the end. Obviously, they came down here with a game-plan. It was very obvious that, from the beginning, they set out to waste a bit of time and play the ugly game. It was very frustrating. They did it quite well. It was more frustrating because we were 1-0 down and trying to get that goal. Had it been the other way round, I'm pretty sure we would have done something similar.

I was following the ball in, really. I have seen the goalkeeper coming across and thought 'I can't turn out and go away so I'll have a shot', and it went underneath Cisak and went in. It doesn't matter how they go in, it went in.

"It's weird, having had Luke there for the last how many games last season and this season; Bitts came in against York and did a great job for us; and now Christian's in there. It's part of football you have got to adjust with whoever you're playing with. I knew him from when he was here before, and a lot of the young lads do, so he's fitted straight in. He's been really good in the changing-room with us and, even on the pitch, he's easy to talk to."

24th

Argyle managed to avoid an embarrassing fourth home loss in a row in all competitions with a late equaliser against Leyton Orient from skipper Curtis Nelson. Orient had led for most of the game following a 4th minute goal from Jay Simpson who later went off injured. The game hinged on a number of controversial refereeing incidences but ended 1-1, Argyle: Walton, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley, Sawyer, McHugh, Threlkeld(Simpson), Tanner, Carey, Wylde(Brunt), Jervis. Subs: Bittner, Cox, T Harvey, Bentley, Smalley.

23rd

Derek Adams is wary of Tuesday night's opponents Leyton Orient and focused on the threats Argyle need to stop, saying: "They have got a lot of goals through him this season and they have got a number of players that have come down from the division above in the previous season. They are a team that have got ability in their side; they have got the top goalscorer in their side; and they are one to be watched. Simpson is their main threat and he is the one that is scoring the goals for them. We have got a lot of goalscorers in our side and we will need to score goals to beat them."

22nd

Derek Adams pinpointed two incidents that defined Argyle's 2-1 derby loss to Exeter City, those being a foul given against Jake Jervis and a penalty against Kelvin Mellor. The Scotsman reflected on the two incidences and yet took the view that Argyle's general play was not too bad: "The game obviously changes when Jake Jervis has gone through and the referee gives a foul. I'm not sure if it was a push or not, then Kelvin Mellor gives away a penalty. The game hinges on that moment. It shouldn't have been given away, the penalty it was bad play. The second goal we should've shut down on the edge of the box, but other than that, I don't think there were too many opportunities for them in the game. We're disappointed, because we went in at half time 2-0, and didn't feel there was much in the game to make it 2-0. They got bodies behind the ball. They fought their corner well and were able to come away with a victory. I think that, with the chances we created and the amount of the ball we had in and around Exeter's penalty area, we definitely should've had more from the game than we got. I think that the way we pushed on and tried to get that second goal we had enough time to do that. We had a long-range strike from Graham Carey, we've had a free-kick from Carey, we've had Jake Jervis, Ryan Brunt, Curtis Nelson, all having opportunities as well. We've had a lot of play in and around their area. We had to come out in the second half and go at them. We did that. We became more direct in the game, because it was the nature of how we thought we could get back into the game, and we got back in it with a strike from Oscar Threlkeld. We're on 38 points, but you would've always liked to have picked up the win today in the derby. We haven't done that, and we'll move onto the next day."

Argyle had five regular starters out through injury against Exeter and Derek Adams gave a brief update on the progress of them and their loanee replacements: "Peter Hartley's a got a wee problem with his foot. He'll hopefully see a consultant on Monday, but we're hopeful that he'll be back very soon. He just kicked somebody else's sole with his boot in training. Carl came off against York and was just feeling his hamstring and felt like he wasn't able to play today. We'll see how he is for Tuesday night. I'm not going to sit here and say we're going to miss people, because we've got a lot of good players in the team. I thought Oscar Threlkeld and Josh Simpson played well in there today. It's about a team game.

"Luke was fine. He dealt with lots of balls, was a good passer of the ball, and defended well. He was just in yesterday. It wasn't easy, but I thought he acquitted himself very well. It was vital to bring him in. We were down, we didn't have any central defenders, really, and it was important that we brought him in. I thought his performance didn't show that he just arrived Thursday. I spoke to a number of clubs, and Crystal Palace is one of them. He was trying to be brought in on loan; Colchester and Leyton Orient were interested as well, and we've managed to get in there just before them. We did that on Thursday night. I thought over the 90 minutes, Christian Walton's done well. It's not easy coming into your first game on a Devon Derby. I can only play with the cards that I'm dealt, and the cards I was dealt today are the players we've had. They've performed strongly throughout the 90 minutes. We had two players making their debuts today, and I thought they came in and did well."

