A Round-up of Argyle News
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Argyle are set to sign French defender Stephane Zubar before today's transfer window closes. Zubar spent some time at Home Park during pre-season and played in the friendly at QPR. The deal will depend on the club being able to obtain international clearance.
Speculation about Argyle making an offer for Rotherham United striker Adam Le Fondre has been rubbished by Peter Reid, but there remains a strong possibility of arrivals and departures at Home Park before the transfer window closes today. A website report yesterday claimed Argyle had offered cash plus Rory Fallon to Rotherham for Le Fondre, but Reid said: "That's absolute rubbish. I don't know anything about it."
Reda Johnson has been thrown out of Benin's national squad for a second time, according to reports. Benin fired all 23 members of their African Nations Cup final squad in February for 'indiscipline and a lack of patriotism'. Their new coach, Jean-Marc Nobilo, named 10 of the 23 in his squad for this week's game against Burundi, but the Federation refused to accept two players, including Johnson. According to Le Matinal newspaper, the pair are 'always undesirable to the Federation'.
Karl Duguid had to wait patiently for his first league start of the season, but the 3-0 defeat by Peterborough United was not the way he wanted the occasion to be marked. But now he has returned to the line-up he hopes to stay there. Bondz N'Gala reverted to his preferred position of centre-back against Peterborough, and that led to Duguid being called up. He said: "To be fair to Bondz, he did well in the first few games. He did a job for the team, which was fantastic, but he's a centre-half and he really wants to play at centre-half. I'm old enough now to know you have got to be patient, and just do things right. I trained as hard as possible, as I always would whether I'm in the team or not, and my chance has come round. Obviously, it wasn't the result I wanted, and I hold my hand up for the third goal, but apart from that I was quite pleased with my performance. But when you lose, that doesn't count for anything."
Argyle's youth team are moving to a new home ground. The under-18s will be playing their home games at Millbay Park this season. Last year they used Elburton Villa's Haye Road ground and it is hoped one of the benefits from the move will see more supporters watching the team in action. Gordon Bennett was delighted the excellent facilities at Millbay Park would be available to the team. He said: "The background to the move is that during the summer Football League officials expressed concern about our existing ground-sharing arrangements with Elburton Villa. That was due to the inevitable limitations of flexibility in rearranging games postponed by bad weather. We enjoy a good relationship with Elburton Villa, but had to take notice of the comments of the Football League. We are most appreciative of the kind offer by the Royal Artillery 29 Commando in making their excellent facilities available to us. The main advantage is Millbay Park is available every Saturday for us, so the rearrangement of postponed matches should be a lot easier. We are also hoping that, being a city centre venue, it will be easier for more Argyle supporters to come and watch our promising young players more frequently." Bennett added: "We are pleased we shall continue to have Elburton Villa's ground on stand-by in the event of wear and tear at Millbay Park making the pitch unavailable. We shall also continue to play schoolboy games at Elburton Villa on Saturdays and Sundays."
Peter Reid believes Jordan Trott and Sean Kinsella will learn a lot from their one-month loan spells with Bridgwater Town. He said: "Reserve league games are few and far between and these lads need games. It's important for them to be playing regularly at their age."
Peter Reid admitted signing at least one striker on loan remained a priority for him after Argyle's defeat by Peterborough United. He said: "Ideally, you would want to go out and get a couple of strikers. I'm working to do that on a loan situation, but it's hard work the way it is at the moment." Reid would not disclose any details of players he was trying to bring in. He added: "It's no use me talking about it and then it doesn't come off. But I'm actively working on it." It was suggested to Reid the supporters who had seen Argyle beaten by Peterborough would be desperate for some new arrivals. "So is the manager, without a doubt," he replied. "The fans have been great. I thought they stuck with the team again today. There were a few moans, but I don't blame them. There were a few moans from the bench, to tell you the truth." Joe Mason and Rory Patterson led Argyle's attack against Peterborough, and Steve MacLean was a 70th minute substitute for Mason, but did not make any impact on the match. Reid said: "I thought Mason showed some great touches but got tired. Patterson gave us everything he had got, but didn't get on the end of most things." The main attacking threat came from Craig Noone, his first appearance in League One this season. Reid said: "I thought Nooney did all right, but he got a little bit frustrated at times and put the ball in too early, instead of picking people out." Argyle took on Peterborough without two of their most experienced players in Kari Arnason and Carl Fletcher. Arnason was suspended and Fletcher was sidelined by a thigh injury which he suffered in training last Thursday. Reid was not prepared to use their absence as an excuse for the defeat though, and said: "To be fair, that's why you have a squad. Certain teams will have players out. That's part and parcel of football and you have just got to get on with it. You are hoping the people who go in do a job for you, so that's not an excuse." Reid was annoyed two of Peterborough's goals came from set pieces. He said: "You have got to pick up off dead-ball situations. It's not rocket science. I thought it was quite an even game until that first one went in. It was a bad goal from our point of view because players are detailed to mark, and we haven't done it. Then we got stretched and ragged, and we paid the penalty. They got on the end of things in our box, and we didn't get on the end of things in their box. Ultimately, if you don't do that, you are going to get beaten."
Karl Duguid admitted Argyle paid the price for poor defending at set pieces when they were beaten by Peterborough United on Saturday. He said: "It was a bit of a chalk and cheese performance. We felt we did well in the first half. The manager and Paul Mariner were very pleased with it at half-time. It was comfortable. The lads felt good, the shape was good and we created a few chances. Then, in the second half, Peterborough kept hitting straight balls in behind us and we didn't deal with them as we probably should have done. And we have conceded two goals from set pieces, which you can't afford to.I think the first one was Patto's man, and the third goal was my man. You can dominate a game and it can all change on a set piece. They were individual errors and we have held our hands up. We should do better than that. we know that. Once the first goal went in, we didn't carry on doing what we did in the first half. That's the disappointing thing. As much as we were pleased with the first half performance, that's how disappointed we were with the second half. The only thing you can do is take the positives out of the first half and rectify the mistakes. You have got to stay with your man at set pieces. If your man scores it's your fault. It was as simple as that today with the first goal and the third one." After Mackail-Smith opened the scoring, Argyle had a chance to equalise when Craig Noone had a far post header from a corner saved by Joe Lewis. Duguid said: "When the first goal goes in you have just got to relax and get on with it, and I don't think we did that today. We started rushing to try to score a goal quickly, but you have got to be patient. We weren't patient after we conceded the goal and that has gone against us. We have spoken about that in the changing room." At times in the first half, Argyle had played some decent passing football. Duguid added: "We have got a fantastic football pitch now and there are no excuses for you to be pumping it up the field. That's the way we had to play last season. I think you have to mix it up a bit. You can't just keep popping it about for the sake of it. Peterborough proved today, with the amount of balls they put in behind us and with the quick front men they have got, that does work as well. You have got to mix it up. You can't just keep putting it forward, and I think we did that today. There was some lovely play down the left. Bas and Moly did well. And Nooney showed us what he is all about. Hopefully, we can get that out of him more often than not. I'm sure he will create a lot of chances for the front men."
Argyle's youth team won 4-0 at Bournemouth on Saturday, the goals scored by Matt Rickard, Jed Harper-Penman, Lewis Coombes and an Elliot Ward own goal. Argyle: Ord, Hart, Stephens, Pearce, Clifford, Harper-Penman, Young, Berry, Baker, Rickard, Copp. Subs - Bradley, Sims (not used - LeCointe, Varazinskis).
Peter Reid is working hard to add forward options to his squad ahead of Tuesday's transfer deadline. "I am actively trying to bring in new people," he said. "Ideally, I would go out and get a couple of strikers but it is hard work. If you look at Peterborough's strikers, that's why I went with pace at the back. McLean, Mackail-Smith and Boyd have pace in abundance. I would like a couple of things but it is hard work getting people in and out in today's climate. Peterborough are not bad at this level and they have some decent players. The fans have been great. They stuck with the team again. There were a few moans, which was understandable. They were a few moans from the bench as well."
Craig Noone pledged that Argyle will work hard to get back to winnings ways and begged the fans, 'Stick with us.' He said: "We'll keep playing as best we can, giving 110% every time - stick with us because our performances are going to get better. The boys are disappointed at losing, obviously. In the first half, I thought we played good football. We can take a lot of positives from that. We created chances, but we didn't really make the 'keeper work. Peterborough's strikers were lethal and, I'm not saying ours weren't, but we never finished our chances. Obviously, we need to work on taking our chances, and that's what we are going to do. We've got a bit of work to do on the training-ground, finding the back of the net, because we've had a problem with that."
Argyle lost 3-0 to Peterborough at Home Park. Argyle: Button, Duguid, N'Gala, Johnson.R, Molyneux, Clark, Parrett, Noone, Bhasera, Patterson, Mason. Subs - MacLean, Peterlin, Paterson (not used – Larrieu, Timar, Summerfield, Nelson). Attendance - 7,712.
Four Argyle players will be on international duty next weekend and Peter Reid has admitted he can only hope they return to Home Park without any injuries. "We have got players who have been called up for their countries so we have got to get on with it," he said. "That's just the way it is. There is no use moaning about it. You are hoping they come back fit. That's the biggest concern."
Onismor Bhasera signed a one-year extension to his contract with Argyle earlier this week, even though he had a deal until June 2012. Peter Reid said: "He's a left-back, but he has done me a good job on the left-side of midfield this season. There was a wee bit of speculation in the summer about people being interested in him, so we had a chat and I'm delighted he has signed a new deal for us. He's a good footballer and I think it's good business for the club."
Sean Kinsella and Jordan Trott have both joined Bridgwater Town on one-month loan deals.
Joe Mason and Rory Patterson will continue as Argyle's strikeforce for the game against Peterborough United tomorrow, which means that Steve MacLean and Bradley Wright-Phillips, as long as he recovers from illness, will start the match as substitutes. Rory Fallon is still sidelined by a groin injury. Peter Reid said: "Mason and Patterson will play up front again tomorrow. I was pleased with Joe's finish for the goal. I was also pleased with the amount of chances we created, but we have got to learn to hit the target. We did some team-play and finishing in training yesterday. I thought we created about half-a-dozen decent chances last Saturday, but the biggest thing for me was we didn't work the goalkeeper enough. The one shot that was on target went in the net. Out of six good chances, we have got to get more on target." Argyle led 1-0 at half-time against Walsall, before conceding two goals in a second half dominated by the home side. Reid thought one of the reasons for that was his team's inability to hold the ball up when it was played forward. He said: "I thought in the second half, when we were under pressure, the hold-up play could have been better. It kept coming at us a bit too much. That's something we need to work on. When you are under pressure, the front men are the first line of defence. The young boy is still learning the game, but I thought some of the movement between them was excellent. I think they are lads who will score goals. They are two different types of players but they will work defences." Reid does not expect there to be any player arrivals or departures from Home Park before tomorrow, but with the transfer window set to close next Tuesday, he is working busily behind the scenes to add at least one new recruit, a striker, to his squad. Reid added: "I'm working on one or two things, but it wouldn't be fair to mention names."
Peter Reid has revealed he will start his search for a new coach to replace John Carver next week. "I have had plenty of interest in the position," he said. "Let's get this game over and then I can concentrate on it for a couple of weeks."
Jim Paterson has returned to Home Park after flying out to Greece for talks with Kavala FC. Peter Reid said: "I spoke to Jim and he's still in negotiations with them, but there is nothing sorted out at the moment."
