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.
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Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
Derek Adams spoke passionately of Argyle's Checkatrade Trophy win over Newport, praising the performance of individual players and the team as a whole. He also stated the importance of playing a strong team to respect the competition. Adams said: “We were outstanding from start to finish. The way we passed the ball was exceptional. The chances we created over the 90 minutes were well into double-figures. I was just delighted with the whole team performance. In the first half, Newport defended very deep and we had to work hard to break it down. We were by far the better team in the first half. It was total domination from us. They have scored against the run of play. We knew that a chance would come and, when that came, we were going to roll over the top of them because the way we were passing and moving, going from side to side, and the performance of the technical players throughout the team.
Jordan Slew was dangerous throughout 90 minutes coming in off the side. David Goodwillie’s work-rate was tremendous - he should have got a goal tonight; it didn’t really fall for him but he was involved in a couple of the goals. Craig Tanner’s been able to get a goal; Jake Jervis; and Nauris Bulvitis gets another one. I thought our full-backs did exceptionally well, getting forward; our midfield players were good on the eye, as well, and probably the fans that have not turned up are disappointed that they have not seen a very good performance. The players’ attitude and application was great.
“I want to go and win,” he said. “I put out a very strong side, including players that have already started games for me in the league or the League Cup. It’s important we show respect to the competition.”
Jordan Slew talked fans through scoring his first goal for Argyle and too commented on the overall team performance: “In the second half we were fantastic. We looked very dangerous in the first half, even when we went in losing. There was not much the staff could really have said to us – we just unlucky. We just carried that on, and got four goals. We dominated the ball, and were dictating the game. We were unlucky to go in 1-0 down. They defended well; it was hard when they dropped deep, and we found it difficult to break them down. It was a great display. Hopefully we can carry that into Saturday’s game.
“I was getting a few shots off, and the more I got off, the more confident I was getting. I knew eventually it would come, and I’m glad it did. It was very instinctive. Tanner’s put the ball in box, and I’ve just headed it in. I can’t really remember it! I’m very happy. It’s important for me personally to get off the mark, and for my confidence to get higher. Most important is the team, though, and the display was fantastic.
“We knew there were going to be changes,” said Jordan, “but whatever team we put out was going to work hard. Whatever team the gaffer puts out will be a strong team. There are no weaknesses in our team. It’s going to be an exciting year. Some people are disappointed about not starting, but that’s football. We get on with it, work hard in training, and when we get our chance like tonight, we put in a good display performance like that. It’s healthy competition. We had a rocky start, but the last four games we have been fantastic. There have been a couple of 1-0s, but they are the things that get you promoted. The gaffer knows me quite well; he’s known me long enough to know how I play and the best position is for me. I can play left, right or I can play central. I’m quite versatile. I enjoyed it on the left, and I was glad to get a goal. Winning is winning, whatever cup it is in. All I want to do is win. That’s the most important thing. Whatever team the gaffer chooses to put out, we’re all behind each other, whoever plays. It’s all about the team, and what’s best for it. The gaffer will put out the team he thinks is best, and we’re all behind him. Whatever team he puts out will work hard, and hopefully get the three points on Saturday. The training sessions are the hardest I’ve done at any club I’ve ever been at – but maybe that’s why we look so sharp. I think we did fantastic tonight.”
Argyle have made a Deadline Day move to sign Bristol City's Paul-Arnold Garita on loan. The Cameroon-born forward - known as Arnold, or 'Arnie' - joined City in January 2016 for £50,000 from French club Chateauroux, and has played predominantly for the Robins' under-21 side. He was a 66th minute substitute for Tommy Abraham in City's 1-0 win at Wycombe in the first round of the EFL Cup. City manager Lee Johnson spoke in pre-season about Garita heading out on loan, indicating that he felt the player would score goals at Sky Bet Leagues One or Two level, and simply needed games to develop as a player. Derek Adams has now offered Arnold that chance, with a loan deal at Home Park running until January 16, 2017.
Argyle have beat Newport 4-1 in their opening Checkatrade Trophy game at Home Park. Newport took the lead in the first half but a second half onslaught featuring goals from Jervis, Slew, Bulvitis and Tanner gave Argyle the victory. Argyle: Dorel(McCallum), Miller, Bulvitis, Bradley, Purrington, Smith(Ijaha), Fox, Slew, Tanner, Jervis(Donaldson), Goodwillie. Subs: Songo'o, Spencer, Carey, Threlkeld.
The much-debated changes to the EFL Trophy have got the approval of Argyle owner James Brent. He said that it was important to test out and tweak potential changes that could be to the benefit of the competition. Brent said: "I think the old JPT competition needed something doing to it. The reduction in attendances in recent years has been quite frightening and losing the main sponsor was a big issue. So I think it makes sense to trial something for a year to try to work out what the right format for that trophy is. I think there is a great danger that if each time the EFL trials something it gets criticised for it that they will stop trying.
"In terms of 'B' teams entering the Football League structure, you can never say never. But given the approvals that would be required from the Football League as a whole – I think it is 90 per cent of clubs need to agree to a change – I just don't know what the deal would be that would persuade 90 per cent of clubs to agree that. I get the concern that 'this is the thin end of the wedge'. But I don't see the wedge personally because it's just such a high hurdle to get by."
Derek Adams confirms that he plans to use the game to give some of Argyle's fringe players a chance: "We will make a few changes to the team that played on Saturday. We are at home and we have got to go out and perform. We will have a very strong team out to try and win the match. Newport will be exactly the same. They have taken in a good number of players over the summer and whatever changes they make they will be strong also."
Adams finally admitted that it may not be possible for Argyle to sign the loanee that they are looking for by the close of the transfer window on Wednesday at 11pm. He said however that he was still doing his best to bring someone into the club: "I'm speaking to clubs and at this stage it becomes more and more difficult. It doesn't close until Wednesday so we will see what happens. But the good thing for us is that we are only looking for one. Other clubs are looking for more than that. The quality we do have on the bench is very good. That's the pleasing aspect. I can now put on players and it's a straight swap. It's good to have that, and I didn't have it last season."
Derek Adams is pleased with the strength in depth currently existing in his squad but admitted that that may make it hard on the players currently unable to find their place in the side. Adams said: “I feel it is a bit difficult for some of them because the ones that are on the bench who didn’t get on today probably feel they should have got on today, because they have done well. If I had more substitutes to make, I would have, and I probably needed them. It’s the nature of football. They are a good group, and if you look at the bench, the quality we have is very good. That is a pleasing aspect. I can now put on players as a straight swap; it’s good to have that. I didn’t have that last season./“Oscar Threlkeld did well last week; Gary Miller was outstanding against Notts County. Competition for places – that is the thing, to push each other on. If somebody goes in and does well, then they have got a good opportunity of staying in for the next week. That will not always be the case because sometimes we will change formation, but I want to have a good dressing-room.”