21st

Argyle good run of league form has come to an end with a humiliating 2-1 loss to local rivals Exeter City at Home Park. Two first half goals from Ryan Harley (the first from the penalty spot) were enough to put the Grecians into a first half 2-0 lead. Argyle picked up a little in the second half and an Oscar Threlkeld shot from just outside the penalty area found its way into the net in the 61st minute but in spite of some late pressure, Argyle did not have enough to draw the game. Argyle: Walton. Mellor, Nelson, Croll, Sawyer, Simpson, Threlkeld, Tanner(Harvey), Carey, Wydle(Brunt), Jervis. Subs: Bittner, Rooney, T Harvey, Bentley, Cox.

20th

Argyle have completed a second loan signing with the recruitment of Palace central-defender Luke Croll on a loan until the start of January. Croll is 20 years old and can also operate as a left full-back. He has yet to make a professional appearance, but is highly rated by Crystal Palace's under-21 side and featured as an unused substitute when Palace met Watford in the Premier League earlier this season. He will wear the number 28 whilst at Argyle.

The Londoner is looking forward to getting started at Argyle, speaking of his friendship with fellow Palace loaneee Hiram Boateng: "I've been at Palace for a while now but I've played under-21s for a couple of seasons. I think it's time I get some league experience. I don't expect to be walking into Palace's first team right now, but I hope in the seasons to come I can grow as a player. I've been on the bench once and that's when I realised I do want to be playing first team football. Before, it felt so far away; but I got the taste of it and now I'm really hungry to be playing first team football. After being on the first team bench, I didn't want to go back, I was holding on.

"I spoke to Hiram about it when I found out. I keep in contact with Hiram anyway so I've been speaking to him about it and he seems to really enjoy it. He's given me a lot of positive feedback about it. Unfortunately he's just got injured but he'll be back soon. I've been keeping a watch on Plymouth because of Hiram; the boys are great lads and seem to be doing well. I can see why they're top of the league."

19th

Argyle have re-signed former youth team goalkeeper Christian Walton from his current club, Brighton and Hove Albion. He has joined as cover for injured goalkeeper Luke McCormick. His loan spell will last until the start of January.

Adams said of the signing:"We've got good competition for places now, with the likes of Luke, James and Cory. We have four that can vie for the No. 1 position. I'm hopeful Luke will be fit fairly soon but I needed to cover all bases and Luke is progressing well but with the window shutting in less than a week's time, then I can't be left short. I had a few options of goalkeepers from different clubs and I just thought it was important to take in somebody that knew the football club. It gives him an opportunity to hopefully get some games. He can vie with James Bittner for that. He's coming back his home club and he's not played here before, and I think that it will be a good move for him. He is at a stage in his career where he needs to play matches. He's a very tall goalkeeper; he's agile; he's quick; and he's a communicator as well. He's only 20 years of age but he's had a good grounding at Plymouth Argyle to start with and he's moved on to the bigger stage at Brighton I'm very friendly with Brighton assistant Colin Calderwood, who I was assistant to at Hibs, so he has done me a good favour there and we've been able to get him in.

"I wouldn't have any doubts. He's been with England and he's been with Brighton. He's played against Tottenham Hotspur there and he's played in the Championship, so I've not got a problem. He's already been at Bury this season. James Bittner did really well last week so it's good that I've got that choice between the two. It's always an equal competition and it's equal for everybody and that's the beauty of having a good squad. I will make a decision on that."

Gregg Wylde is looking forward to playing in Argyle's Devon Derby against Exeter on Saturday, and spoke about the experience he has of derbies in his native Glasgow: "It's another derby I can put on my CV that I've played in, Because I've had my childhood in Glasgow I was born a Rangers supporter. I've been to Rangers and Celtic games; I've always wanted to play in them - and I'm lucky I did. It is nerve-wracking; I think one of the games I was sick before the game. I think we were at home to Celtic. It's a massive game, everybody knows about the bragging rights between the 2 cities so I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully we can put a good performance on."