Peter Reid has called for an improved defensive display when Argyle face Peterborough United at Home Park tomorrow. He said: "They are a good side. Their two front men are a threat, and so is Boyd. They play some decent stuff. Coming from 2-0 behind to beat Huddersfield is a fantastic result. I have watched the DVD of that game and they did play well, so it's going to be a tough one for us. I thought some of our play last Saturday was good but, on the other hand, the defending wasn't great. If you defend like that at this level you get turned over, and that's what happened to us. We need to defend better against a good side." Reid holds a high regard, in particular, for Peterborough's attacking trio of Boyd, Mackail-Smith and Mclean. He said: "I have seen them a few times and think all three of them are excellent players at this level." Argyle will take on Peterborough without Kari Arnason, who is serving a one-match suspension after his red card against Walsall. Reda Johnson will almost certainly make his first start of the campaign at centre-back. Reid said: "I have got Reda, and N'Gala can play there as well. I have got to pick a team and it's a chance for someone to come in and do well." Unlike Peterborough, Argyle were not involved in the Carling Cup this wee, but Reid does not believe there is any advantage for his side that they did not have a midweek match. "I wish we had been playing," he said. "A lot of people go on about the amount of games there are, but I think players like playing football matches. I think it will be a good game. We are going to try to get it down and play. Last Saturday was a good football match. I just want a different result this time and for us to be stronger at the back." Craig Noone and Anton Peterlin will both be available after being sidelined against Walsall.
Dean Parrett spent Monday and Tuesday at Spurs' training base, and then, after returning to Plymouth, watched on TV as Tottenham qualified for the UEFA Champions' League. Now he is hoping to play his part in a second win of the season for Argyle when they take on Peterborough United tomorrow. "That would cap off the week brilliantly," he said. "Hopefully, we can get a win and three points on the board." Parrett and David Button were watched at Walsall by Spurs' head of player development, Chris Ramsey. He and Tim Sherwood, Tottenham's reserve team coach, went through DVDs of those two matches with them. Parrett said: "They told us what we did well, and what we didn't do well. They told me I needed to try to control the game more, and get on the ball more, which I want to try to do. It's good to have a look at the DVD because when you watch it back you get a whole different picture, so you can see where you should have run, or if you didn't run, or where you should have played a ball. The more opinions you can get, the better. Obviously you have your own opinion, but I have got the gaffer and people at Tottenham. So you get a rounded view on the game. I think the coaches are all working together in what they do, and Tottenham are going to back the gaffer as much as possible." Parrett was reasonably content with his performance against Walsall. "I think, on the ball, I did okay, but there is more to come," he said. "I have already spoken to the gaffer and he told me I needed to work harder off the ball, make sure I'm always in the right positions and do everything early instead of leaving extra work for myself. If I play tomorrow, I'm going to try to work on that." Argyle's game against Walsall was very different in style compared to what Parrett has been used to previously. "I had to adapt to it quickly," he said. "I like to play the ball on the floor and it went over our heads quite a lot. So I need to get used to the fact I have to work hard off the ball, get the ball and then play. The ball isn't going to come to me without working hard. You also have to be a lot sharper in your thoughts and where people are." Parrett enjoyed playing alongside Carl Fletcher, who provided some invaluable advice. "He knows the game and has been in it for a long time," said Parrett. "And he talks to you a lot, which is what you need as a young player. If I was out of position, he would boss me around. Obviously, because I haven't played a lot of first team games it's going to take some getting used to different positions, and stuff like that, but it's great for me to learn off someone with such a steady, experienced head."
Peter Reid will not stand in the way of Chris Barker, whose one-month loan spell ends on Friday, staying at Southend United. He said: "I have no objection to that. I should imagine we will have a chat with Southend later this week." Another left-back, Jim Paterson, could also be set to leave the club. Paterson has been on trial with Greek club Kavala and Reid said: "I think they have offered a deal to him, from what I hear from the agent who set this up." Meanwhile, David Button and Dean Parrett were set to return to training with Argyle today after spending the early part of this week having their fitness checked by Spurs' staff. Reid said: "A proviso of their deals was that they will go back to Spurs at intermittent periods and be assessed by them. That was agreed with Harry Redknapp and I have got no problem with it."
John Carver has insisted it was not easy to decide to leave Argyle to become the first team coach at Sheffield United. He said: "It might seem like an easy decision to make, but it was a wrench leaving a club I was enjoying being at. I think I had a good relationship with Roy Gardner and Keith Todd. And I know for a fact I had a good relationship with all the coaching and medical staff at the club. Peter came in and was great. He let me get on with the coaching as normal. But I think he realised this job was an opportunity for me to go back up north and get closer to my roots in Newcastle. It also gave me the chance to get back up to the Championship, at a club with a fanbase of over 25,000. But it was still a tough decision for me because I was leaving behind a good friend and good pro in Paul Mariner. That was the hardest part." Carver had the opportunity to leave Argyle only a month after arriving at Home Park, when Burnley wanted him to become their first team coach. But, out of a sense of loyalty to Paul Mariner, he stayed put, and was rewarded with a two-and-a-half year contract by Argyle. Carver said: "That was the main reason why I decided not to go to Burnley. But you can't keep turning jobs down and, being honest, the goal-posts had changed slightly this time. Before, Paul didn't have the title of manager but he was the number one." When Mariner was appointed as head coach last October, the intention was for him to take over control of the first team from Paul Sturrock at the end of the season. But, after a series of poor results, Mariner was promoted after only seven weeks. Carver said: "It was earlier than Paul expected and, to be honest, I think between us we did a half decent job, given the circumstances. It has been a tough few months for him, but he's a big lad. He has had to take it on the chin and just get on with it, and that's exactly what he has done." Carver believes Reid can lead Argyle to success, but has warned it could take time and patience. He said: "It's a big job, and the expectation levels have got to be managed. We lost some of our best players, such as Jamie Mackie, Damien Johnson and David Stockdale."
Peter Reid has revealed he has spoken to several Premier League managers about signing players on loan for Argyle. Reid was at Manchester City's win against Liverpool on Monday and was seen sitting next to Sir Alex Ferguson. He also attended the reserve team match between City and United at Hyde FC last night. Reid said: "I have spoken to a lot of Premier League managers about players. I don't think it's fair to name any individuals, but it's definitely something we are looking to do. I have known Sir Alex for a long time and we had dinner at the game on Monday with a mutual friend."
Peter Reid and Paul Mariner will attend a dinner in Manchester tonight being hosted by England's 2018 World Cup bid team where the special guests will be a six-man delegation from FIFA. Reid is keen to play his part in England's, and Plymouth's, push to stage the tournament. He said: "I was a kid in 1966, the last time the World Cup was held in this country. I remember the incredible interest generated on Merseyside because Brazil were playing there. We could get a chance of that in 2018. For the people of Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall it would be absolutely amazing. It would generate incredible excitement, before you even go into the commercial side of it and what that would mean for the city and the two counties." Keith Todd and Paul Stapleton will also be attending the dinner.
Onismor Bhasera has signed a one-year extension to his contract with Argyle and is now tied to the club until 2013. Peter Reid said: "It's always pleasing to have a good player secured at the club. It's good for the manager to have players who can play in different positions and he has done really well so far."
As expected, Reda Johnson has been called-up to the Benin squad for the African Cup of Nations qualifier against Burundi on September 4th.
Joe Mason has targeted back-to-back home wins for Argyle after their inconsistent opening to the season. He said: "It has been a bit stop-start, to be fair. We really need to settle down. From now on, we have just got to do what we are good at and get up that table as quickly as possible. We need to make it like two or three years ago, when clubs used to hate coming to Argyle. We have got two home games now and all we want is six points, nothing less." Mason scored his fourth senior goal for Argyle against Walsall, and is now hoping to stay in the side permanently. He said: "I'm happy to be starting. Macca is a quality player and I have got to try to cement my place in the team." Without Rory Fallon leading the line against Walsall, Argyle tried to play a more passing style of football. "I think we created quite a few chances," said Mason. "We should have scored more goals really. On another day we could have won three or four-nil, but it just wasn't to be. I'm happy we are playing the ball to feet, and I'm sure the rest of the team are. And I'm sure the fans would rather us play the ball to feet as well. We are confident we can play very well with the ball on the floor because we aren't the biggest side. The players we do have are players that are good with the ball at their feet. We need to do that more, not just when we take the lead. We need to do it right from the beginning." Mason's goal against Walsall came when he swivelled and shot past 'keeper Jonny Brain after a low right-wing cross from Luke Summerfield. Mason said: "Summers is a clever player and I knew he was going to cut it back. I knew I had to get a decent half-touch on it and that the defender wasn't close enough so I could turn and shoot. Luckily enough, it has gone in." Mason took some of the blame for Walsall's equaliser, after losing possession of the ball. He added: "I put my hand up for the first goal. I lost it in the middle of the field and they got round the back of us too easily, and there was no-one picking up at the back post." Argyle will come up against a more direct style of play in League One, compared to when they were in the Championship, according to Mason. He said: "Our defence is definitely going to have to get used to the difference. Whereas last year a lot of the teams would get it down, this season most look like they are just going to smash it up the field and play off second balls."
David Button and Dean Parrett are both training with Tottenham for the next couple of days. Paul Mariner said: "They are training at Tottenham today and they will be back with us on Thursday. It's just a normal thing you get with loan deals. They go back for Tottenham in a similar way to David Stockdale did with Fulham last year. Tottenham will just check them out physically. They've both settled in well, but, like we thought, it's not an easy league. They are young players and they will have to learn quick."
The Argyle squad were given a high intensity training session at Marjon yesterday. After Saturday's defeat, the coaching staff opted for a training session designed to lift the spirits. "We wanted training to be bright today, so we set the session up accordingly," said Paul Mariner. "We went straight into some high intensity passing and moving before moving on to a finishing exercise involving positioning and reaction. It was a short session but high intensity. We just wanted to get the lads jollied up and sharp."
Paul Mariner has joined Peter Reid in heaping praise on Joe Mason. "As everybody has been saying, it was an absolutely fantastic finish at Walsall," he said. "The ball that came in from Summers had some pace on it and he took it down instantly. He just seemed to know what he is doing. He didn't put a lot of the pace in the shot but he kept it down, which is always difficult for goalkeepers. I've been working with Joe for a while and Peter Reid has immediately seen the quality in the lad. He is the typical fox in the box. He is very intelligent in his play. He is quiet and unassuming, but he knows what he's doing and is a tremendous finisher."
Argyle's game with Brighton and Hove Albion, which was due to take place on September 4th, has been postponed due to international call ups. Rory Patterson, Joe Mason and Onismor Bhasera will all be on international duty, while there is also a chance Reda Johnson could be away.
Peter Reid blamed some sloppy defending for Argyle's defeat at Walsall on Saturday. "I thought it was a very entertaining game and there were plenty of chances at both ends," he said. "I was disappointed with our defending in one or two instances, and I would call their goals soft ones. Well I would do, wouldn't I, from our point of view? But they will be happy with theirs. We have been defending well recently and I just thought we were sloppy, so I'm disappointed." Joe Mason made his first start of the season for Argyle and celebrated with a goal. Reid said: "I thought our goal was really good. It was a great touch by the boy, who looks a decent prospect, and a great finish. When you are 1-0 up you want to try to capitalise on that, but even before then it could have been three-each because the game was that open." While Reda Johnson was to blame for losing possession in the build-up to Walsall's second goal, David Button should have dealt with the shot and Reid added: "I don't like criticising individuals but, from where I was, I thought it went in too easy that one. Their two goals came after we were in comfortable possession, and that is disappointing. You can't afford for that to happen at any level and, certainly, Walsall capitalised on it." Mason's goal was further evidence of his undoubted potential. Reid said: "He's bright. He has got a good touch and he's intelligent. He's a lad who has certainly got ability. I thought he was a little bit unlucky not to get a penalty in the second half. He turned the guy and went through and I thought he might have got something there, but referee deemed it wasn't. Mason's strike partner was Rory Patterson, who was making his full debut. Reid said: "I thought Rory had the best chance of the game. It was really good build-up play by Parrett. Walsall were well organised and held the line well, but Parrett broke from the midfield and slid a lovely ball in. In those circumstances as a striker, you have got to hit the target. Paul Mariner should be here answering that one. Paul says you should pass those in, and he's right." Lee Molyneux was substituted in the 60th minute when Chris Clark was sent on. Clark played on the left-side of midfield, with Onismor Bhasera moving to full-back. Reid said: "I brought Molyneux off because he got booked, and I didn't want a sending-off, but I got one elsewhere. And I thought Krisztian was tiring a bit so I brought Reda on. When the ball went beyond the back four before Walsall scored their first goal, I thought Timar was really slow in the recovery. I thought we deserved something out of the game. But we defended badly and we gave away too many chances, and you can't afford to do that."