Adams also praised the ingenuity shown by his players for Argyle's role and stated the importance of occasionally trying things 'off the cuff'. He said: “I speak to them more and more about doing things off the cuff. We do set out patterns of play to play to and we do give them instructions. But, at times, I say ‘Listen, you have got to play what you see’ and that is what they did at the short corner. We talked about the corner; thought about it; and executed it. I think it’s important, when you have these types of players in the team, they take this onus on.
“It is important you have defenders scoring goals from set-plays and he has done that. As I have said before, it is important we get goals throughout the team. He’s a Latvian international but I think it will take him time to get going. The speed of the game is at a different level to what he is used to, but he is settling to the combative nature of the game really well.”
Bulvitis himself stated that in spite of his two goals, he was far from pleased with his own all round defensive performance so far. He stated the need to always constantly improve, saying: “Defensively, no. It is good that I can help the team, scoring a couple of goals. But defensively I have to work more, and I hope I just need a little more time to settle into League Two football. I need to improve everything. I am very angry at myself, at how I play. I will work hard to get better.
“All the boys were angry about how we played the first games, everyone wants to win. We have a very good atmosphere in the dressing room. Hopefully we can do it again, next game. We have to have more time together. There are a lot of new players in the team. I am even new to this country. Some things I am not used to. In training, we work very hard – I think the gaffer is happy with how we work. You can always do better. Now we have a couple of home games, and we have to do it again. It is a very hard league. You fight all the time. The ball goes from one end to another, and you have to be very fit. In other leagues where I’ve played the teams try to control the ball more and you have more rest. Even when we had one player more, we had to still run the same. We are moving forward, every game. Everyone tries to do his best, and I hope the next game will be much better than this one. This was a difficult game. At Home Park, in our last game, it was easier. Next game is home, so hopefully we make it easier to win.”
He spoke with a more positive mindset however, about his goal that won the game at Blackpool: “It’s very nice,” said Nauris, of his goal. “First, the most important thing is that we win the away game. To score, for me, is not the biggest target. I always try on the set pieces, and work hard on that. And now, in two games, two goals! In Scotland, I scored quite a lot of goals – so I hope I can do it again. They took it short, and Graham always makes good crosses in training. I know I just had to go in the box. I went there, and the ball just came to my head. The same happened at Notts County. Connor made it perfect. We have good delivery; G and Connor make good deliveries. I just have to put the ball in the net. The clean sheet is the most important thing for a defender. We still made a couple of mistakes, so we need to work hard as a team, work together to be more comfortable with the ball – at the back and the front.”
Argyle have secured their third win in a row with a 1-0 victory at Blackpool. Nauris Bulvitis got the game's only goal and his second for Argyle following a short corner routine between Connor Smith and Graham Carey. Blackpool threw the kitchen sink at Argyle towards the end of the game but it was not enough for them to get anything from the game. Argyle: McCormick, Threlkeld, Bulvitis, Bradley, Sawyer(Purrington), Songo'o, Smith, Jervis, Carey(Tanner), Donaldson(Miller), Spencer. Subs: Dorel, Goodwillie, Slew, Fox.
Derek Adams is wary of the threat of former players as Argyle travel to Blackpool, who boast Kelvin Mellor and Jamille Matt in their ranks. Adams said of the two ex-Argyle men(and others): "It's always nice to see players who have played here before, Obviously we go up to Blackpool and there's two boys who did very well for us in Kelvin and Jamille – so it's always nice to see them. But I think when you come up against a player who has been at the club before they want to do really well against us. They will put their game up a notch. It will be a difficult match in that respect with Jamille and Kelvin in the squad. Obviously Jamille is injured at this moment in time so we're not sure if he'll be fit for Saturday.
"They've quite good experience and they've got a wee bit of youthfulness in their side as well. I know a couple of players who have played in Scotland in Jim McAlister and Clark Robertson. They have Danny Pugh in the middle of the park. They've got Danny Philliskirk who is a very good player for them who is injured at this moment in time. We've just got to deal with their good players and our good players will come on show as well."
Adams also gave a transfer update, confirming he expects no more out of Home Park before the close of the transfer window and only one more coming in: “There'll not be any outs, unless a huge bid comes in. There is possibly one more in. I don't see it happening before Saturday's game. We'll keep on looking. We have a number of players and teams that we are talking to - but other clubs are talking to them, too. It's an ongoing process. We have to get the right player that fits this football club at this time.”
Sonny Bradley re-affirmed his intent to take the momentum from the previous two wins into the game against Blackpool: “For me, this is just another game just another place we have to go to and get three points. Everyone will get treated equally; we’ll do the same preparation that we would do for anyone else in the league. I’ve never played at Blackpool; I’ve never played against Blackpool. So it’s a new one on me, but I know a few of their players and they have started very well so I think it’s going to be a tough game. It’s a massive club. You can tell that the fans are just waiting for them to kick on and step up the leagues. There is more expectation and a bit more pressure, but I enjoy that. I’ve come to Plymouth Argyle because I want to be part of something successful and, if we keep on getting the results, hopefully that can happen this season. I’ve played quite a lot of games in this league now and I think I know what it’s about. Anyone can beat anyone but I think the teams that will come out on top of the pile at the end will be the teams that work the hardest and have the best quality. We’ve got two wins on the bounce and we will be going to Blackpool trying to win again. When you play for Plymouth Argyle, every game has got to be a win. No matter where you go in this league, you will be wanting to win. There will be weeks when the result doesn’t go as expected – that happens in football, in any league in the world – but it is about how you deal with it and how you press on. If we get a good result at Blackpool, then we’ve got a bit of time down south and a few games at home so hopefully we can really knuckle down and get some good results.”
Bradley also admitted that he is not content with merely keeping goals out for Argyle this season, and his targeted a number of goals for him to chip in with at the other end. The defender said: “From a personal point of view, I haven’t scored as many goals as I’d like to. I always seem to get in the right position and my execution has not been good enough. I said, at the start of the season, that I do want to score more goals and I’ve set a marker for how many I want to score – which I’ll keep to myself, but I can assure you it’s a lot more than I’ve scored in the past. If it wasn’t for me, we would probably have had one against Notts County, as well. It’s brilliant to get our first clean sheet. Obviously, we will want a lot more of them this season and I think we will get a lot more as time goes on. If we get a clean sheet, it’s something to build on for the team and it puts a bit of confidence into our midfielders and strikers that we can keep the ball out of the back of the net; when we do that, 90% of the time, we will win football matches. What he’s asked me to do so far, I think I’ve done well and I think he’s fairly happy with me. Having said that, there are some good players waiting to step into our places, so we know we have got to perform at a minimum eight out of ten every week to stay in the team. That can only be a positive for us.”