18th

Derek Adams believes that the strength in depth of Argyle's squad and the willingness of players to step in and do the job having been out of the team is in no small part the reason for Argyle's success this season- and that this was typified by Saturday's win at York. Adams said: "It was excellent. Over the 90 minutes, we could've scored more goals, but the main thing we're there for is to get the three points. We had a terrific following at York. They had to stand for 90 minutes in the rain, but they gave us a fantastic vocal support.People have got to remember that we've played without the likes of Carl McHugh, Gary Sawyer and Graham Carey in games this season. We've missed Jake Jervis. So we've got a good squad where people can come in and out. Gregg Wylde's been out of the team, Craig Tanner as well. From that point of view, I like the players that I've got in the squad and their attitudes. They're all ready to get that opportunity - and when they get that opportunity, they're there to try and keep the people that have been suspended or injured out. I think it's important that you have players who are capable of coming into a squad and doing well. From my point of view, I rely on that. We've got a lot of good players in this squad. We've seen it this season, where players are injured or suspended, and people have come in, performed well, and been able to keep hold of their place. I think that's important. When you've got a tight squad, it's important that you have competition for places, and we're certainly gathering that now. We can play different players in different positions, and I think that's the beauty of the squad that we've got. We've played in a variety of different situations this season where teams will find it very difficult to guess what we're going to do."

Adams also confirmed that Argyle are 'not at the stage yet' where they can start talking about new contracts with Argyle's out of contract players but that he will be meeting with the board of directors to that end: "We are only 17 games into the season. We have started really well and it's important we try to offer players extended contracts. We will get to that stage sooner rather than later. Everybody has got a value to the football club and the only way we would lose them is if somebody came in with a bid that the football club could not turn down. We have got a lot of players who have performed well this season and I'm delighted to have that. If there is interest in January then it shows we are doing something right."

17th

Derek Adams is not letting the rain disrupt his preparations for Argyle's crucial derby game with Exeter City on Saturday. He declared himself satisfied with the match so far and then went onto look at similarities and differences between the match and the game against Exeter in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy last month: "It hasn't been a great day on Tuesday, but we've trained at Harper's Park and had a good session. We've trained outside on Monday and Tuesday, and done double sessions both days. It's not been too bad - so far! The kit-man won't be happy because we were a wee bit muddy, but we'll progress over the week; we've got Thursday and Friday to come, so hopefully the weather is a wee bit better.

"We had three players out on that night from the Saturday game, and Exeter had three or players out from their Saturday game. I think the teams will be slightly different from the last time, but the occasion will be exactly the same. It will be a hotly contested derby match. It's a fantastic occasion for the area, and I think it's going to be a bumper crowd again. We're looking forward to it. With the way we're progressing and the way we're doing in the league, I'm sure that there'll be a lot of fans out there looking to come and support the team."

Sadly, a knee injury has forced former Argyle player Matt Lecointe to retire from football aged just 21. Lecointe was a promising young star for Argyle but a long series of injuries forced the club to let him go in May. The young star spoke out about the heartbreak of his early retirement, saying: "The surgeon basically advised me to give up football because the knee is not getting any better. It's getting worse if anything. He said 'you have just got to look after your health now'. It's pretty heartbreaking really. You play the game you love all your life and you know football is going to end at some point, but not this early. I have had three operations and the surgeon basically said there was only one operation that could possibly make the knee better. But the only person it has worked for was a goalkeeper so the odds were completely against me going for it.

"When I injured my knee there were a few things that I did. We thought the cruciate was going to be the main problem, but that is fine now. It's these other things it's to do with the lateral meniscus that never healed. I believe I gave it every possibility I could to get back to playing regular football but it wasn't meant to be. I feel like I did everything I could in my rehab. I did it all properly so there are no regrets or looking back and wondering whether I could have done anything better. He told me I have really got to look after the knee and just going for a run could damage it and it would get worse. Before I know it, I could be struggling to walk.