Despite his bitter disappointment at Saturdays defeat Kari Arnason had words of praise for Joe Mason. He said: "Everybody knows he has that quality about him. He's going to be a brilliant player in the future. He's a great finisher and we just hope he keeps progressing. I can't compliment the lad highly enough."
Kari Arnason had no doubts about where the game at Walsall was lost. "Personal mistakes were the key to our failure today," he said. "We have to neutralise those mistakes to be candidates for promotion. There were mistakes that led up to the goals which are key to our lack of success in this league. We have to be more sharp. The standard in this division is quite high but, it is the same thing - if you make mistakes, you will lose football games. That was the key last season and it is the key this season."
Peter Reid and Kari Arnason both felt the Icelander's sending-off at the end of Argyle's defeat at Walsall was cruel. "I'm not here to criticise referees - it's a hard job out there - but I thought it was a harsh one," said Reid. "I'm not sure what the contact was, but it doesn't matter what I think. Those things happen in football." Arnason explained: "We were not organised at the back and I saw the ball coming for miles. It was a great ball and he had yards on me. I had my arms up, looking at the ball, and he moves into me. He gets a touch on me but made the most of it and the ref buys into it. He was a long way from goal. I thought it was harsh. It slowed him down, but he was still going." Arnason will now miss Argyle's home games against Peterborough United and Brighton & Hove Albion. Reid added: "I've got Reda who can go in there. I've got N'Gala. That's why we have so many players in the squad these days. It's a chance for someone to go in and do a job for us."
Rory Patterson has been selected for Northern Ireland's trip to Slovenia for the European Championship qualifier next month and Joe Mason is in the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad for their trips to Switzerland and Turkey.
Argyle lost 2-1 at Walsall, the goal scored by Joe Mason after 30 minutes. Argyle: Button, N'Gala, Arnason, Timar, Molyneux, Summerfield, Parrett, Fletcher, Bhasera, Patterson, Mason. Subs - Clark, Johnson.R, MacLean (not used – Larrieu, Wright-Phillips, Duguid, Nelson). Attendance - 3,966.
Rory Fallon will sit out Argyle's game at Walsall today because of a groin injury. Peter Reid revealed he had been struggling with the problem since playing for the reserves on Tuesday, and he also confirmed that Fallon had turned down the chance to sign for Rotherham United. "Rotherham have been in touch about Rory," said Reid. "I asked him did he want to go and he said 'no'. Unless anything changes, I expect the boy to do his best for us." Rotherham manager Ronnie Moore said: "We have had a sniff but he wants to sit tight and see what develops. I think he is waiting to see whether Swansea come in and that's a shame because I think he would have given us what we want. Fallon has started three games for Plymouth but I think he's ready for a change. We will be keeping an eye on the situation." Craig Noone is also out of today's game because of a knee injury he suffered in training on Thursday. It is not thought the damage is too severe, however.
Peter Reid has reiterated that he will not tolerate a repeat of the reserves' display against Swindon Town earlier this week. In addition to Paul Mariner's report on the game, Reid had his card marked about the performance by a couple of his contacts in the game, and was not impressed with what he was told. "I have dealt with it," he said. "I can take getting beaten, but it was the manner in which we were beaten. There are a couple of people I know who rang me up after the game. I pride myself on making my teams hard to beat, and trying to be professional and run it right, and then that happens. I wasn't happy at all. It's the first and last time it will happen."
Peter Reid is predicting a 'dramatic reduction' in the fees paid to agents by clubs over the next year. Argyle paid out £275,000 in agents' fees last season and Reid said: "Given the current economic climate, it's worrying to see such a significant amount leaking from the game. This year's figures demonstrate a considerable increase on those of last season. It's essential clubs work to reduce this liability over the coming campaign. It's better for the game if the vast majority of the money stays in the game. I understand agents have to make a living, but some of the figures bandied about are not bad at all." Reid has signed three players since taking over as Argyle manager, but none of them have been for transfer fees. He said: "I'm used to dealing with agents, but you can't spend money you haven't got, so it's a good out for me, that one. I think it's really biting in now, and when we get these figures next year I'm sure we will see a dramatic reduction."
Steve MacLean's rehabilitation as an Argyle first-team player has given him the opportunity to appear in all three games so far this season, and he thinks the side are on the right track. He said: "We've had mixed results. We went away to Southampton on the first day of the League season and got an excellent result. Then we went out of the Cup to Notts County, although the gaffer made a few changes on the night, and then we took a point in the League against Carlisle last Saturday. That was a good result, because we weren't anywhere near our best on the day. We'd have taken four points from our first two League games, there's no doubt about that. Looking at it now, after dropping two points at home, it's probably a little bit disappointing, but we'll be right up there if we can win on Saturday." After beating Southampton away, today's assignment should hold few fears for the team. "It will be a very difficult game, like any game in this league, but we've got to go to Walsall looking to win the game," MacLean said. "We're confident, and we'll be trying to take three points wherever we go. We're a solid team, with three centre-halves at the back and three central midfielders in the middle. Whatever team the gaffer puts out, we'll be solid and competitive, and we'll be happy with that if we can keep picking up results." When he was asked to assess his form, MacLean said: "I think I've been OK. I think there's improvements to be made, I'd like to get amongst the goals. If I'm selected on Saturday, hopefully I can score then, but what's most important is getting the points." MacLean played in League One in 2004-05, and helped Sheffield Wednesday win promotion. He said: "I had a few different strike partners that season, so my role changed to suit who I was playing with, but maybe I was more of a penalty-box player. That's what I've got to look to do here. I've got to get in the box, and grab more goals. I'm sure I can do it, because I've done it in this league before. I'm sure it won't be a problem."
Argyle today confirmed that John Carver has left the club to join Sheffield United
David Button is determined to repay the confidence shown in him by Peter Reid. He said: "It's nice for me to start games because that's what I came here to do. The gaffer has showed faith in me, which I really appreciate, and now it's time for me to pay him back with some good performances." Button has not been overworked in his first two appearances for Argyle, and said: "It's always nice for a goalie if you don't have too much to do. The defence has done okay. Overall, I think I have been fairly solid. I just need to take each game as it comes and make sure I keep my place. I know Romain is here and he's going to want his position back, but it's up to me to keep it." Button's arrival at Home Park was followed a week later by that of Dean Parrett, which went down well with him on two counts. "We are good mates, so it's nice to have him down here," he said. "But, from a team point of view, I do really rate him as a player. I'm not just saying that because he's my friend. I think it's a great signing for the club and, hopefully, he will do well here." Button has been satisfied with the start to the season made by the team. He said: "To be honest, I think we would have taken four points from the first two games before we played them. But, with the great win away to Southampton, we would have liked to have got a more positive result against Carlisle. Obviously, that wasn't to be, and it has highlighted a few things for us which we know we need to work on. There are a lot of decent teams in League One who, I would imagine, play a similar style of football to Carlisle. They are the sort of teams we are looking to beat, especially at home. We need to really if we are going to kick on and get promotion." Argyle only avoided defeat by Carlisle after a last-gasp equaliser from Rory Patterson. Button added: "It gave everyone a lift. It wouldn't have been nice to lose that game. The fact we showed a lot of spirit and a lot of determination to get back into the game was good." Button is settling into his new surroundings and has no regrets about making the move to Plymouth. He said: "I have been really enjoying it. All of the staff have been fantastic. We are working with Adam Sadler, who has been good. And the gaffer and Paul Mariner have been great as well, so I'm learning a lot."
Adam Sadler has taken on first team coaching duties at Argyle with the impending departure of John Carver to Sheffield United. Sadler holds a UEFA Pro Licence and is in pole position to replace Carver on a permanent basis, but Peter Reid insisted no decision would be taken on that until after the game against Walsall. Reid, who expects Carver to complete his move, said: "It's 99 per cent certain. I'm sorry to lose him but I don't think we could have stood in his way. He's nearer Newcastle, which I think is a big sway for him. He knows Speedo from Newcastle, and knows Sam Ellis from working at Leeds and Luton. So, with a great deal of reluctance, we have allowed him to go. Adam will be helping out with the first team. The game against Walsall is the most important thing now and we will get that out of the way and then take stock of it." Explaining Sadler's arrival at Argyle, Reid said: "John knew him, but it was a big recommendation from Sam Allardyce that swayed it. Adam has got all the coaching badges, goalkeeping, the UEFA Pro Licence, he has done everything. So he will have no problem joining us. I know he has really enjoyed working with the youth team, and this has all happened so quick we haven't had time to sit down and have a chat about it."
Anton Peterlin is set to be sidelined by a hamstring injury for Argyle's game at Walsall tomorrow, but Reda Johnson should be in the squad for the trip. Peter Reid has three options as to how to replace Peterlin alongside Carl Fletcher in the centre of midfield, Luke Summerfield, Chris Clark and Dean Parrett. Reid said: "I don't think Peterlin will make it so there will be a change in there. I have got a few options. Fletcher is one of those players that you don't realise what he does until he's not there. He fills holes and his stats in the last game against Carlisle, in terms of being on the ball and keeping it passing-wise, were excellent, so I think that's what he brings to the team. He's an influential player in there." Craig Noone suffered a knee injury in training yesterday, which was being assessed by Argyle's medical staff today.
Curtis Nelson will feature in the squad against Walsall after Peter Reid admitted his performance had been one of the few plus points to come out of the reserve game against Swindon. "He was terrific," Reid said. "He's with us all the time now, and he has handled training really well. He will definitely be in the squad tomorrow." Rory Patterson is expected to make his first start for Argyle tomorrow and Joe Mason is also pushing for a call-up. Reid added: "I think Mason is a really good footballer, and I have never ever been afraid to throw youth in there, so that wouldn't be a problem to me."
Onismor Bhasera has been named in Zimbabwe's squad for an African Nations Cup qualifier at Liberia on September 5. With Rory Patterson likely to be wanted by Northern Ireland for a European Championship qualifier in Slovenia on September 3, and Joe Mason expected to be part of the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad to face Switzerland and Turkey, Argyle's game with Brighton and Hove Albion could be postponed.
Peter Reid has admitted he will be having 'a few words' with the players who took part in Argyle reserves' 4-0 defeat at Swindon Town on Tuesday. He said: "All my players are aware of the standards I expect from them at this football club. You can't always predict how a side will do. However, I'll be having a word with a few of them and reminding them of that when we meet today."
John Carver has been given permission to talk to Sheffield United, who named Gary Speed as their new manager yesterday. Peter Reid said: "Sheffield United called me, and I have given them permisison to have a chat wth John."
The return of Krisztian Timar has been good news for Argyle so far this season. He has fought off strong competition in the centre-back area to start the first two league games of the season, and even tried his luck as a left-winger in Saturday's draw with Carlisle. "I stayed up after the corner and just tried my best on the wing," he said. "Once, I played as a striker against Watford. I'm really happy to be playing in the first-team again. I had a good pre-season and I'm happy with the start, so I'll just keep going. There is good competition because we have a lot of good players in that position. It makes us play better and work harder. I am the kind of guy who always works hard but competition does give you even more motivation to stay on the pitch. Support from the fans is a really good thing for a football player. I work hard for the team and I always give me best, so maybe that's why. I wanted to come back and show everybody, the manager and the supporters, that I can play at the same level as before."