Sonny Bradley is of the belief that Argyle should not use the amount of time needed to gel as an excuse following two wins and two losses from Argyle's first four league games of the season. Bradley said that Argyle's players need to step up to the plate, saying: “As professional footballers, you expect everyone to step up to the plate straight away. This is a big football club and there are no excuses for getting beaten on a Saturday. I’ve heard, a couple of times, people saying it’s going to take a bit of time for us to gel and things like that, but we can’t use that as an excuse –we have got to deal with it; things like this happen in football and it’s about how quick we can get ourselves together and start getting the results.“Anyone that signs for this club knows that’s what it is going to be. I don’t mind it personally, although it is long at times and, on a Saturday, you are getting home at midnight, 1am, at times. It is just the way it is. It is not going to get brought up if we get beaten or do not get the result we wanted; it’s just about dealing with it. The more time you spend around each other, the more you do bond. Having said that, after a few hours on that coach a few people are moaning and sometimes you just want to get your head down and have a couple of hours. It’s been a difficult few weeks after losing the first three games but we’ve kicked on a bit since then. We’ve progressed and got better and are coming off the back of a couple of good results now.”
Bradley also revealed that he was happy with the description of himself as a 'no nonsense' centre-back, claiming: “I’ll head and I’ll kick everything – I think it’s something you need in this league. It’s good having a centre-half who wants to play out from the back and play football. I think you need that, as well but, at times, you need someone to get hold of the rest of the lads and really dig in. If the back needs clearing, you have got to put your foot through it – sometimes, that is what I’m about.”
Derek Adams claimed that he is not sure who out of Oscar Threlkeld and Gary Miller will claim the right-back berth for the trip to Blackpool, stating that it was a good problem to have. Adams: “I want to get to the stage where we have competition for places. We're starting to get that now. Oscar hasn't really bed down a best position as yet, because he can play well in both positions - in midfield and at right back. He came in; he played well on Saturday. He had to because Gary Miller had a very good performance against Notts County. We've got good competition there. The two of them can perform to a high standard. I have to make a decision about who will play in that right back slot.
“From our point of view we've scored four goals in the last two games. We should have had two clean sheets. David hasn’t played many minutes. Jimmy has played the most, and his link-up play is important to us. It is not always important that your striker is the one that scores goals all the time. It is other players that chip in with goals. We did that well last season with Jake Jervis and Graham Carey. They were the two highest goalscorers; Ryan Brunt was the third highest, and Reuben Reid was fourth. We had Gregg Wylde on seven too. We have a team now that will chip in with goals, and the strikers will do that over the course of the season. That is a style of play that we play – we don’t rely on one person to get us the goals. We rely on the team to be creative, and goals to come from all over the pitch. It’s not easy at times, playing up there, and we try to take the pressure off them.”
Derek Adams issued a hands-off warning to all clubs who may be interesting in signing Argyle's top players before the close of the transfer window, confirming that it would take a huge bid to prize them away from us. Adams said: "There hasn't been any interest over the summer, which is good for us. We've got a week to go and I wouldn't expect to be selling any of my players coming up to the transfer window unless somebody wants to pay above our value."
Derek Adams praised the ability of his side to have many strings to their bow following their 2-0 win over Mansfield Town. Adams stated that Argyle attacked with gusto in the first half and defended their lead admirably in the second half. Adams described the performance as: "Outstanding, both the first half and the second half. The first half: a real passing performance. The second half: we had to defend a lot of high balls. In both halves, we were by far the better side. It was just an accomplished first-half performance; the way we took the ball and moved it and created openings. The second half became a bit messy. They threw in a lot of seven-foot players and we had to deal with that. To play the way we did, in the first half and second half - you need to do that in this league. There's teams that play football, and there's teams that play the ball forward depending on what game they're playing. Mansfield can do both, and we dealt well with both sides of the game. I think both teams actually played better against the wind. It was quite windy out there, but to come away 2-0 against a team that were unbeaten on seven points - it's a very good win for us. We're just moving on from the first game of the season. We've come away here today with three points. We went away to Notts County on Tuesday and won the three points there, as well."
Adams also explained the absence of Gary Miller from the squad: "He was suspended. The Scottish FA informed the English FA that they hadn't sent a letter to the English FA, saying that he had a suspension in Scotland. We received that late last week, and his suspension had to occur today."
Graham Carey said that the space he was given by the manager made the game against Mansfield his most enjoyable so far this season. Carey also spoke about both goals, with emphasis on his startling second effort: "I got a lot of space. But I think it was down to the hold up of Jimmy Spencer and Jake Jervis as well and the quality of the passes forward. It made my job a lot easier because I could get the ball in the final third and run at players. I really enjoyed it. I think it was the most enjoyable bit of football I have played this season. I was a lot more free and a lot more focused on attacking and I felt a lot sharper as well. We have to get to know each other and how we play, but personally I have been quite disappointed with my performances so far this season. It was nice to get off the mark in terms of goals, as well. The manager says go and find space. I am playing just off the striker, but if the space is not there then I need to move in between the lines of defence and midfield. I just went wherever the space was and I think the way we passed the ball and the way we got the ball into the final third today really suited the way we were playing. It is important to create chances but the manager gives us the freedom as long as we get back into shape when we lose the ball and work hard then he will give us that license.
"It was kind of a cross. But if you keep it in between the two posts then there is every chance it can go in if no one gets a touch. So it was nice. Before that I had a few runs at the full-back and I felt I had the beating of him. I drifted out there a lot more in the first-half and I got the ball and once you back them into the box they cannot touch you, so it was a nice goal, and it was in front of the Devonport End as well. To get the second goal in the game was crucial before half-time, because they knew they had a big task on their hands in the second-half and it eased the pressure of us a little bit. It was an important time to get the second goal."
Carey also added however that Argyle were far from the finished article and that they had to build on the recent improvement, saying: "We are far from the finished demon. But we know the potential that we have got. If we play to the standards that we know we can achieve then we will be really close this year. We can do a lot more on the training ground and do a lot more work shape-wise and tactically as well. It has been tough travelling and trying to protect the legs a bit with all the games. It will be nice to get a good week under our belt and work on the weaknesses that we have. I think with all the travelling we have done and the away games we have played, it was a tough start to the season. But gradually we are growing into the team that we know we can be. Especially in the first-half today; some of the football we played was great and it was to a high tempo - I think that is what we needed to do throughout the game. The second-half we came of the pace a little bit but like Tuesday night we had something to hold onto. We need to learn to control the ball and keep it a bit more and defend further up the pitch. We emphasised before the game the importance of a clean-sheet. Especially with the way they played, they were quite physical and quite direct but we knew if we kept the ball and moved the ball then they wouldn't be able to live with us and I don't think they did in the first-half. Second-half we came of the gas a bit, but all in all it was a great win.