"I couldn't really walk or anything after I did it, but it wasn't painful. I managed to hobble off the pitch and left the ground on crutches. I think I have just been unlucky really. There is nothing I could have done about it. It was an absolute honour and privilege to play for Plymouth Argyle. I grew up in the city and have lived here all my life. Playing for the team you support was a dream come true. There are a lot of people who would have loved to have played 30 games for Argyle like I did. They would literally have cut their arm off for it. It was an absolute honour. There is a lot of luck in football and at the time that I made my debut the club were going through a difficult time. I got my chance to play in the first team and it was unbelievable. And scoring for England was definitely one of the highlights of my short career. No-one can ever take that away from me. I would just like to thank all the players at Argyle, the coaches, the fans, my family and friends for their support over the last two-and-a-half years. And a big thanks to Paul Atkinson for looking after me. He has helped me so much."

16th

Derek Adams may not usually be in the habit of praising individual player but Graham Carey put in such a spectacular performance at Bootham Crescent, he was forced to break this habit. He said: I don't like to pick out people usually, but Graham Carey was absolutely outstanding today. He's a top player. I've signed him three times now and he's really done the business. He was involved in a lot of the good work we had today and he's unfortunate not to have scored more. He's created a number of opportunities and his all-round performance was top class, but it was a team performance. I said before the game that I wanted to have men out there today. We've got a lot of boys, because of their ages, but a lot of them stood up to the test and they did really well today."

Jake Jervis scored his 10th goal of the season for Argyle in their win at York and admitted his goal return has surpassed even his own wildest expectations: "It's great, of course. I'm getting in the box and people are setting me up nicely. I'm just trying to do my best For anyone to get 10 by November is a great start but I never set a target. I just concentrate on game by game. If you work hard everything else will take care of itself. I managed to score with a different part of my body again it was my chest, top of the shoulder. I just wanted to get anything on it to get a goal. When I'm playing as a striker I know I have got to get across the first man, and I did that. If I keep doing that hopefully I can continue scoring. It keeps both of us on our toes, getting goals, and he's setting them up for fun as well."

15th

Derek Adams once again declared himself profoundly satisfied with Argyle's 2-1 victory over York, expressing satisfaction with multiple aspects of the performance: "For the first 20 minutes, we were unbelievable," said the Argyle manager. "The way we went at York and the pressure we put them under, it could have been four or five goals in the first 20 minutes. The way we played and the way we passed the ball we were absolutely terrific. We should have been a lot more up at half-time, the chances we created; the shots on goal. We probably could have hit the target more times, but we should have been a lot more up. We have got a very good team. We have got a team that looks like they're hungry. We haven't used a lot of players this season and we've done really well. Today shows we have got fighting qualities. We defended well but we played on the front foot. We've done that for most of the season, the way we pass the ball and interchange, and create chances. We've got players that are capable of scoring goals. York put a lot of high balls in at the end; that was always going to be the case with the injury-time there was. That caused a wee bit of a problem but we were here for three points and we've got them."

He also joined in the stream of praise for James Bittner who made his belated football league debut in this game. He went onto give an update on McCormick's fitness, saying: It was great for him. It was a terrific occasion. He nearly got a clean sheet, but we let one in at the end.

He's got a groin injury from the other night, so we kept him out of today's game and we'll see how it progresses before next week."

14th

Argyle have made it 7 wins out of 8 in the league with another impressive victory- this time 2-1 at York City. Argyle fans were greeted with the news before kick-off that regular goalkeeper Luke McCormick was out injured and that James Bittner would make his football league full debut aged 33. He had little to do in the first half however as Argyle dashed into a 2-0 lead courtesy of Jake Jervis and Graham Carey. York came back into the game a little more in the second half and halved the deficit late into stoppage time but Argyle held on for the win to maintain their 5 point lead at the top of League Two. Argyle: Bittner, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley, Sawyer, McHugh(Simpson), Threlkeld, Tanner(Brunt), Carey, Wylde(Cox), Jervis. Subs: C Harvey, T Harvey, Purrington, Rooney.

12th

Oscar Threlkeld relished his chance to get a run in the team for Argyle's 5-3 loss to Millwall in midweek in spite of the result. The Bolton loanee feels as though he has learned a lot from the experience. He said: "It's the first time I've played in midfield; starting, in the league, so it's a new experience for me. I've played in there for the Under-21s and I've come off from the bench and played there. It's not pressure, but I had to do something maybe it was a decent pass or tackle someone in the right manner. I got on the ball, tried to do things, tried to be positive with everything I did. I did whatever the gaffer told me to do, like press their two midfielders when they've got the ball. I had good cover from Carl McHugh and the back four, talking to me all the time, telling when to press and when not to press. It just made it a lot easier. It's good for him to put confidence in me, so now if I stay in the team, I can show what I can do. He just said to go out and enjoy it. Get stuck in and get on the ball. Just do what you do. I like to get on the ball and express myself. Maybe it didn't show on Tuesday, but sometimes you have to go long and put your foot in.