Argyle reserves lost 4-0 at Swindon Town yesterday. Paul Mariner said: "We came up against a very resolute Swindon side. I thought we were very much in the game at half-time, but we gave away some soft goals. One particularly from a corner was a free header inside the six-yard and it knocked the stuffing out of us. I think 4-0 was a bit rough on the lads but we certainly didn't help ourselves as a unit." One positive as far as Mariner was concerned was the performance of Curtis Nelson, and he added: "Some good did come out of the game. I thought Curtis did very well." Argyle: Larrieu, Duguid, Seip, Nelson, Clifford, Noone, Clark, Parrett, Kinsella, Fallon, Wright-Phillips. Subs – Stephens, Young (not used - Rickard, Harper-Penman, Chenoweth).
Peter Reid has made signing a new striker for Argyle his top priority. He said: "I have changed one or two things, but I'm still not there in terms of what I want in or what I want out. But there are a lot of managers in the same boat. I think as we get closer to the deadline things will happen. I was pleased Patterson got a goal, and I'm pleased with Mason, but that front-man is still a concern for me. He could be tall or quick, anyone who can stick it in the back of the net will do me. I have got a few irons in the fire and I'm hoping it will come to fruition."
Peter Reid has admitted the performances of Anton Peterlin have been one of the early season plus points for him. "I think he's getting to the pace of it," said Reid. "He's one of those players who keeps the ball well. With me trying to get the team to pass it, I think he has been one of the plusses to be perfectly honest. Like I have said, we have got to get that anxiety out of our play. We have had small-sided games in training, trying to get the passing going. It has been short and sharp."
Peter Reid is placing increased emphasis on the final ball into the box and one of the key components to that improvement will be Onismor Bhasera. Reid said: "I don't think it comes overnight but Bhasera's energy is good in there. We got down the left once or twice but we've got to get more quality. The final ball is so important. You can have all the build up in the world, but, if you don't get that delivery in at the end, it's waste of time. We'll be working on that but he's done well."
Joe Mason is looking for even more regular involvement in the first-team after coming on as a substitute in the draw with Carlisle. "I am happy with how it's gone so far," he said. "My aim was to be involved with the squad and I was happy to get on against Carlisle, and it was a great feeling to get a point in the last minute. Rory Patterson is obviously number one at the moment and I have to get a goal as well because confidence is a big thing. As a striker, you just want to score goals. If I can get a goal as soon as possible, I'm confident I can score goals in this league and do a job for the team. If we have three or four players getting into double figures, we should be alright. I feel most comfortable as a striker but if I'm asked to play out wide, I obviously will. It is up to me to work hard on the training ground and take the chance if it comes."
Rory Patterson knows there is a lot for him to work on before he really starts to make his mark at Argyle. While thrilled at opening his goalscoring account against Carlisle, he was not overly pleased with his performance. "I did alright, but it was no great shakes," he said. "Obviously, I got a goal, which is the pleasing thing, but there is still a lot of room for improvement in my game. With the coaching staff we have here, and all the training I'm doing, hopefully all I can do is get better and better." Patterson had impressed Paul Mariner and John Carver while on trial last season, but admitted he had wondered whether the decision to appoint a new manager would scupper his chances of signing for the club. He said: "Football is such a cut-throat business. You can be flavour of the month one minute and then the next minute you are out. So I was a bit nervous. I knew Paul liked me and John liked me, but they could have been away from the club, or the new manager might not have fancied it. Luckily, I got here and I'm just looking to stay here now." Peter Reid has hinted Patterson could be rewarded for his last-gasp goal against Carlisle with a first start in the game at Walsall this Saturday. Patterson said: "I want to stay in the team now and get as many goals as I can. That's what I'm concentrating on." Argyle will travel to Walsall seventh in the table after picking up four points from their first two matches. Patterson added: "Obviously, we would have liked six points. We went to Southampton and got a good result, and I think everybody was kind of expecting us to win on Saturday. But give credit to Carlisle. They came here with a gameplan and they stuck to it the whole 90 minutes. Luckily, we got something out of it in the end."
Yannick Bolasie is set to have a knee operation tomorrow and will be out of action for around a month. Peter Reid said: "We are hoping he will be back in a month. We had to wait until the bone soreness went out of his knee before we could do anything. We are going with the medical advice of the specialist. It's a blow for us because he can stretch people with his pace, and he has the ability to go past defenders, but we have just got to get on with it. We have got to get him back as soon as we can now."
Reda Johnson sat out training yesterday because of a continuing ankle injury. Peter Reid said: "We are hoping Reda will be back in training in the next couple of days. He had a knock on his ankle against Notts County and it was too sore for him on Saturday. We thought we would get away with it, but that wasn't the case." Anton Peterlin suffered a hamstring strain during the draw with Carlisle United but is due back in training by the end of the week. "He'll be out for a couple of days," Peter Reid said. "We'll assess him on Thursday, and hopefully he can get back into training."
Rory Fallon seems certain to be included in the New Zealand squad for friendlies against Honduras and Paraguay in October, meaning he will miss at least one match for Argyle.
Peter Reid has already shown in his short tenure as Argyle manager he will not shirk decisions and there was further evidence of that in the draw with Carlisle United on Saturday. Reid took off Rory Fallon in only the 37th minute of the game, replacing him with Rory Patterson. Reid was far from impressed with his side's display, but took some consolation from the way they stuck to their task until the final whistle. He said: "Carlisle came and made it difficult for us. The best thing about it is we kept on going. The passing and the anxiousness in our play is a worry. I'm trying to be brutally honest, and we have got to work hard on the training ground, because that wasn't good enough." Argyle have not won at Home Park since March and have lost five of their seven home games since then, drawing the other two. Reid said: "We have got to try to relax on the pitch, but it's easier said than done. In our training sessions, we get the ball down and pass it, but when we are out here on a brilliant pitch, for some reason, we find it difficult. I don't know whether it's pressure, but they have got to handle that pressure. We have also got to have the mental strength to pass the ball."
Anton Peterlin put the team first as he battled on for Argyle despite suffering a hamstring injury near the end of the draw against Carlisle United. Peter Reid, who had already used his three substitutes when Peterlin was hurt, said: "Anton tweaked his hamstring and I have got to give him all the credit in the world for keeping going." Reda Johnson was ruled out against Carlisle because of an ankle injury.
Rory Patterson rescued a point for Argyle on Saturday wearing a pair of boots he had bought from a city centre shop only 24 hours earlier. Patterson's previous ones had been lost on his return from Northern Ireland's friendly in Montenegro. He said: "I think I will keep hold of them for a while! I usually get boots sent to me, but they wouldn't have got to me in time for so I had to go and buy some myself. It doesn't bother me about breaking boots in. It might have been a blessing losing the other ones." Patterson had missed Argyle's defeat by Notts County last Tuesday because he was on international duty, but did not get the chance to add to his three caps. He said: "There is nothing I can do about that. It's up to the manager who plays. Obviously, it was disappointing because we had a Carling Cup match. I think I might have had a shout for that one, and I would have had a full week's training. I'm looking forward now to getting started again on Monday." Patterson admitted words of advice from Paul Mariner had played a part in his equaliser against Carlisle. He said: "There were a lot of balls bouncing about in the box, and we got a few bodies in there. Timar and Bondz were up, to be a bit of nuisance, and I think they did that. It just fell nicely for me and I put it away. If anything falls to me inside the box, I just try to hit the target. That's what you are taught to do as a striker, and Paul Mariner has drilled that into me. If you hit the target, you have always got a chance of scoring. So I was just trying to concentrate on doing that, and today it has paid off." Carlisle had taken the lead in the 68th minute and were on the brink of victory when Patterson struck. He admitted Argyle had failed to impose themselves on the match, and said: "They came with a plan and they did stifle us. They were quite hard to break down and played some decent football. But at home we did need to be doing better. We need to be dominating teams so that was disappointing."
Argyle begin the reserve-team campaign at Swindon Town on Tuesday and Peter Reid will use the match as an opportunity to give the fringe players in his squad some valuable game-time. Reid is also including Dean Parrett and Rory Fallon in a bid to remove the rustiness in their play. "Deano will be playing for the reserves to give him some more football time," said Reid. "Fallon will be having another game because he needs football, as will Wright-Phillips, Clark and the lads that haven't been playing. It's a competitive game and there will be a few of the senior professionals." Craig Noone will also feature and Reid will be closely assessing the quality of his delivery. "He's a lad who has ability," said Reid. "He had plenty of the ball last Tuesday but his end delivery was poor. It's alright getting plenty of the ball but you've got to do something with it. He's got to improve on the final ball and he's got to create chances. The boy has got ability, so we'll see how he does in the reserve game."
The conversion of Bondz N'Gala to a right-back has left Peter Reid with a conundrum. Signed as a centre-back, N'Gala has shown his defensive qualities in his new position but Reid is looking for more going forward. "Defensively, he is ok but there is a problem when we go forward," said Reid. "He needs to be better and more comfortable on it, so he's got to improve. Ryan Leonard will be playing 45 minutes for the reserves at Swindon and so will Karl Duguid. He is a utility player; one of those players who can play a few positions."
The Argyle youth team won 3-1 at Oxford United in their first Football League Youth Alliance game yesterday, the goals scored by Connor Clifford, Luke Young and Curtis Nelson. Argyle: Ord, Stephens, Nelson, Sawyer, Clifford, Young, Harper-Penman, Berry, Rickard, Sims, Copp. Subs - Hart, Coombes, Baker (not used - Pearce)
Rory Patterson expressed his delight at opening his league goal-scoring account yesterday. "It's pleasing just to get off the mark," he said. "Obviously I'm glad it didn't take too long - the ball seemed to be bobbling about a bit and I just tried to get myself a bit of space." Having already had a couple of chances earlier on in the game against Carlisle, Patterson left it late before making an impact as Argyle looked set to lose in the first home game of the campaign. Patterson said: "The first one, he's pulled off a good save but, fortunately, the last one fell to me and I put it away. If I get anything in like I got in Ireland, then I'll not be doing too badly. It's a different standard over here but hopefully I can get a few goals and just take it from there." After being sent onto the field of play ten minutes before half time, Patterson added, "You don't usually get on that early in a game, unless someone is injured, but he has put me on and I just went out and tried to work as hard as I could."
Rory Patterson is the toast of Argyle tonight. "He also had one shot saved and mis-hit one past the post but while he was on, he showed desire," said Peter Reid. "I might have started with him but he got back from Montenegro on Thursday night and he lost his bag in Bristol, so he had a torrid time in getting back. I made the decision early and stuck him on, and he deserves his place next week." Joe Mason and Dean Parrett were also introduced early, as Reid sought to change the pattern of a frustrating afternoon. "I love Mason as a footballer but I have to be careful with him," said Reid. "He gets in behind and he's a clever player. I had a hell of a lot of young players out there. If they're going to do it, I'll play them. The players pick the team and that gives an insight into the team for next week. It was a gamble, making three changes, because you're always looking out for injuries, and we did get one. Anton Peterlin has tweaked his hamstring and I give the boy all the credit in the world for keeping going. I put Parrett in at the deep end and he will be able to handle it. He has shown he can handle a football and he'll have a week with us training now and getting to the pace of it. It's a bonus that he's got some time on the pitch."
David Button produced a wonder-save on his home debut for Argyle, a stunning block from Ian Harte's whipped free-kick in the draw with Carlisle. "It was a great save," said Peter Reid. "I know Harte from when I had him at Leeds and he won us a game at Arsenal with a free-kick, so when he stepped up, I feared the worse. It was a terrific save because it had plenty of dip on it. The kid looks as though he's got a chance of being a top keeper."
Argyle drew 1-1 with Carlisle United at Home Park, the goal scored by Rory Patterson in the 94th minute. Argyle: Button, N'Gala, Arnason, Timar, Molyneux, Summerfield, Peterlin, Fletcher, Bhasera, Fallon, MacLean. Subs - Parrett, Patterson, Mason (not used – Larrieu, Paterson, Clark, Noone). Attendance - 7,782.