"If you are into the wind, you have to play it on the ground. You cannot go long, as such. I thought we mixed our game quite well. The only disappointing thing was the second-half really. As a team we knew that we should have passed the ball more and controlled the game and controlled the clock as well. We know there is stuff to work on. If we can improve and keep winning at the same time then it is perfect."
Argyle have ensured back to back wins by beating Mansfield 2-0 courtesy of two goals from Graham Carey inside the first 25 minutes. A direct free-kick and a mazy run with a deflected shot won the match for Argyle. Argyle: McCormick, Threlkeld, Bulvitis, Bradley, Sawyer, Songo'o, Smith(Purrington), Jervis(Goodwillie), Carey, Donaldson, Spencer (Slew). Subs: Dorel, Ijaha, Fox, Tanner.
Derek Adams hopes that Argyle can build on their win at Notts County on Tuesday and make progress against a Mansfield side who themselves have made a good start to the season. Adams said: “It’s a very good start for Mansfield. f you look at this league – if you look at the results on a game by game basis – it’s been quite extraordinary, but is has been an excellent start for them. It’s very difficult to predict results and, at this moment in time, it looks as if it’s going to be a very tight league again. You will have to put a run of wins together to pull yourself away.
“Winning a game always gives people a lift and, from our point of view, to go away from home to Notts County – a difficult venue – and win the match was very pleasing. It is never easy, going away to these types of teams. We played really well. We went ahead and were probably unfortunate not to go further ahead. In the second half, we had to defend well because the home team were always going to put pressure on you. You always want a free week from Saturday to Saturday at the start of the season to try to bed things in. We haven’t had a lot of time in the training fields, but we have had enough time to work on certain aspects of our game. We have had a good week. The travelling has been difficult, but we now have a home game on Saturday.”
After playing in a succession of away games, Connor Smith is looking forward to making his first appearance in front of the Green Army: “The fans were unbelievable at Wembley when we played them in the play-off final. That’s all you could hear throughout the game, they sold out their end. I’m looking forward to playing here and getting the home support as well. I think everything is brilliant. The setup is good; the stadium’s unbelievable; the fans are unbelievable. I love it, my girlfriend has moved down as well. I’ve settled in really well, I’ve moved into a flat and the area is lovely and there are lots of things to see. It was just an innocuous one in training,” he said of his injury, “I got my body in front of Rooners and it was just a bit of a coming together really. I had a problem with my hip afterwards; nobody’s fault, and I’m just glad to be up and running again now. I’m up to match fitness and I felt good on Tuesday, playing the game.
“Mansfield are obviously a decent team and have started really well. Even if they were bottom three or hadn’t started really well, you have to go into the game with the same mentality: any game is going to be tough. We are going into the game the same we would any other game; playing to get three points. We always say that bottom can always beat top in this league and you would not be surprised. You have got to go into every game knowing it’s going to be tough. There is no given in this league and you can’t go into a game thinking we are going to get three points here. You’ve got to earn your points. We are coming in to this game with a bit more confidence after the win and we are hoping for 3 points again on Saturday. There is no other plan but that; that can be the only goal really. It’s probably good that the next game is coming so quick after Tuesday when we got the win. Hopefully we can take the confidence we got from Tuesday into the game on Saturday and put on a good performance for the fans here and get the result we need.”
Derek Adams also explained his reasoning for Argyle narrowing the pitch this season ahead of the Mansfield game: “We have taken it in. It’s two metres shorter each way. We have very good football players who like to play in tight areas and that allows us to move the ball quicker if the opposition wants to close us down. It’s not a big difference from other grounds. It’s similar to the likes of Portsmouth, so it’s not too big a difference, but anything that can help us, as a team, we have got to try and do. We just want to play on a pitch that we feel happy with and it gives us the advantage that we know the size and dimensions.”
Craig Tanner has rejoined Argyle on a loan deal until January. Tanner, who played 50 games for Argyle last season, has been loaned out for a second season running by parent club Reading. He will reclaim his number 27 shirt from last season.
Tanner himself confirmed that he had unfinished business with Argyle following his tears at full-time in the play-off final against Wimbledon at Wembley in May. He said: I’m used to talking to people, I spent most of my days with Oscar so I’m sure he will show me back around. It’s all good! Pre-season went really well and I featured quite heavily. More importantly what I want at the moment is to play in men’s football and play as many games as possible. That’s important in my development right now. I can hopefully bring width, sometimes a bit of pace, hopefully some skills, one-on-ones, and an end product. There are also things I need to work on. We tried to get into the game but we didn’t,” he said. “It took me a while to get over what happened. Hopefully we won’t have to go through that again!”
Derek Adams explained why he had brought Tanner back to the club: "Craig obviously came in last season and played really well for us. He can play in a variety of positions across the front and he has got that trickery, ball control and a wee bit of pace as well to help us. He knows the club well and it's good to have him back. He played 50 times for us last season and was a big part of how well he did. This is giving him an opportunity to come back and get some game-time, and in his career he needs that. I think there were a number of clubs looking to take Craig on loan. But he knows this football club well and Reading liked how we looked after him last season so it was a major bonus for us. I spoke to Jaap Stam on the night of the cup tie about it. He has been very helpful in allowing the move to go ahead.
It may have taken until the fourth game in all competitions for Argyle to open their goalscoring account this season but Derek Adams is confident that his side have a lot more in goals in them, saying: “Jake scored 14 goals last season, from a wide area of the pitch, and the other night, he scores a very good goal from a wider area. Hopefully, he can go on and try to be top goalscorer again this season. You want competition. Graham Carey was second-top scorer last season; Ryan Brunt, as well. I think competition for that accolade is high in the squad: Carey, David Goodwillie, Jimmy Spencer and Jordan Slew, all can score goals."
He also spoke about the role Connor Smith has to play at Argyle following his first start for the club coinciding with victory on Tuesday: “He’s up to speed now he’s been training with the squad. He had 45 minutes against Carlisle and 90 minutes the other night, so he’s on course now to get a good run of games in. I thought he was excellent on Tuesday, especially first half, when we were on the ball. He looks forward, looks to play into the strikers and wide players, and looks to run forward as well. Central midfield is the position I want him to play in. He can play anywhere in the three in midfield; he’s a player who is forward thinking; he’s good on the ball; a good tackler and a good attacker; and tactically he knows the game well.”
Finally, Adams assessed that Argyle were too reliant on backpasses in the win against Notts County. He did however go on to give praise to a great save made by Luke McCormick late on in the game. Adams said: "We probably passed too many balls back to Luke. That frustrated me a wee bit. I think they were maybe trying to keep possession but it was heart in the mouth stuff at times.
"It was a great strike and Luke has seen it very late. He has got his hand down at that bottom corner and was able to flick it around the post. That's where he's there for and that's what he is paid to do, but to do it the way he did it was brilliant."