"I can't fault the team; they're doing really well. It is frustrating, and people don't realise how frustrating it is, because you know you just want to play football. You want to be involved in the team and help them win, really. It is frustrating, but you just have to train hard. That's what I've done: trained hard, just kept my head in the game, and just be ready if they needed to throw me on. Luton was a prime example. We were drawing 1-1 and I made the run, Tanner passed me the ball and I set up Brunty for the goal. We've all got different attributes to our game. There's Hiram, who just gets on the ball and makes it hard for other people to get the ball off of him, because he's big and strong. Josh Simpson gets on the ball and does little mazy runs sometimes, but he's got the experience as well, playing for quite a while. Carl McHugh: I like him so much as a footballer, because he can play and he can get stuck in as well. I think if I was to put myself next to someone who I would like to be with, it would be Carl McHugh."

11th

Argyle's 5-3 loss against Millwall is a game that will live long in the memory for a number of reasons- but Derek Adams had mixed views on the match. He was more than happy with Argyle's attacking intent but was displeased with what he called 'indefensible' defending. Adams said:

"The first goal comes from the throw-in and we don't defend the cross from the throw-in. It was a good goal from their point of view a very good flick-on from Gregory. The second goal: they get a header and it goes under Carl McHugh's foot on the line. We could've cleared that. We got back in it at 1-1; we got it back to 3-2 down, and we lose a goal quite quickly after that. That was the nature of the game tonight. It was a good match from the point of view of two very good teams. Tonight, the performance was a hundred times better than the performance on Saturday. I thought it was a very good performance, the way we passed the ball and kept it, and showed a willingness to stay in the game. Defensively, we've let ourselves down, but offensively we've scored three magnificent goals.

"We can't defend the way we defended for the five goals we conceded. They were all preventable. They were goals that came out of, really, nothing. We could've defended the situation a lot better. I've got to say that Millwall are a very good side. They're obviously a league ahead of us and doing well at the top. Their two strikers, Gregory and Morison, caused us problems. They are very good players, but the mistakes we made leading up the goals were very preventable.""We will score goals. There is no problem about that. We have got players who can do that throughout the team. You have seen against League One opposition we can create chances. We just have to keep it tighter at the back. It was a good match from the point of view of two very good teams. Tonight, the performance was a hundred times better than the performance on Saturday. I thought it was a very good performance, the way we passed the ball and kept it, and showed a willingness to stay in the game. Defensively, we've let ourselves down, but offensively we've scored three magnificent goals."

10th

Argyle are out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in a bizarre game in which Millwall recorded a 5-3 victory at Home Park- one of the highest scoring matches that the greens have been involved in for years. Millwall took the lead early through the first half but Jake Jervis equalised not long after. An unfortunate own goal by Carl McHugh shortly before half-time put Millwall back in the lead. The second-half started in an end-to-end fashion but it was the visitors who opened up a two goal cushion before a 35 yard wondergoal by Graham Carey reduced the deficit to one once more. This in turn though, lasted a matter of mere minutes. Peter Hartley gave away a penalty on the edge of the box and Lee Gregory duly tucked home to ensure he got his hat-trick and Millwall were 4-2 up. It threatened to become a rout when another defensive error was taken advantage of for the Lions to take a 5-2 lead. Jervis however got his second and Argyle's third with 6 minutes to go to end the eight goal thriller. Argyle are now left only in League Two this season. Argyle: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley(Purrington), Sawyer, McHugh, Threlkeld, Tanner(Brunt), Carey, Wylde(Simpson), Jervis. Subs: Bittner, Cox.