The Argyle squad will be bolstered today by the return of Joe Mason and Rory Patterson from international duty. Mason was an unused substitute for the Republic of Ireland under-21s against Estonia on Tuesday and returned to training with Argyle on Thursday, but Patterson was not back until yesterday. He had been an unused substitute in Northern Ireland's away defeat against Macedonia on Wednesday. Both could also miss out on Argyle's game against Brighton and Hove Albion on September 4th if called up again. Peter Reid was pleased neither had seen any international action, therefore not running the risk of sustaining any injuries."I'm delighted they didn't play," he said. "I would prefer that. As long as they trained while they were away, it's not a problem."
Curtis Nelson started pre-season as a young apprentice looking for a professional contract at the end of the season. He is now training regularly with the first-team and made his professional debut in the Carling Cup defeat to Notts County. "I've found it a challenge and a big difference to playing in the youth-team," he said. "It's a lot quicker and more physical. I played quite well on Tuesday and enjoyed it, which is the main thing. Training with the first-team has given me a lot of confidence. You get used to new faces and start to gel with them, and the pros talk to you a lot more, which gives you the confidence to relax. I was very nervous going on against Notts County. I wasn't expecting to go on so early but half-an-hour is a decent amount of time. It gives me a lot more confidence with the youth team because it shows I can step up to the senior team. I hope it will help the other young players as well because I will get more experience. I have to keep working hard for the pro contract I'm hoping to get at the end of the season."
Dean Parrett was one of the stars for England at the European Under-19 Championship in France last month and Peter Reid has been trying to bring him to Home Park ever since. Reid said: "I have been chasing Dean for a bit. I have been at Harry and Tim Sherwood at Spurs. They kindly let us have David Button and now Dean has come along. He played for England in the European Championship in the summer. I already knew about him, but I thought he did really well as an attacking, creative midfield player. He missed the crucial game against Spain because of two bookings, which was a blow to England. You could see in training yesterday morning what he can do with the football. So it's another option in the middle of the park. He's an attacking player who can open things up." Reid revealed the signing of Parrett was part of a deliberate policy on his part to add more youth to his squad. He said: "From my point of view, you look at Peterlin, Molyneux, Button and Parrett and they are young players, with young legs. That's what I want. I have got the experience, but I have got to have more energy. People say kids don't win things, well, Alan Hansen said it and was proved wrong. The way I want the team to play, I think you have got to have a mixture of youth and experience. I thought we were anxious against Notts County and I want people with legs who are uninhibited in their play, and who can get it down and pass it. Young players sometimes go out there and have got no fear at all. That's the reason behind my thinking." Reid added: "I'm still looking for another striker, to be honest. But in terms of a midfield player who can hopefully create and get the odd goal, I'm delighted Dean is here." The capture of Parrett has ended Reid's interest in Norwich City midfielder Owain Tudur-Jones.
Dean Parrett is excited about continuing his football education under Peter Reid. "I was really excited to get down here and work with him, especially as he has managed at the top level as well," said Parrett. "I think it will be brilliant for my progression, playing under someone with his experience and stature. I'm an attacking midfielder who likes to get forward. I like to get on the ball and try to link the play up. I like playing off the striker as well for third man runs and, hopefully, I can get on the scoresheet. I'm just thinking about the next few games, to be honest. I have got to work hard to get into the team, and once I get in there keep my place in it. I'm not expecting to go straight in. I have got to work hard for it." Harry Redknapp and Tim Sherwood both believe Parrett will flourish under Reid at Argyle. Parrett said: "They told me to come down here and enjoy my football, and show people what I can do. They told me I would be working under a good manager, who would look after me and not let me get away with anything. It will be a good learning curve for me, so they are quite excited for me to be down here too." Parrett trained with his new team-mates for the first time yesterday morning. He said: "I really enjoyed training. It was quite a sharp session and I definitely got the journey out of my legs! There are some good players here, the quality is high, so I can't wait to start." Parrett has played at Home Park once before, for Tottenham in a FA Youth Cup fifth round tie against Argyle in February 2009. He captained the Spurs' side who won 3-0, in a match which only went ahead after two pitch inspections following heavy rain. Parrett said: "It was a good game. The pitch cut up but we tried to play on it. It's a nice stadium so I enjoyed it a lot."
Argyle will try to put an end to a run of four consecutive home defeats when they play Carlisle United tomorrow. Peter Reid said: "We need to get back to winning ways tomorrow. I want us to go out there and play football, and be relaxed. I know there is pressure at home sometimes, but you have got to handle that. We have got a great crowd, and the new pitch is great, so let's go out there and play. I will be making changes again and, hopefully we can get a decent result." Reid believes hard work is the key to turning around the home form. He said: "You can't go out there and have a fear of playing. You have got to go out there and play and enjoy it. It's a new start. It's the first home league game of the season. Let's be positive and get a result." Reid also believes the introduction of young players such as Lee Molyneux, Anton Peterlin and Dean Parrett will lead to an improvement in Argyle's fortunes at Home Park. "I'm trying to change bodies, slowly but surely," he said. "With some young legs coming in, allied with the experience we have got, I'm hoping that does it." When asked whether the starting line-up against Carlisle would be the same as at Southampton, Reid replied: "I don't think you have to be Einstein to sort that one out. There will be some disappointed players, but that's football. It's up to me to pick the team I think will win the game. It's something that hasn't bothered me in the past, and it's something that won't bother me in the future. Managers get paid for that." One particular cause for concern for Reid has been the number of needless free-kicks his team has conceded in their first two matches. Notts County's Ben Davies went close to scoring on a couple of occasions from free-kicks, and Carlisle boast set piece specialist Ian Harte in their line-up. "One of the things I will be impressing on the players is not to give stupid free-kicks away," said Reid. "You put yourself under too much pressure. As good as Davies is, Harte is even better. I know him from my days at Leeds United. The percentage of goals scored from free-kicks and corners is massive, so we need to stop giving them away."
Argyle have signed Tottenham midfielder Dean Parrett on loan until the end of the season. Peter Reid said: "Harry Redknapp and Tim Sherwood have helped me out - Dean's a young attacking midfield player who has played for England so it's a good prospect for us. I just feel we need somebody to open things up in the middle of the park and I'm hoping Dean will be the man and I'm sure he will be. I'm excited to be working with the boy and hopefully he can get on the pitch and do the job for us." Parrett also knows David Button, a factor that Reid believes will be important in bedding the youngster down. He said: "I spoke to the boy on the telephone and he's says he's a big mate of Butts so that just mean when he comes he knows somebody so he'll fit into the surroundings even better."
Jim Paterson is set to hold talks with Greek club Kavala FC, and Peter Reid said: "Jim Paterson is going to speak to a Greek club. He is going out there tomorrow and I've got to be creative in the market. Lads have gone and I'm bringing lads in. Jim has been on the fringe of things but I have got to say he has been a model professional. He has been different class. If professional footballers conduct themselves the way he has, and I know it's frustrating not being in the team, but he deserves a chance. If he can get a deal, then he deserves it."
Peter Reid has blamed 'naive football' for Argyle's loss to Notts County on Tuesday. One positive he did take out of the contest was the support of the fans who turned up for the game. "I thought the crowd were great considering we didn't give them too much to cheer about," said Reid. "When we got a bit of momentum going in the second half they got behind us, but we have just got to improve. I would be the first to say that wasn't really good enough. I wouldn't have a go about the workrate, but I would have a go about naïve football and a lack of care passing it." Argyle could have no complaints about the condition of the Home Park pitch, which was laid during the summer. Reid said: "All in all, it was disappointing the way we played the game on Tuesday. That pitch is tremendous and we didn't pass it well enough. We gave it away in too many areas where we weren't under pressure. You can understand it if people are shutting you down, but there were too many sloppy passes." Craig Noone played on both sides of the midfield during the game but without much end product. Reid said: "I thought he had plenty of the ball, but he got too anxious too early. I like crosses going in, don't get me wrong, but you have got to mix it up. If a cross goes in every time, defenders know it's coming in. You have got to mix your football up, and I thought we got a bit one dimensional instead of being patient sometimes. When we got some momentum in the second half we gave away free-kicks in stupid areas. That stops the momentum. It was naïve football, and you can't afford to do it, so that's disappointing. They worked hard and I hope they learn their lessons on things. Sometimes you can't get to balls, so why make a foul? Sometimes you have just got to defend." Two plus points to come out of the match for Reid were the performances of Lee Molyneux and Jim Paterson. He said: "I thought Molyneux had a really good first half. He didn't have much of a pre-season and I was delighted he got another 45 minutes. And Jim Paterson is a great pro, so I wanted to get him some time on the pitch as well."
Yannick Bolasie will not be back in action until September, at the earliest. Peter Reid said: "He's got some bone bruising on a knee, and he's going to be out for a month to six weeks. We're going to have a word with another consultant, because we're not sure about it yet, but we've got to be guided by the medical people."
Curtis Nelson made a confident debut for Argyle as a substitute in the defeat to Notts County last night. Peter Reid said: "He is only a young boy and I thought I'd give him his debut. He didn't look out of place and he had a good header at the back stick. Those chances in football are where you need your strikers on the move and they weren't on the move. He headed it back into a good area and that's the difference, but the lad acquitted himself well."
Joe Mason was an unused substitute as the Republic of Ireland under-21s beat Estonia 5-0 last night
Argyle lost 1-0 to Notts County in the Carling Cup first round tie at Home Park. Argyle: Larrieu, Duguid, Arnason, Johnson.R, Molyneux, Clark, Noone, Peterlin, Bhasera, Fallon, Wright-Phillips. Subs - Paterson, Nelson, MacLean, (not used – Button, N'Gala, Seip, Summerfield). Attendance - 5,454.
The multi-ball system will encourage flowing football, according to Peter Reid. Argyle are introducing the system for the Carling Cup meeting with Notts County and fans are being asked to play their part. If the ball goes into the crowd, it is very important fans return them to the ball assistants. Returning the ball straight to the pitch can cause delays and fines are imposed on the club if the multi-ball system breaks down. "The multi-ball system is coming into operation and you could see how it kept the game flowing at Southampton," said Reid. "When the ball comes out of play and there are so many seconds lost, it cheats the supporters. The referee doesn't add that time on, so, the sooner you get the ball back in play, supporters are getting their value for money and it keeps the game flowing."
After two years as a bit-part player, Craig Noone is determined to make this season one to remember. Noone is desperate to start tonight's game with Notts County and said: "If I get the chance to play tonight, it's up to me to prove a point that I want to be in the side. I want to play as much as I can this year. I'm at the age now where I've got to play every game I can. You have got to go with the manager's decision because he picks a team to do the job. It's all up to me to try and impress. You want to win every game and this is the first game on a new pitch in front of our fans. The new pitch is lovely. It suits players like me because you can dribble on it far better than last season. We have got to start making this a place that teams don't want to visit. Notts County don't want to come here on Tuesday tonight and it's up to us to do the business for our fans."
Reda Johnson had no complaints about not making Argyle's starting line-up for the win over Southampton on Saturday. He said: "I hadn't played for three weeks so it was hard for the manager to start me in the first game. I understand that. I was a substitute, and I was okay with that. I'm a professional footballer and I need to accept that. After Arnie was injured, I was sent on for him and I worked hard for the team. That's my job." Johnson was modest about his tackle on Lee Barnard, when the Saints' forward seemed certain to equalise from close range. "That's my job, I'm a defender," he said. "I was happy for the team because we had three points at the end of the game. It's better than one point." Johnson has spent a lot of time with the physios over the past three weeks as he has battled back to fitness. Johnson added: "Sometimes I feel my groin a little, but it's okay. I have been working with Paul and Ian, and it's okay. I don't have a big problem." Johnson believes it is important that the team build on their victory when they take on Notts County tonight. He said: "It's good for confidence to win games. If we lose we are out of the competition, so we will give it our best." But their main target is gaining promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt. Johnson said: "We are all here for one reason, to go up to the Championship. We know it will be very hard, but we have a good manager, good coaches and good players. I think we can do a really good job this season."