Derek Adams kept his feet firmly on the ground following Argyle's 2-1 win at Notts County but praised the performance after a tough week on the road. He said: “It’s always nice to come away from home and win a match, and tonight was no different. We are obviously delighted to come here, this famous football club, and to win for the second season in a row. Our passing was a lot crisper tonight; our runs forward from midfield caused trouble; and, when you come away from home, you have got to defend well in the latter stages of the game, and we did that. When you are way from home, the opposition is always going to have a lot of the ball, and they did that. They got the ball wide and put the ball into the box. We dealt well with the high balls. Luke McCormick made one fantastic save towards the end; other than that, he hasn’t had much to do. You always want to get going in the league campaign. We had a magnificent time last season and the start of this season is probably not that much different from last season, when we lost our second game; we lost in the League Cup; and we won our first away game of the season. So it’s not too dissimilar. To start with, I think it was a decent passing movement and then Jake made a very good turn and he hit the ball very early into the bottom corner from about 24 yards. It was a fantastic strike and it’s got him off the mark. The second goal came from a great corner by Connor Smith and a good header from Bulvitis. It was Connor’s first 90 minutes for I don’t know how long. We were trying to get him off, but we just couldn’t get him off and his being able to last that long really helped us. Three games in eight days and the distances we have to travel has been very difficult for us. We have spent a lot of time on the road and the players are rightly tired tonight, mentally tired, as well as physically.”
He also stated that there was room for improvement as Argyle's side continued to gel, adding: “We’ve got a lot of work still to do. We have got a new group of players and, when you take in 14 new players to a football club, it is always going to take time. We have still got to know each other; the players have only been around each other for six weeks. The best managers in the world would find that difficult; there are no people who are magicians out there who can blend a team that quickly. There were only four players that were signed here last season that started on the pitch. When you have a group of new players, you have got to blend them into the way that the team wants to play, and that’s not easy. There’s room for improvement throughout the team. It was a very good defensive display. We should have done better at the goal we gave away but, overall, the back four and the goalkeeper had to be strong.”
Gary Sawyer too praised the dual nature of Argyle's performance, citing our attacking quality in the first half and our defensive prowess in the second. Sawyer said: “I thought we played some brilliant football in the first half; the second half was a bit backs against the wall. We just needed to dig that win out and, thankfully, we got it. We’ll take anything to get the first win and get ourselves under way. As it is in any season, to get the first win is crucial; the sooner you get it, the more you can build on. We have got some big lads that we have brought in. We are a more imposing side than we were last year; we have got a lot more height in the team and that’s definitely something we will be looking to get some goals from this year, especially with the delivery we’ve got.
" We have got some great players that they have brought to the club – it’s just gelling and building the team. We haven’t been together long – it’s a work in progress – but the boys have worked so hard, it’s just a deserved win for us. It’s been a tough start for us, the way the fixtures have come out, but they are out of the way now; the long journeys are done, and we’ve come out with a win at the end of it. We needed that.”
Argyle have their first points of the League Two season on the board with a 2-1 victory at Notts County. Jake Jervis got Argyle's first goal of the season but it was shortly after cancelled out by Jon Stead's equaliser. Argyle soon retook the lead however when Nauris Bulvitis headed in Connor Smith's corner. Argyle were under pressure in the second half but held out for the rest of the game. Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Bulvitis, Bradley, Sawyer, Songo'o, Threlkeld, Smith, Jervis(Donaldson), Spencer(Slew), Carey(Purrington). Subs: Dorel, Ijaha, Goodwillie, Rooney.
Argyle travel to Notts County to face former manager John Sheridan for the midweek game and Derek Adams hopes that Argyle can foster the more positive aspects of their performances so far to get their first points of the season on board. Adams said: “The performance against Luton was very good and we didn’t get out of the game what we deserve.We were the better team, but came off worse and the stats will tell you that. On Saturday, we didn’t play well in the first half but were a lot better in the second. We didn’t start well – we started slowly – but, as the game went on and into the second half, we became the dominant team. It’ll be nice to get that first goal and will give us that confidence which we probably need. The players have been working hard but we just need that break. We need that confidence and then the players will lift themselves a bit more. We can then play the style we are capable of.”
Argyle are still without a win or a goal this season following a 1-0 loss at Carlisle in the furthest and first (league) away match of the season. The goal from Reggie Lamb in the first half separated the two sides. Argyle: McCormick, Bulvitis, Songo'o, Bradley, Miller, Ijaha(Smith), Threlkeld(Donaldson), Sawyer, Goodwillie(Jervis), Spencer. Subs: Slew, Purrington, Rooney, Dorel.
Argyle have received a boost on the eve of their trip to Carlisle United with the news that Latvian centre-back Nauris Bulvitis’s international clearance has come through. The defender had been waiting for the paperwork to be completed after leaving Latvian Virsliga side FK Spartaks. The 29-year-old is now clear to make his Argyle debut at Brunton Park after being unavailable for the opening-day Sky Bet League Two encounter with Luton Town at Home Park seven days earlier and the subsequent midweek EFL Cup visit to Reading.
Karleigh Osborne too is working his way back to fitness but will not be available for the Carlisle game. Adams updated: He is with the physio, getting prepared to come back in with us. He hasn’t played any games, so he will have to get some games in before we can consider him for the first team. He did all the fitness work in pre-season, and he is doing a lot of fitness work just now. It is about getting the thigh strain settled down – which it has done – then getting some game time into him. He’ll have to play in the Peninsular League games. That’s all we’ve got. We don’t have the luxury of having a reserve team to go and play games.”
Gary Sawyer has gave a considered assessment of Argyle's start to the season, stating that there are positives sides to take in spite of the two losses. Sawyer said: “If you take the first half of Luton, everyone did well. t was a bit lax in the second half, which cost us the game. I don’t think, when we look back at the stats of the game, that it was a 3-0 game. We were happy with the first half, and felt like we had one or two chances that maybe we should have converted; then it is a completely different game. Reading was completely different. They were a very, very good side and we struggled to deal with them, especially in the first half. Then, after they scored the two goals, the boys had to dig in and managed not to concede again – that was the bonus to take out of the game. It was a tough game for us, a tough draw. I think Reading could do a bit this year. We don’t come up against the movement and players they have got every week, so it will stand us in good stead. You have to be really on your game at that level. We got to grips with it and we had chances that, had we put in, would have made the game very close for a game that, in the first half, we were really far apart. They blew us away a bit in the first 30 minutes; there’s no hiding from that. You are not going to come up against that calibre of player every week so, if you can do it against them – and we managed to stop their goal-threat in the second half – we can do that at our level and we will have a lot more chance. Obviously, you want to get off to a running start in the league, like we did last year, but it’s the first game of the season; there are 45 league games left. We are confident that we can find what we need. I don’t think we are miles off; if we could have cut out the bad goals we conceded against Luton, they would not have got a goal and I felt we were the team that might have nicked a goal. It just went the other way; unfortunately, football is like that sometimes.”