9th

Derek Adams has admitted that Argyle have a small squad but has brushed aside claims that this is to blame for our FA Cup exit on Saturday, pointing at how well Argyle have coped with the small squad size in recent weeks: "We have played really well when we have had to cope with injuries earlier this season. Reuben has missed several games; this was the first one that Boateng has missed; and we have missed the likes of Carl McHugh, Gary Sawyer, Graham Carey, Gregg Wylde and Jake Jervis and we still have managed to win games. I have got a very good squad at this point in time. We have started the season well, the way that we have played, and we have been able to handle the small squad we have. It's been very good. We've got to try to progress to the next round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and we know it's going to be tough but that's what we're in the competition to do. We've got to try to win the game and get to a semi-final."

8th

Derek Adams admitted that credit had to be given to the opposition for 'doing a job on his Argyle team. He praised Carlisle for making the game very difficult for Argyle: "You've got to give credit to Carlisle. They took their time on the ball, they got players behind the ball, and they were professional in the way they won the game. They went into a 2-0 lead and they were able to see it out. They did a good job on us that's what they did. They stopped us playing and they committed fouls. We've got to realise that we're going to come up against teams like Carlisle that are going to be stubborn. They're going to break up play and be professional, and that's what they've done. They haven't troubled Luke McCormick in the game; I don't think he's had a save to make, but their goalkeeper hasn't had a save to make either. Both goalkeepers weren't worked in the game. Luke was because he picked the ball out of the net twice, but other than that, there wasn't a lot of shots on target. When I look at Carlisle, I think they're a very good side. They have a number of players who've come in there and done really well. It was a tough match, and they made it a difficult match for us. I'm not going to make any excuses. We've gone out of the cup, Carlisle have won 2-0, and as I say, they've done a very good job."

He did also however say that his Argyle side did not perform well enough and that steps would be taken to rectify that: "We didn't play well enough today. I thought we didn't create any chances. It wasn't the best game of football and Carlisle, to be fair to them, they dogged it out. They got the two-goal lead and were able to hang onto it, but we didn't put them under any sustained pressure. We didn't perform to the standards that we can do. That's something you're going to get from time to time. You have to deal with it, and we've had an excellent spell to start the season, but we need to pick ourselves up and go again. I spoke to them after the game; we spoke about things, told them what I think, and we'll pick it up on Monday and go again."

Adams had one final revelation from the game- that he had previously attempted to sign Carlisle goalscorer Hallam Hope but the deal was put paid to by a lack of money. Adams admitted: "Carlisle are a very good side. They have got a number of players that have come in there and done really well. The boy Hallam Hope I thought was excellent. We tried to go for him but we couldn't afford him. I believe they paid his wages for the game. I believe that was the reason why he was allowed to play. He was a target for me recently because of the injuries we have had. We couldn't afford to take him in that's the problem."

7th

Derek Adams has won the League Two manager of the month award for October but was keen to share the plaudits with his assistant manager and coach. He said: "It's fantastic for the football club and a very nice award to get at this stage of the season. We have performed well in October and are happy with the progress we are making. I have a very good backroom staff in Craig Brewster and Paul Wotton, who I enjoy working with, as well as the rest of the staff at the football club and the players. We have a great team spirit."

Argyle have crashed out of the FA Cup in the first round following a disappointing 2-0 loss to Carlisle. Argyle went in 2-0 down at half-time following a category of defensive errors and could not peg the Cumbrians back in the second half. Argyle: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley, Sawyer, McHugh, Simpson(Wydle), Tanner(Threlkeld), Carey, Jervis, Brunt(Harvey). Subs: Bittner, Purrington, Cox, Rooney.

6th

Derek Adams has won the League Two manager of the month award for October but was keen to share the plaudits with his assistant manager and coach. He said: "It's fantastic for the football club and a very nice award to get at this stage of the season. We have performed well in October and are happy with the progress we are making. I have a very good backroom staff in Craig Brewster and Paul Wotton, who I enjoy working with, as well as the rest of the staff at the football club and the players. We have a great team spirit."

5th

Derek Adams is looking forward to the first round of the FA Cup against Carlisle and confirmed he is excited to progress in all competitions Argyle contest. Adams said: "It's similar to the Scottish Cup; it's a cup competition that everyone looks forward to. They want to try and progress in the FA Cup. It's a nostalgic competition, and one that all teams want to try and get to the final. If you look at the draw the other day, and the 80 teams that were in the first round proper; everybody's excited about who they're going to get in the draw. I think that looking at it, we've got two League 2 clubs playing against each other, and both sides will think that they've got an opportunity to get through to the next round. Everybody knows that in the next rounds it could open up, and you could get a very good draw. In the beginning of the week you're just getting over the Saturday game, but Thursday and Friday is the build-up to a cup competition. The balls come out for a new competition, so it's a new football for Saturday. They get an idea that it is going to be a cup competition, and that'll be exciting for them."