Peter Reid will shake up his side for the Carling Cup tie against Notts County at tonight. Reid said: "I think it's only fair to tell the fans there will be changes tonight, basically because I have got a squad of players. Some of the players who were disappointed at the weekend will be in the team and, hopefully, show me what they can do. The players who were left out think they should be in the team. This is an opportunity for them to show me I made a mistake. That would then give me a headache for Saturday. I thought it was a good performance at Southampton. We did have to defend in the first half, but, I tell you what, we did defend well. And, in the second half, we were excellent, so those are the standards the lads who are going to come into the side have got to meet, or even better them. It will show me, in a competitive game, the strength of the squad as well, which is good for me." Marcel Seip and Bradley Wright-Phillips did not travel to Southampton, instead staying behind in Plymouth to train with former player and manager Kevin Hodges, who is now part of the club's centre of excellence coaching staff. "I thought they were better training, than being on a coach for four hours," said Reid. "It's important they still get their legwork in, even though they aren't involved in the squad, and that's what happened."
Argyle will be playing on their new £500,000 Fibrelastic Turf pitch for the first time tonight, and Peter Reid believes it will prove to be beneficial for them this season. The squad trained at Home Park yesterday to get accustomed to the playing surface and Reid said: "It's very impressive, and it's conducive for real good football. You can zip the ball around on it. With a little bit of rain on it yesterday, it was great. It looks like a good investment by the football club, I have got to say." Argyle opted for a new pitch after severe problems with the previous one last season. Reid added: "I saw it on TV, and it wouldn't have raised an eyebrow when I played all those years ago. But, obviously, things have vastly improved, and we needed to keep up with it. This pitch is certainly terrific for the football club."
Damien Johnson has admitted to being disappointed and frustrated at leaving Argyle with unfinished business. He said: "I definitely have a feeling of frustration and disappointment at not finishing the job with Plymouth. I had been looking forward to repaying the fans for their support last season by helping get the club promotion from League One. I think all the players felt a sense of responsibility for what happened last season, even though the club had been struggling for a while. I personally did, and I don't think the fans really saw the best of me in my time there. But, again, I understand the reality of the financial situation at Argyle at the moment. I had been told there were a couple of clubs inquiring about me, but even so the move to Huddersfield came out of the blue." Johnson added he had given up playing for Northern Ireland in order to devote his time and attention to Argyle, which he admitted had been more difficult than he had imagined. He said: "I hadn't realised at the outset just how hard and difficult the job was going to turn out to be. I gave up playing international football to concentrate on helping Plymouth. I love the area and have enjoyed my time down there, and have great respect for Paul Mariner and John Carver, and the new manager Peter Reid. The team has a lot of quality in it and I still think they will do well this season, that's my great wish anyway. Obviously, I want to do well for Huddersfield. Hopefully, they will both end up getting promotion. But I didn't want the fans to think that I wanted to go, because I didn't."
Yala Bolasie may need surgery after damaging his knee in the pre-season win over Saltash. Although the ankle area caused initial distress, a scan has revealed a knee problem that came from the same incident. "We should find out today what they're going to do with it," said Peter Reid. "He's got a problem with his knee as well from the same incident, so there might be surgery. We've had the results of the scan and we're now deciding what to do."
International scheduling has left Argyle without the services of Joe Mason and Rory Patterson for the Carling Cup clash with Notts County tonight. Peter Reid confirmed that both would have played tonight but Patterson is representing Northern Ireland in Montenegro and Mason is playing for the Republic of Ireland under-21's against Estonia. "It is a bit of a blow because Mason and Patterson would have played," said Reid. "I am just the same as any other manager. I am a great believer in international football, as pathetic as we were in the World Cup, but I can't see what this fixture does for any international team. The big league starts at the weekend and I just can't understand it. The powers that make these fixtures, it must be FIFA, I find very strange. They're talking about too much football at UEFA and FIFA, and then they throw this game in."
Steve MacLean is a happy man after helping Argyle to an opening day win at Southampton. "It was good to be back playing," he said. "Pre-season is hard work and everybody's striving to play in that first of the game. It was good to get the nod because it means you've had a good pre-season. I was even more pleased with the result against a really good side. We weathered the storm in the first-half. Rory and I were saying it couldn't go on like that and the gaffer had a word at half-time. We played further up the pitch, got in their faces, won more second-balls and we passed the ball better as well. Luckily we got the goal and defended well. For the goal, big Rory won the header and I saw it was going past me, so I just tried to flick it and hope that Summers would be coming in."
Peter Reid will try to add to his squad after the departure of Damien Johnson. Reid said: "I think there will be comings and goings before the end of August deadline. Of course it was a blow to see Jonno leave. I think we saw against QPR what a player he is. But sometimes circumstances dictate that. I understand that. We have just got to get on with it." When asked whether Johnson's departure would free up money for him to use on new recruits, Reid replied: "It gives me scope to have a look."
The Argyle youth team, reinforced by four over age players, won 4-2 in their friendly at Arsenal yesterday. Peter Reid, with Arsenal's prior consent, used the match to give match practice to trialist Laurent Manuel and three first-year professionals - Ollie Chenoweth, Jordan Trott and Sean Kinsella. The goals were scored by Matt Rickard, Sean Kinsella (2) and Jed Harper-Penman. Argyle: Chenoweth, Manuel, Nelson, Sawyer, Trott, Harper-Penman, Kinsella, Young, Copp, Rickard, Sims. Subs - Ord, Harper-Penman, Clifford, Pearce, Stephens, Hart, Clarvis, Berry
Lee Molyneux, who was released in the summer by Southampton, praised his team-mates after the victory over his former club. He said: "The whole team grafted, from the front right through to the back. It was organised. We came with a plan to keep our shape, be solid, and do the simple things right, and everything else looks after itself. We all did our jobs and sneaked a goal and won it." The goal came in the second minute of the second half after Argyle had survived a tough first 45 minutes. Molyneux said: "We didn't come out and say 'let's get a goal', we just wanted to pick it up because we were a bit short, in the first half, at closing people down, getting in people's faces and not letting them play. We did that and then it was about concentrating and keeping the lead." Molyneux found himself up against former Argyle player Jason Puncheon. "He's not just one of Southampton's better players - I think he's one of the best players in the league," said Molyneux. "He was unfortunate not to get his chance at Plymouth because you could see today the quality he's got. I think he'll be one of the toughest opponents I will play against this year. It wasn't just me - it was a team effort, and I'm glad we got a clean sheet. Southampton are the strong favourites, so it's good to get a win. We've set our standards. We've now got to keep the ball rolling and stay up there." Molyneux has not had a full pre-season, but stuck to his task for 90 minutes. "It was a struggle, but I got through it," he said. "Towards the end of the game, it's about mental strength and concentration. If I stay in the team, I think my fitness will come through."
Peter Reid was full of praise for his players after the 1-0 win against Southampton. "There were a lot of good performances out there and I'm pleased for Summerfield that he got the goal," he said. "It was a good position, he followed the ball in and it was a good finish. A lot has been said about the lack of goals over recent times and we have had a chat about wide midfield players getting in those areas, Joe Mason does it as well, and that's what we've been trying to do." The spirit of the team was typified by a superb block tackle by Reda Johnson in injury-time. "We did that all over the park," said Reid, "but none more so than Reda, who's got extendable legs. It was a terrific block. Beside the goal, defending like that wins you football matches." Johnson was on the pitch as replacement for Kari Arnason, who was kicked in the face by Lee Barnard at the end of the first half. Reid said: "He got a kick in the eye and the medical people said one of his pupils was bigger than the other so, on medical advice, we changed it round." That meant a change of partner for Krisztian Timar, who also gained the approval of his manager. "I thought he got a bit anxious, and gave away a couple of free-kicks in dangerous positions," said Reid, "but, considering it's his first real competitive game for a long time, I've got to give the boy all the credit in the world. Fantastic." Three players made their Argyle debuts yesterday, David Button, Lee Molyneux and Anton Peterlin. Button was chosen ahead of Romain Larrieu, and Reid said: "It was just a gut feeling, if you like. Romain has been brilliant in pre-season. David didn't have a lot to do but he looked assured. He did well. It's competition for places, like I said. Lee Molyneux, considering he has had two and half weeks for us, I thought did great against a really good player, Puncheon. Peterlin looked lost for 45 minutes but got stronger and stronger as the game went on, which is another plus. I was delighted for him, as well." Rory Fallon was partnered up front by Steve MacLean, who laid on Summerfield's goal. "I thought he did terrific," said Reid. "He held the ball up. He was tired at the end, but that's what I want. Rory Fallon, I thought was tremendous. First half, he didn't win much, but second half he was a different player." Reid's final praise was reserved for the Green Army, who took 1,200 supporters to St Mary's. "I felt they were absolutely marvellous," he said. "This is a big job and we need everyone pulling together. They showed what the club needs. Superb."
A half-time chat turned Argyle's fortunes round and paved the way for their opening day victory at Southampton. Peter Reid said: "We had a chat about it, but the players deserve all the credit. It was just a back-to-basics and they did it well. We did have a chat at half-time, as you do, but the players are the ones who responded really well. It was much better. We won second ball, passed it better, got up the pitch, got a goal, defended when we had to and looked threatening on the break against what I consider a good side in this league." Despite being under pressure in the first half, Argyle limited Southampton to just one shot on target "You are not going to play well all the time," said Reid, "but I have got to say, to my players credit, that even though we didn't play well, we looked really dogged and hard to break down. We defended really well, even though we didn't play good football - the 'keeper didn't have much to do, even though we weren't at it. Asked whether he was glad to be back in club management after a break of five years, Reid added: "The first 45, I didn't enjoy; the second 45, I didn't enjoy; I enjoyed the final whistle. No - win, lose or draw, I thought it was much better in the second half." The manager also urged the fans not to get too carried away after such a fabulous start to the new campaign. "We've had a good start," he said. "It's nothing more than that. There's a long, long way to go, and there will be ups and downs."
Luke Summerfield is setting his sights no higher than cementing his place in the Argyle starting 11, despite his winning goal at Southampton. He said: "Three points away from home and a clean sheet is a great way to start the season for us. I was pleased to be in the starting 11 even though it was a little bit out of position for me, I still worked hard for the team and it was great win for the whole team. We didn't play that well in the first half but we still defended well as a unit; in the second half, we played much better and kept the ball a little bit better." Summerfield found himself in direct opposition to former team-mate Ryan Dickson, who was making his Southampton debut. "We had great times in the Argyle youth team, me and Dicko," said Summerfield, "so I wish him all the bets. Hopefully, he can play a lot of games here." The victory has whetted Summerfield's appetite to stay on Peter Reid's team-sheet. "I still see myself as a central midfield player - I'd like to play there week in and week out - but, at the end of the day, getting in the 11 is what I want to do," he said. "So, even if it's out of position, I'm going to fight really hard for the team. I've been working hard in training and it's got me in the starting 11. Hopefully, I can keep working hard and stay in the 11."
Argyle won 1-0 at Southampton, the goal scored by Luke Summerfield after 47 minutes. Argyle: Button, N'Gala, Arnason, Timar, Molyneux, Peterlin, Summerfield, Fletcher, Bhasera, Fallon, MacLean. Subs - Johnson.R, Patterson, Clark (not used – Larrieu, Noone, Duguid, Mason). Attendance - 21,727.