Sawyer also opined that the future of Argyle is in good hands with the recent contract extension of Derek Adams until the summer of 2020 and the young talent coming through the ranks: “It’s a massive bonus for the club to have him stand in front of you for the next four years. It is good times for the club, I think. He’s done so well and he’s a really good manager – everyone enjoys working with him. To see that he’s got a good contract – he deserves that – helps. A lot of times now, you play with a manager who has only got a one-year deal, so it’s a lot better for the future of the club if you give a manager as good as Derek this chance. We have got a lot of depth. The other day, when we had the team doing set-pieces and the boys that weren’t playing were doing a little bit extra, you looked across and all of them potentially could or should be playing. I’ve got Ben Purrington behind me and Ben’s a fantastic player. I know I have to be at it, else he will play. That goes throughout the whole team; everyone knows they can be taken out, which is a good thing.”
Derek Adams has his plan to deal with Argyle's vast amount of miles on the road this season and to tackle a Carlisle side who he believes have changed positively this summer. Adams said: “It’s the same as it was last season. We’ll travel up after training, get to the hotel and prepare the same way. It’s the same as travelling anywhere. We have a lot of long journeys throughout the season, so it’s only a couple of hours on. It maybe helps being early in the season, rather than being later, in midweek. Hopefully that is beneficial. There are a lot of long journeys at the start of the season – a very intense period. We’ll get back in the early hours of Sunday morning, then turn around and go back up Monday.
“They’ve added a few players in the summer. They’ve got the nucleus of the same squad, they’ve just changed it about slightly. They’ve had a very good start. It’s not easy going to Portsmouth, and they came away with a point, and had ten men. Then they got a win against Port Vale, a League One club, in midweek. They’ve changed their style a wee bit. They are still very direct, they do go forward very quickly, but they have taken in a few very good technical players as well. They can mix it up by playing into midfield and into forward areas.
“Last Saturday we got into very good areas. We need to create more opportunities and score the goals our play deserves. We could have prevented the goals against Luton. That’s an area where we have done very well in pre-season; we would just like to stop the errors that have happened. We’ve shown in pre-season that we can score goals, and that we can defend. We’ve just played two games – there’s a long way to go.”
Luke McCormick has welcomed the return of return of Rhys Wilmot to the club, speaking of his helpfulness and familiarity in particular: "I'm very pleased that Rhys has come back. It worked well with James Bittner and he felt it was his time to move on. I'm grateful for the work he did. Obviously, Rhys is very familiar to me. We stayed in touch throughout his time away from the first team. I'm really pleased to have him back because his experience – and support – is invaluable to me. I can go to Rhys with a query, with a problem, with an issue – anything like that. He's a very level-headed guy and has a tremendous amount of experience so he's really good to have around. His support is a huge thing for me."
Derek Adams was philosophical about Argyle's defeat to Reading on Tuesday night, claiming that we were beaten by a simply better side. He added that he was pleased with our performance in the second half, saying: “Reading played very well tonight. They are a top Championship team and thoroughly deserved to win the match. The movement from Reading was excellent. They passed the ball well; they did that on Saturday to Preston so we knew that was going to be the case. It is difficult because of the level we are at and the level they are at. Because they pass the ball and move, you are never going to get close. They use the goalkeeper well; they use the centre-halves well; they are a good all-round team. Sometimes you just have to say that the other team are much better than you. The players will look at how good a team Reading are and the players they have come up against. To get to this level, you have to be a top player and all the players at our club are striving to get there. In the second half, we got to grips with it, we created a good number of chances, and we were probably unlucky not to have scored. We were in and around their penalty area more than we were in the first half. We finished strongly to the game. We looked, fitness-wise, very well. In the last 15-20 minutes, the chances we created were a lot better and I was pleased with that. If we had scored the next goal, we would have put them under a wee bit of pressure. The fitness levels were excellent because we have had to do a lot of running tonight. We went to 90 minutes and looked strong finishing the game.
“It is always going to take time, but you can see they are gelling together well. They are getting to know each other and you can see the understanding they have together on the pitch – they way they shut down Reading was very good. We had to be. You learn all the time and, when you have taken in the players that we have had to take in over the summer, it is about getting them blending in. They are gelling really well just now.”
Meanwhile, James Brent has given the fans an update on the direction of the club off the field. He said first that he hoped the club would go onto own the stadium and then that whilst he was still intending to secure a new grandstand for the club, he could not give a definite timescale to that end. Brent said: "I personally think it is in the interests of Plymouth Argyle Football Club to own its stadium. I think that statement is justified on a number of accounts, part of which is financial. If we are not paying the rent – which goes up in October if we don't buy the stadium – we can spend that on the football budget. It drives other things in terms of your behaviour to invest. We, as a club, are more likely to invest in our own asset than an asset owned by a third party. The last time the club owned its stadium it borrowed money from a bank against it. I'm not enthusiastic about bank-borrowing football clubs. I think it is different if it comes from shareholders or other stakeholders. I could run the argument that when the club went into administration it had a green pitch. It has a green pitch now. It doesn't mean it's likely to go into administration because it has got a green pitch. I have spent many hours understanding why Argyle went into the administration. The borrowing of money from Lombard against the stadium was not a driver of the administration. There were other reasons. Not withstanding that, I would not be in favour of borrowing money from a lending institution to buy back the stadium. We have a legal option to repurchase that the council is clearly very familiar with. There are two decisions that need to be taken. The first is whether the board of Plymouth Argyle Football Club think it is a good or a bad thing for the club to own its own stadium. There is a second question as to whether the investors want to support Plymouth Argyle Football Club to buy back the stadium.
"The aspiration to deliver to Plymouth Argyle Football Club a new grandstand is undiminished. We need to work with others in delivering that vision. Talks continue and I have no doubt that we will deliver a new grandstand. But I can't tell you when or in what form that is going to take. When we came in we set three objectives. One was to put the club on a financially sustainable footing. When you say it very quickly that sounds easy, but it hasn't been. It has been a real challenge but we have got there. The fans I speak to absolutely get that, and understand that it is not of interest just to accountants. It's of interest to everyone who loves this football club that we are financially sustainable. With the support of the fans, and the staff, we have achieved that and full credit to everyone involved with the football club.Our second objective was to progress back up the leagues and each year we have achieved cumulative improvement, but it hasn't been at the pace we wanted. So it's not a green light on that achievement but it's certainly a strong amber, I think. There has been progression each year. We need a new grandstand for two reasons, and I think I have been very open on this. One is that the physical environment of the grandstand is not what we want to provide to our fans, who are also customers. So we want to improve that offer. And, secondly, we are financially sustainable now, and we are even more financially sustainable in League One, but when we get into the Championship we do want to generate additional matchday and non-matchday revenues. In terms of the hospitality service that our staff provide, and the quality of the food and so on, I think our team does a really good job. In terms of licks of paint, we do that on a regular basis. The maintenance guys have done a lot of basic work to the grandstand and it's a safe environment. When you go beyond that you are looking at potentially redundant expenditure. For example, if you went and replaced the toilets this year and then we move forward on a new grandstand you would be ripping out wasted expenditure so that's where the challenge lies. We have smartened up the old lady in terms of licks of paint and so on, but there is little more that we can do that would not prove to be redundant expenditure when we do redevelop the grandstand."