3rd

Derek Adams has admitted that it is taking longer than originally hoped for Reuben Reid to recover from a hip injury. The manager stated that he may well not be fit for Saturday's FA Cup game against Carlisle: When asked for an injury update on Reid, Adams told Herald Sport: "He's probably going to struggle for Saturday. He hasn't trained a full session this week. We will assess things before Saturday but it looks like he could be out. It's taking longer than we expected. He has missed six games this season already so we are disappointed about that. We hope he will be back sooner rather than later. "He scored two very good goals in the game against Notts County and got an outstanding one here in the victory over Accrington. He has been prolific in the games that he has played."

Adams has incidentally been nominated for the League Two manager of the month award for October. Argyle won six out of seven league fixtures during October, accumulating more points than any other team in the division. He is included in the line-up alongside Northampton's Chris Wilder, Oxford's Michael Appleton and Crawley's Mark Yates. Curtis Nelson has been nominated for the player of the month award too.

Adams said that his captain was growing and improving all the time: "He has done really well. He has been involved in a defence that have kept a lot of clean sheets. He's improving week on week and has been a very good player since I came here. He has had to change from playing in a back three to a back four this season and he's working at his game. He's only 22 and has got a very good career ahead of him. One of the ways he has improved is that his use of the ball and retaining possession has got better, and he's very good in the air."

1st

Graham Carey's attacking flair was once again a key component in Argyle's victory over Morecambe and Derek Adams was keen to praise the Irish playmaker as well as the work of the team in general to provide for him. Adams said: "I don't think we've seen a better creative player in League 2. He can score goals, he can create chances, and he's been a top player for us this season. We've got players that enjoy playing with each other. They're very comfortable using the ball and passing it. You can see the link-up play between the likes of Brunt, Jervis, Tanner and Carey today. You've got Wylde and Reid as well they all enjoy playing around each other. Add to that: you've got the likes of Simpson and Threlkeld, you've got McHugh and Boateng they all enjoy moving the ball. Then you've got your full backs in Mellor and Sawyer that want to join in as well, and Nelson and Hartley as well. It's not a bad mix.

"It's important that they know and understand the position they're going to play in. The players that come and in and the players that start all understand the way we want to play. It becomes seamless when they move into a position. When you look at the likes of Jervis, Carey, Tanner and Wylde, they can all play in different positions across the front three or a forward position. I think that's important. I think that we're a good side. We've shown that today, and we've shown that this season."

He then stressed how keen he was to keep the current momentum going not only in the league games but for cup matches as well: "It's the eleventh game we've won this season. It's a very good points total from our opening fixtures, and it's just about keeping that momentum going. All we want to do is keep picking up points. That's all we can do. We look to try and win the next game that comes along, and if we do that, we'll keep our feet on the ground. I think it's good. I think we'll enjoy going into the FA Cup with the points total we've got, and then we've got the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. I think we need a rest from the league campaign, and we'll enjoy the cup competitions now."

Luke McCormick was especially pleased with a clean sheet against the league's top scorers. He said: "It's what we strive for before the game as a defensive unit. We work long and hard all week to make sure the ball stays out of the net, so it's very rewarding when you can accomplish that on a Saturday. They've obviously scored lots of goals this season," said Luke, "so it's a big pat on the back for the lads to keep a clean sheet. Not just the defence really, because everyone is involved. That's the first thing: to keep the ball out of the net and we believe we'll always score so it's been a good day at the office. The place is full of confidence. The win keeps us top and creates a bit of a gap. The fans were fantastic and the confidence is sky high."

Argyle skipper Curtis Nelson has said he is happy with the position the Pilgrims are in - but warned that the season is far from over. He said: "I'm happy with the position we're in at the moment. Any team if they were in this position would be happy. At the same time, there is no point in saying we are five points clear, that's it, season over. We have to keep going and looking to extend the lead at the top of the table. We've played 16. We've got 30 games left, that's a hell of a lot of football between now and May 7th. We need to make sure we keep winning games."

Diary Archive:


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