David Button is expecting a good battle with Romain Larrieu to be Argyle's first choice goalkeeper. He said: "First of all, since I have come here Romain has been fantastic towards me. He has made me feel really welcome and in training you can see he has got quality, and he has got a lot of experience as well. It will be tough competition, but I'm also confident I can bring qualities to the team as well. It will be a good battle for the season, and I think it can only improve us both." Button revealed Peter Reid had asked about taking him on loan at the start of pre-season. "He knows Harry Redknapp quite well so there was a bit of interest then," he said. "But I think Harry Redknapp was quite keen for me to be involved with Tottenham this pre-season. I have been on their trip to America, and played a couple of games since I have been back, which has been good for me. But, with the season starting, it was important I got out on loan and Plymouth came up, so it was ideal really." Button signed a three-year contract with Tottenham in May, but there is a lot of competition among keepers at Spurs. So it has been important for his development to spend much of his career out on loan. He said: "It's important for me, being a young goalkeeper, to be playing games. Tottenham have pulled out of the reserves' league so if you aren't in the first team there isn't too much opportunity to play games. So, being young, coming out on loan is the best way to improve." Button made 26 appearances for Shrewsbury Town last season and found that very beneficial. He said: "Going out on short loans isn't ideal, at all, really. You need to find your rhythm, which I thought I did at Shrewsbury. It ended up being quite a good season for me personally. Hopefully, I will be able to emulate that again this season and become part of the club. It's a bit of security for me, and for the club, knowing I'm going to be here all season. Hopefully, I can just kick on and start impressing people." It has not only been Larrieu who has made Button feel at home at Argyle. "My first impressions have been very good," he said. "The staff have made me feel welcome. "I have really enjoyed the training I have had so far. And then the players as well, there are a few younger lads I'm getting to know, and then there are the more experienced ones who can give you tips and advice. Everyone has been really welcoming." Button has sensed his team-mates are desperate to make an immediate return to the Championship, after relegation last term."You can tell there is a determination with the players to get back to where most people feel the club belongs," he said. "It's a big club with a good set-up."
Huddersfield Town manager Lee Clark is delighted at landing Damien Johnson on a season-long loan and confirmed the reason that the midfielder left Argyle. He said: "I'm very pleased, Damien has been on the radar for a while. To get someone in who has played his entire career in the Premier League and Championship is brilliant. It's not easy to get good players in. Having spoken to Peter Reid, I know he didn't really want to lose Damien. But it is something he had to do, financially, and we stepped in."
Peter Reid has admitted he could not be happier as Argyle get ready to open their season. "As the pre-season has gone on, I have been happier and happier with the players — their fitness levels, sharpness and attitude," he said. "I have got to know them and they have got to know me. I could not be happier, but obviously the acid test is tomorrow against a very good side. They are the bookies' favourites but you have got to play them sometime, why not at the start? I'm looking forward to it." Reid was at St Mary's last weekend to see Southampton beaten 4-2 by Reading. He said: "They have got a threat up front in Lambert, who's a decent player and has got a lot of goals. The other boy, Barnard, has got very good movement. He was at Tottenham as a kid. So they have got threats, and are very experienced at the back, but we have got some decent players as well. I'm sure we will give a good account of ourselves." Lambert did not play against Reading because of a groin strain, while French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin was also injured. Reid expects them both to be in the starting line-up tomorrow though, and said: "I think there might be a couple of changes to the team I watched but, basically, they have got a good shape about them and are well organised." Southampton are 6/4 favourites to win League One, with the next best-priced teams being Sheffield Wednesday and Argyle, at 8/1. Reid said: "I think the bookies very rarely get things wrong. I haven't seen a bookmaker going skint recently. They must have looked at the squad Pardew has got there, but championships are never won and lost in betting offices. It's all done on the football pitch. It's an incentive for us to play against the favourites in the first game. We know it's going to be difficult and we will give them respect, but we are going there to try to win it."
Carl Fletcher believes home form holds the key to whether Argyle will be a force at the end of the season. He said: "I think if you look at any side that has achieved anything, no matter what division, they always seem to do well at home. We have got to make Home Park a fortress as Plymouth is a long way down in the country and not a lot of people want to come down here. So, we want to make the journey worse for them by making our visitors think 'Argyle's home form is good and they're getting a lot of good results here' then that's going to be better for us. Obviously, we've got to perform well away, too, but it all starts off with doing well at home." Fletcher said that he sensed a mood in the Argyle camp wanting to make up for the disappointment of relegation. He said: "Obviously, last season was disappointing and the players want to repay the fans who followed us week-in, week-out, when things weren't going well. But at the end of the day, that's down to us, in getting results on the pitch. All fans want players giving 100 per cent and to win as many games as possible. And there are a lot of players here who want to do that and if we can show the fans that then, hopefully, they'll come back." Fletcher has been encouraged by the progress in pre-season under Peter Reid. "We've had a new manager coming in and we've been transferring his ideas into games," he said. "Hopefully, we can start off well and then confidence will grow and it will then snowball. But it's going to take an awful lot of hard work, not just from the XI but from everyone, the whole squad. Goals were hard to come by last season, but it's down to all of us to create chances for the strikers to put away. But I'll take 46 scrappy 1-0 wins to be honest. Promotion, well, every new season is a big season and this one is no different. Everyone's worked hard in pre-season and everyone's looking forward to the new campaign starting."
Bondz N'Gala is confident Argyle will secure promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt. "I'm confident that we can get promotion this year, after all we've done well in our pre-season games," he said. "The aim is to win promotion definitely, so we must have good home form. But we must also have good away form, too, in order to achieve promotion. That's a fact. And as we're coming down from the Championship, as one of the bigger teams in this league, it that means we'll be expected to do well. But we've shown we can do well in our pre-season games against bigger opponents. We played QPR who are in the Championship and, arguably, should have won up at their place. So we've already shown that we can mix it successfully with teams in a higher division." N'Gala also praised Paul Mariner and John Carver as well as Peter Reid, who he said were crucial in persuading him to sign a two-year deal in May. "What persuaded me to join Plymouth in the first place was John and Paul who were very good to me and looked after me when I was here on loan last season and they stood by me," he said. "So, they being here influenced my decision to come back, and I have to say the training at Plymouth is as good as anywhere, to be honest. Obviously, John has already spent time at the top in the Premier League and his coaching is superb. Paul has played at the highest level, as has the manager, so it can only improve me as a player, as they've got all that experience. And to be fair there's no shackles on us, they encourage me and all the players to express ourselves and to go out and enjoy our football. Hopefully, we can do that this season. And I know there is competition for places at central defence, but that's only healthy for this football club and will help get the best out of all of us. I've already played at full-back in pre-season, too — it's a position I've played in before, so it's not unfamiliar to me. I think I can do a job in that position. But to be honest, whether it's full-back or centre-back, what's important is to do the best for the team."
Krisztian Timar has experienced the high and lows of professional football over the past two seasons. However, he now wants to focus on the future, rather than on the disappointment of the past couple of years. "Last season wasn't my best," he said. "But I don't want to think about it too much. It has gone now, and I'm happy to come back from my injury. I don't want to say why I didn't play last season. I'm trying to concentrate on the present and the future. I want to stay fit and try to play as many games as I can. And I really want to help Plymouth go back up to the Championship. Relegation is one of the worst things that can happen to a team, but we have to forget about that now. We have got to concentrate on getting promotion from League One. I don't know much about League One, but we have had a successful pre-season. We have got a new manager and some new players. I really believe we can go up. We need to concentrate on our team and play our game, and then I don't think that will be a problem." Timar has enjoyed the day-to-day involvement with the rest of the Argyle squad during pre-season, after his long lay-off. "It has been really good to train with the guys again," he said. "Injuries are always the worst thing in a footballers's life. I think I have done a good pre-season, but my fitness level needs to be a little bit higher. As long as the manager is happy, then I'm happy. That's one of the most important things." Peter Reid has wasted no time in imposing his authority on the squad, and Timar is one of many who have welcomed that. "He's a very straight man," he said. "He tells you what to do, and if you don't do it he will tell you." Reid has five players vying for the two available centre-back positions and Timar added: "It's healthy to have competition between the players in the squad. Maybe the biggest competition is at centre-back, but it's good for everybody because it makes you play better."
Peter Reid could have carried on as the assistant boss to Tony Pulis at Stoke City this season, but instead, he opted to take over as the manager of Argyle. "I genuinely think it's a club I can get going forward," he said. "It's a club with a tremendous catchment area. I could have been comfortable working with Tony Pulis. There wasn't the pressure you get as a manager. But I like that pressure. I like making decisions and having the responsibility of managing a club. People will say it's a difficult job, but you don't get easy ones, so I'm just delighted to be here. I can be a bit abrasive at times, but that's my nature. I like the players to work hard, but I like them enjoying it as well. There are plenty of laughs around the training ground now they have got used to me. When you first come in as a manager you lay markers down about certain things you want done. But I think the players have responded well and the confidence is gradually coming back because sometimes there is a hangover after relegation. The biggest thing is being hard to beat, but enjoying it. That's my philosophy on it. I think there are some decent players in the squad. It's a level down from last season, and there are people who can get goals for us. The problem last season was getting goals, and confidence is a big thing when it comes to that. If you have got that confidence it works wonders, and I just feel it's coming back. There are big plusses, and I think we will give a good account of ourselves this season. I really do believe that." One of the main areas of concern for Reid is the size of Argyle's squad and he knows there needs to be more departures as the club tries to balance the books. He said: "It's just trying to get the balance right. There are areas where we have got too many players. But I tell you what, you ask any manager and they are never happy. I have got to drive the board of directors now to try to wheel and deal, which I will do." Reid has not managed in League One before, but that is not a concern for him. He said: "I watched a few games for Stoke last season. I went to Huddersfield, Leeds and Oldham, so it's not that I don't know anything about the league. I think it's going to be a very competitive league, and a very entertaining one." Asked about his target for this season, Reid replied: "To win the first game. Ask me after the first one, and I will say 'to win the next game.' It's the standard answer. I have got to try to get this club up. I'm not saying I will, but we will have a real good go at doing it. And I think the players are looking forward to it. That's the most important thing." Reid is looking forward to the challenge, too. He added: "To get paid for what I do is ridiculous, and I have done it since I was 15, so I'm a lucky person." Reid's first impressions of Plymouth, as a city, have been positive. "The people have given me a very warm welcome and it's a fantastic area," he said. "There is plenty of travelling involved, but I don't mind that."
Joe Mason has made a very positive impression on Peter Reid, who said: "You don't like talking about young players too much but he's a lovely mover and he has got a football brain. It's no coincidence he gets in the right positions. He knows the game, has got good control and has got a good temperament. It's going to be hard for him to play 46 games because it's a demanding league, but with the new pitch we have got at Home Park I think it will help us in terms of skilful players. It's not going to be a mudbath, which I think is a major plus for us, and the likes of Joe Mason." All three of Mason's goals last season came from off the bench, and he could see a lot of action in a substitute role to start this season. But Reid said: "I wouldn't be surprised if he's knocking on the door for a regular start as well."
Yannick Bolasie has been ruled out of Argyle's season-opener at Southampton by the ankle injury he suffered at Saltash United on Monday. Peter Reid said: "It's a blow for us because he's a player who can go past people and do the unexpected." Reid has not given away any clues about his team selection for the game but is expected to start with Kari Arnason and Krisztian Timar in the centre of defence, and Bondz N'Gala at right-back. Lee Molyneux looks set make his debut at left-back, with Onismor Bhasera playing in front of him. Anton Peterlin and Luke Summerfield will compete for a central midfield slot alongside Carl Fletcher, and Rory Fallon and Steve MacLean are likely to be the Pilgrims' strikeforce. David Button will compete with Romain Larrieu to be Argyle's first choice 'keeper and Reid has been pleased to add both Button and Molyneux to his squad. "Both of them could play," he said. "I think Molyneux has done well, and it's against his former club. And even though Button is a young goalkeeper I'm not afraid to throw in youngsters. So if I feel it's necessary for him to play, he will play. But I have got two good goalkeepers at this level. Romain has done nothing wrong, so it's a decision I have got to make." Molyneux was frozen out at Southampton after Alan Pardew took over as manager but Reid does not want him to be distracted by trying to prove a point. "If he's selected, he has just got to play his normal game," said Reid. "I have impressed that on him. He's a young player and he's enthusiastic. I don't think it will faze him. I think it will be more of a help than a hindrance."