Argyle have gone out of the League Cup in the first round following a 2-0 defeat away to Reading. Both goals came within the first 28 minutes of the game before the match petered out. Argyle: Dorel, Miller, Songo'o. Bradley, Sawyer, Threlkeld, Fox(Donaldson), Carey, Jervis, Slew(Spencer), Goodwillie(Smith). Subs: McCormick, Purrington, Ijaha, Rooney.
Luke McCormick revealed the crisis on confidence that he suffered last season. He spoke about his dip in form after Christmas and his hopes that he has come out of the other side better off for it: “I had a bit of a dip in confidence and it wasn’t complacency that led to that dip. It was almost the first time I had really experienced it in my career and I have to admit that it was quite hard to realise what was going on. I’m sure that every player goes through it at some stage in their career; maybe it was just my turn. I worked through it and, by the time the play-offs came, I had come through it. I think I have become a better ’keeper for that. I will use that experience, try not to let it happen again, and hopefully keep putting in good performances for the club.”
Derek Adams was disappointed by Argyle's loss at home to Luton yesterday and particularly so because he felt all of the goals could have been prevented in some way. Adams gave his analysis on all the goals and the game in general: "In the first 45 minutes it was quite even from both teams. I didn't think that there was much happening in the game. In the second half they've got the early goal, just after half time. It was a very good cross into the box - we probably should've dealt better with the cross coming into the box. Then it hit Yann Songo'o's hand, and they get the first goal. The second goal: we didn't do well enough there, again. They scored the first goal, and we're pushing to get back into the game, and they've got the second goal - and then the third goal goes through Luke's hand.
"The goals were all preventable. We could've stopped the cross for the first one, we could've covered better for the second one, and Luke could've saved the third one. The goals that we've conceded haven't been good. The score-line flattered Luton, I think that's got to be said - and that's not an excuse. That's just the way I saw the game. I don't think they did too much in the game to win 3-0. I don't think Luke had many saves in the game, and I think that score flattered them, but that's the score-line at the end of the day."
"We obviously knew that the game today was going to be a difficult match. I thought we started the game very well; we took the game to Luton. We didn't really create enough chances. We had the ball in and around the area without making any clear-cut chances. We probably didn't get a break of the ball. Our crossing wasn't good enough today, when we did get ourselves into a wider area. We haven't worked their goalkeeper enough. Over the 90 minutes we've got enough players on the pitch who are capable of that. For one reason or another, it didn't go our way. Luton had a good number of players in and around that area, where they defended the ball well. When it did fall to us we didn't get a shot off, or we probably didn't choose the right option. It's very difficult after a defeat to praise anybody today," said Adams. "It's a day where you've got to take collective responsibility, to move forward to the next game. It's a disappointing fact that we've lost our first game of the season. We've got an exceptionally difficult game on Tuesday night. We're not going into the game in the top spirit that we'd hope to."
Adams also gave an explanation for the absence of Nauris Bulvitis from the matchday squad, citing administrative difficulties at the Latvian end: "He doesn't have international clearance yes so that was the reason why he wasn't involved. We're just waiting for international clearance; it's obviously in Latvia that the problem is. We're just waiting for the Latvians to give us the go-ahead. I knew about it, but it's something that we've been trying to resolve."
Luke McCormick has given his thanks to Derek Adams for having the faith in him to make him team captain for the upcoming season. McCormick spoke about what the honour meant to him, saying: “I’ve been at this club since I was a child and I’m 33 next week so I’m very pleased to have committed myself to club for a longer stay, and to get the captaincy was the icing on the cake. I’m grateful for the manager to have that sort of faith in me and I hope, over the course of the season, I will be able to repay with performances and with the leadership he has entrusted in me. There is so much more to being a captain than the 90 minutes on a Saturday or a Tuesday. Off the field; in the dressing-room. Being an older player in the dressing-room, maybe I’m looked upon a little bit as the one who has to set the standards; to get on to people sometimes; to know when someone is having a bit of tough time. I have a good relationship with the lads, so maybe that’s why the gaffer thought I’d be good at the job.”
McCormick was unsurprisingly less pleased about Argyle's result and performance in the match against Luton. The new captain said that such such a result could not be justified: “It will take a little bit of time but we are certainly not using that as an excuse. We don’t want to use any excuses. The bottom line was that, today, for 45 minutes, we weren’t good enough. I thought, for 45 minutes, we did okay. We did the things that we worked on. Second half, it was evident that we let ourselves down. It was clear, after the first half, that, in the second half, it was going to have to be a case of having to win ugly. It’s a massive learning curve for us. We have had bit of a slap in the face. We go again on Tuesday and we have got to improve on doing the things that we weren’t good enough at in the second half today. Clearly, it’s very disappointing. Pre-season went as well as it could have but – it doesn’t matter – you can do whatever you want in pre-season, as soon as it comes down to the first game of the season, it’s all about the win. All three of the goals were very, very disappointing, from our point of view, and we got ourselves in a lot of good positions with the ball but failed to test their ’keeper as much as we should have done. That’s something that we are going to have to improve on. I don’t think we worked their goalkeeper anywhere near enough and yet he was far busier than I was and I’ve let three goals in. That’s the story in itself. We lacked a bit of fight which is something we are going to have to improve on, especially in this league, at times. We are not a bad footballing side, so we are going to have to roll our sleeves up and do the ugly things. It’s a bit of a reality check, maybe, but there are plenty of positive things that are happening at this moment with the football club and one bad result is not going to put the dampeners on it too much. We dust ourselves down and go again. We come in on Sunday and go to work about putting it right.”
Argyle's season has begun with a 3-0 loss at home to Luton Town. The game was goalless at half-time but three second half strikes from Hylton, Mariott and Smith gave the Hatters all three points. Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Songo'o, Bradley, Sawyer, Threlkeld, Ijaha(Jervis), Carey, Donaldson(Fox), Goodwillie(Slew), Spencer. Subs: Dorel, Smith, Purrington, Rooney.
Luke McCormick has been appointed as the Argyle captain for this season after a pre-season trial spell of handing the armband around. Gary Sawyer is vice-captain.
Derek Adams spoke of his satisfaction with Argyle's new look squad and his ambitions ahead of the new season: “Being able to get players in under the budget that we work with is very important and, over the summer, we have recruited well to get 22 players signed up in the budget we have. What we have got this year is better depth to the squad than we had last season and I think that will be important. I knew players would move on and that I would have to take in a good few signings over the summer. I think they have gelled quickly over the pre-season. We have had them all in since the start of pre-season, which has it has been good and has allowed them to combine with each other quite quickly. There are not many football clubs in England that you get the support, home and away, like this football club. For me, as a manager, when I see the amount of fans we take away from home, and the amount of fans we have here at Home Park, it is a very good environment to work in. There is a fanbase here that can take you forward. We are looking forward to it. When it comes around, the first game of the season is always exciting and Saturday will be no different. Same as every season – to win every game. To do as well as we possibly can. That’s what we said last year and we’ll do that again this year.”
Finally, Gary Miller shared his history with Argyle manager Derek Adams, explaining why he felt confident enough to sign for him: "I played with him when I was 17. It's quite funny to think of now that I came on for him to make my debut – and he came off injured! I'd say we go back a long way.It's been 10 years or so now which is quite a while. It always helps to have that trust in place early on. But he definitely doesn't cut me any slack or anything like that, though! He expects the same from me than he does from anybody else. Everybody has to meet the same standards. That's probably a good thing because it keeps you on your toes and keeps you working hard. "His training methods have always been quite enjoyable because there's a lot of football. I'm sure he will have evolved. He's an educated man who likes his football and likes to keep up to date on all the modern techniques as well. He's a promising young manager. You've got to aim high and try your best to achieve that. As a team of this size and of such quality we should be doing aiming to do really well."
Argyle have extended Derek Adams contract by three years, ensuring he remains contracted to Argyle until the summer of 2020. Adams was previously due to have his contract run out at the end of the current season. James Brent had this to say about the deal: "I am delighted that the Board and Derek have agreed an extension to his contract to 2020. Derek has already made a major contribution to Plymouth Argyle and the Board believes he has much more to offer. Much of what football clubs do is focused on the current season and yet, to achieve sustainable success, we believe that plans need to be implemented for the medium-term, as well. Derek's contract extension to 2020 – when we and the rest of Plymouth will be celebrating the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower and the founding of modern America – will help enhance the club's focus on the medium and longer terms. ”
Martyn Starnes gave his reasoning for the big leap of faith taken in Adams: “Derek and his team have done a fantastic job here in the year they have been with the club and I, personally, am looking forward to working with them over the next few years to try to get this club to where we want it to be. It is really good news that we have been able to sign Derek to this extended contract. Derek and his team have done really, really well and we hope that will continue.”
Adams himself too spoke of that shared vision: “The football club wants to get back to where it belongs. I’m trying to put the platform in place to get it there. It takes time. I’m at the football club to help the football club out. We’re together as a partnership. The chairman and the Board of Directors, the supporters, the players – we’re all in it together to move forward and that’s what we’ll continue to do.
“It was very quick. There wasn’t much to be discussed. I think I’ve been quite easy to deal with to move things forward. Nothing has changed from the contract I have signed before. The terms are very similar. All I have given the football club, and they have given me, is a wee bit of support both ways.”
Adams also confirmed that similar deals are in the offing for Craig Brewster and Paul Wotton, saying: "That has not been confirmed as yet but they are part of my team and I want them to stay here."
David Goodwillie has said that he and his teammates are primed and ready ahead of the big opener against Luton on Saturday. He said: "It has been a long pre-season with a lot of games but I think we are fit and ready as we can be for Saturday. I think every player you ask would be excited for this first game. We want to get out there and get the result we need. We were undefeated in pre-season and hopefully we can take winning mentality and desire not to lose into our league games. Eight thousand people for a friendly is unheard of for me anyway. I'm really excited to see what they bring on Saturday. We have got a lot of talented forward players and it will be a fight for positions but I think we will always support each other. There has been that even in the friendlies.
"I don't know much about Luton but the boys have been speaking about them and I think it will be a tough first game for us. If we can beat them and make a statement it would be great. This is a new league for me, and for a lot of the players, and hopefully we can put into place the manager's tactics and get the results we need every week."
Following pre-season injuries, it has been confirmed that Connor Smith and Karleigh Osborne, as well as long-term injury victim Ryan Brunt, are Argyle's only injury absentees going into the game against Luton.
Marc McCallum is looking forward to testing himself in English football, and is looking forward to the competition between the three ‘keepers that are now at the club. McCallum signs having had a short trial spell with the club this summer, and also featured in the pre-season friendly at Bovey Tracey. The 23-year-old spoke positively about his time, and how he was happy to see it turn into a contracted deal: “I got a wee 45 minutes. It was great to taste it, you know, and the boys have been great, and as soon as the gaffer said ‘if you want to come back’...I couldn’t really say no. I came on trial about two weeks ago and then the call came right after that. The gaffer gave me a bit of time to think over it but I knew straight away that it was going to be the right decision. I’m only 23 but I’ve played a lot of games. I’ve played a lot of matches so I’ve got a lot of experience, so I’m hoping I can use that and push as hard as I can, and push Luke and Vincent as hard as I can.
“Derek Adams told me that he’s wanting the ‘keepers to push each other, so I’m looking forward to getting in and seeing what’s happening. I know I’ve come in a bit late but obviously with the trial I got a good week with the lads, so I know what’s expected. I think up in Scotland, a lot of Scottish lads aim to play in England, and it’s a great opportunity for myself to come and try and prove myself down here. In Scotland, don’t get me wrong, the game’s great but for me I’ve always wanted to play in England. I know David Goodwillie. I think Derek was Ross County manager when I was at Dundee United so he roughly knew where I was. Brew was at Dundee United, he was manager as well in the past so he roughly knew where I was. So it's great that the Scottish boys kind of stick together.”
Derek Adams gave the usual injury update on Argyle's players currently struggling with niggles. He also signalled his intent to sign a goalkeeper to compete with McCormick and Dorel for the third keeper's berth: "We probably didn't expect to have 5,000 here so to have 8,000 people here shows how far West Brom have come and Plymouth Argyle have come. That's a tremendous turnout from the people in the local area to come and watch us and support us today. Karleigh Osborne will hopefully be back in training soon. Connor Smith took a knock in training in Holland - we're still assessing that. Hopefully in not too long, they can get back in training with the squad. We'll sign a goalkeeper this week. We need to push Luke McCormick and Vincent Dorel to the fore. Vincent Dorel's done exceptionally well since he's come to this football club. The two of them are vying for that number one position this year. The new goalkeeper will come in and push them for a second spot or a first spot, as well. The loan signings are nothing imminent at this moment, but there's still scope to do that."
Adams went on to make good on that promise later in the day, confirming the signing of Marc McCallum after a successful trial. Forfar-born Marc, 23, is our 14th signing of the summer and will wear the number 25 shirt.
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