Peter Reid is hoping to see Owain Tudur Jones in action again before making a decision on him. Reid said: "He did smashing at Saltash and he's done well this week. He can handle a football but I want to see him in a competitive game again. He's been with us a week and I'll probably watch him for Norwich reserves first." A decision is expected on American trialist Laurent Manuel this weekend. "We're just having a look at the situation but something should happen over the weekend with that one," said Reid.
Chris Barker has joined Southend United on a month's loan
Damien Johnson has joined Huddersfield Town on a season-long loan. Peter Reid said: "Sometimes circumstances dictate comings and goings at a football club, and this is one of those occasions. The lad is a terrific player and a good pro, but I've brought people in. The American Anton Peterlin has done well. I've got Carl Fletcher, Luke Summerfield and players that can do the job in there. Johnno has been brilliant for me since I arrived and I wish him good luck for this next stage of his career." Johnson will not be allowed to play in either of the games between Argyle and Huddersfield, nor if the teams are draw against each other in a cup competition.
Keith Todd expects Argyle to be challenging for a play-off position this season and believes the appointment of Peter Reid has given the club a great chance to make an immediate return to the Championship. He said: "I think it will be an exciting season and, like all fans, I'm looking forward to us turning Home Park into a fortress again. We have retained the core of the squad that we wanted to keep to ensure we had the best chance possible of bouncing straight back into the Championship. I fully expect us to be in the play-offs, at least, this season. My heart says I want to see us going for automatic promotion, but my head says it's a tough league with some quality teams in it. I expect us to be competitive and in amongst it from early on in the season." Todd hopes one key to improved results at Home Park this season is the new pitch. He was heartened by the way the team passed the ball in their recent pre-season friendlies at Hereford United and Queens Park Rangers and said: "My hope and expectation is the new pitch at Home Park will encourage that style of play. It was a great surface at QPR and the team responded to that. Let's be honest, we have had a field to play on in recent seasons, but that has all changed now." Todd had no doubts about the decision to spend so much money on the pitch and added: "We have felt all along it was more important to sort out the infrastructure than sign a 'superstar' player. We have signed some good young talent but the pitch is the tools of the trade, so to speak, for the players. I also understand the pre-season training at UCP Marjon went exceptionally well. It's about getting all the pieces of the infrastructure in place, and then we can take it from there." Todd is convinced Reid, while ambitious for success, understands the financial restrictions at Argyle. Reid was chosen as the new manager in late June after a seven-week selection process by the club. Todd said: "It was incredibly interesting. I met a number of people who I have only ever seen on the TV. I know there were comments about the time it took, but the important thing was to get the decision right. We wanted to not only get a proven, experienced manager but the right character as well. We aren't going to be a big budget club because we need to redress the financial balance of the past couple of seasons. But that doesn't mean to say we are going to sell the crown jewels. We haven't done that in terms of key players for the future of the club. Peter is not only the right character for the job but he's very much up for working with the board with today's realities." One financial measure the club want to take is reducing the size of their squad and Todd admitted more has to be done to get the budget under control. He said: "We will expect one or two others to move on, either between now and the end of August, or maybe even before the season starts. Peter and I speak multiple times each day and we keep nudging a few situations around. He has got a very good assessment of the squad and I think he knows in his own mind what he's going to do with the team on Saturday. Everything else will follow on from that. We have got to get right behind Peter and the players and I'm hoping the Green Army will be out in force, not only for the game against Notts County, but also when we play Carlisle United in the league next Saturday."
Lee Molyneux yesterday completed his move to Argyle on a five-month contract. "I'm overjoyed," he said. "I just needed to get somewhere sorted and I was given the opportunity to come down here and prove myself. I am happy to have it sorted and can concentrate on my football. I've never been in the situation of being without a club before. You've just got to hope and, if you get a chance, you've got to be ready to take it. I kept myself ticking over and things come good if you work hard. It would be a great story to play at Southampton. Things didn't work out at there, maybe not because of me, but the new management came in and they had money to invest in more experienced pros. I am not going back there to prove anybody wrong. I'm just going back with Argyle to hopefully get a result." A left-sided partnership with Onismor Bhasera has already caught the eye of Peter Reid, although Molyneux insists defending is his bread and butter. "I am a defender first and foremost," he said. "I'm here to stop goals going in but I do like to link up going forward. It's about getting the right balance and playing your own game. I knew a few of the lads before, Craig Noone, Georgie Donnelly and also Bradley Wright-Phillips from Southampton, but all the lads have helped me settle in." Another settler for Molyneux has been a family connection with his new boss. He added: "His parents live across the road from my grandma and they've known each other for 25 years. I don't know how well the manager knows my family but it is a strange coincidence."
A detailed planning application for the new main stand at Home Park will be made in early October, Keith Todd has revealed. "This is going to happen," he said. "We just need to make sure we all get behind the team to make it a success because that will ensure all the other plans we have become a success. All the pre-application design pieces are pretty well advanced. We are expecting to submit a detailed application by the early part of October, and very shortly, in the next two or three weeks, we will announce a public consultation. That will be to do with not only the stand but all our plans for Home Park. It will give us some input from people on what they think, which will be very useful to us." Meanwhile, Todd has insisted he and Roy Gardner are still committed to increasing their stake in the club, through their company Mastpoint. The pair had 12-month options to buy shares from Paul Stapleton, Robert Dennerly and Tony Wrathall but the deadline was at the start of July, and passed without any deals being done. Todd said: "Our priority has been to provide reasonably substantial funding for the club. We wanted to put money into the club rather than buying somebody's shares. That is on the backburner now, but Sir Roy and I would expect over a period of time we will end up with a significant part of the club, as we originally aspired to. We want to give Peter Reid the backing to get the team stabilised."
Argyle could be poised to give a debut to Lee Molyneux at Southampton on Saturday. Peter Reid said: "I've been very impressed with him, and I think he has earned that contract. He has a chance of playing against his old club. He's quick, I think he can get beyond people, and he's naturally left-footed, and it gives me a chance to put Bhasera in front of him. I think those two can inter-act naturally."
Onismor Bhasera is attracting interest from other clubs, but his priority right now is simple, he wants to help Argyle kick off their campaign with a victory at Southampton. "We have done enough preparation, and everyone is ready," he said. "There are some good players here, and we hope we are going to be able to do well in our first game of the season. We hope it will be the first step towards winning promotion at the end of the season. The guys are looking good. It is going to be a headache for the manager, who is going to start, because everyone wants to play in Saturday's match." Bhasera missed the pre-season tour as Argyle were unable to secure a Dutch entry visa for him. "It was frustrating," he said. "I don't know what happened with my visa, so I had to stay behind and work with other players who were here for family reasons. Life goes on." Bhasera made up for missing the Dutch trip by playing well against Hereford United and Queen's Park Rangers. He has also found a new role on the left side of midfield. "I enjoyed those games," he said. "My fitness is very good, and I am up for it. We will see how it goes when the season starts." Bhasera is no stranger to playing on the left side of midfield, having done the job with Kaizer Chiefs. He added: "I have played there before, so it is not a big change for me. I know what is being asked of me. When you have played left-back, you are conscious of what can happen when you lose the ball." Bhasera was brought to Home Park by Paul Mariner and John Carver, but the man who now wants to reap the benefit is Peter Reid. Bhasera likes his new boss. He said: "He is a good manager. We have enjoyed working for him, and the lads are very happy. He is straightforward and honest, and that is what we need. We just have to work as a team, and make sure we do what he wants us to do." Having spent most of last season in England trying to secure a contract, Bhasera was able to spend some time at home in May and June. "I went home for a holiday, and I switched off from football with my family," he said. "It was good." He was still able to watch some football, starting with Zimbabwe's 3-0 friendly defeat to Brazil in Harare at the start of June, a match he might have taken part in if he had been fit. "I watched that game," he said. "I was injured, so I could not play." After that, he was able to watch some World Cup football in South Africa. "I watched the first match, South Africa against Mexico," he added. "I watched Portugal against Brazil, I saw Italy lose to Slovakia, and I saw Ghana lose to Germany. The atmosphere was good. It was the first World Cup on African soil, and everyone was up for it. The tournament was a success, the organisation was good, and it made me proud to be a southern African."
Yala Bolasie is looking doubtful for the season-opener at Southampton after injuring an ankle on Monday at Saltash. "He is very sore and a bit down, so we're going to scan him," said Peter Reid. "I thought it was a block but he said his ankle rocked as he went to hit it. I wasn't going to play him as well, just give him 45 minutes, but it always happens that way. I am kicking myself more than anything but that's football."
Peter Reid will not be pursuing any further interest in trialist Stephane Zubar, but American Laurent Manuel and Owain Tudur Jones are both still at the club. Manuel was included in the squad for the club's official photocall at Home Park yesterday. Tudur Jones scored one of the goals against Saltash and Reid said: "He cruised through the game and looked a decent player. We are going to have a look at him for a week or so."
Luke Summerfield believes versatility could help him have a successful season. A central-midfielder, Summerfield has worked on his ability to play a wide role which he feels is very important. "I've been pleased with a couple of my performances in pre-season," he said. "I had 90 minutes under my belt in Holland and I was happy with my performance against QPR, where I was a little bit out of position. You've got to have a few strings to your bow in football. I don't mind playing out there. I'd obviously like to play in my natural position in the centre but, if there is a shirt on a Saturday, I would like to be in it. Anywhere in the midfield, I would obviously take the shirt and try to play well. The first couple of weeks of pre-season always go slowly because you're working so hard. Now we're in the week before the Southampton game all the boys are looking forward to it. Saturday can't come quick enough. Every pre-season, I feel confident in my ability to be in the team. Last year, I had a few starts early on in the season. It has been different this season with a new gaffer but my performances in pre-season will hopefully take me forward, and get me a few games. We look strong and everybody is feeling fit and strong. Hopefully, we can stay niggle-free and have a strong squad to pick from on Saturday. We're training well and there are enough numbers to do well in this league."
Steve MacLean has revealed why he wore a bandage around his head for Argyle's pre-season games at Hereford United and Queens Park Rangers. He suffered a cut above his right eye in a training-ground accident last Tuesday, and said: "I got smashed by one of the young lads and I had to get it glued. They told me I couldn't get it wet, or banged, for five days. The physio wasn't sure whether I should play or not, but I said I would be all right, and I just had it bandaged up. It was okay."
Curtis Nelson impressed Peter Reid in the pre-season friendly against Saltash and the defender will now train with the pros on a regular basis. "I was very impressed with young Curtis," said Reid. "I like young players and he will be training with us all the time now. He played centre-back last year but he can play midfield as well. I don't like talking about young players too much but he didn't half impress me."
Argyle look set to sign Lee Molyneux on a five-month contract. Peter Reid said: "He has looked a decent player and I've been impressed with him. He's quick, naturally left-footed and it gives me a chance to put Baz in front as well. Those two can interact and he has got beyond people. He did that a couple of times against QPR. He's got a chance of playing against his old club. As an ex-player, it is one of the things you'd like to do. He hasn't had a pre-season, so there is more to come."
Argyle have signed goalkeeper David Button from Tottenham Hotspur on a season-long loan. Peter Reid said: "I have spoken to Harry about him and Tony Parks, the goalkeeping coach, and he comes highly recommended. He has been away on tour with Tottenham and played games, so I'm delighted to have him. He is competition for Romain in the nets. I have seen him play on video and I remember in 1996 bringing in a young Shay Given to Sunderland on opinions, as you sometimes do. I would have liked to bring in Doyle as well but circumstances meant I couldn't - I wanted to have three. He is a really good goalkeeper but that's the way it goes."
Onismor Bhasera is attracting interest from other clubs but the speculation does not concern Peter Reid, who sees Bhasera playing a more advanced role than his normal left-back position. "I haven't heard anything from QPR but there has been interest from Palace, which we turned down," he said. "He's a good player but Manchester United didn't want to sell Ronaldo. There are certain things you have to do. In an ideal world, I wouldn't have sold Ashley Barnes but we had to move things around. Everyone's got a price but Bhasera has impressed me with his attitude. The pushed-on position suits him. He's got energy and a lovely left-foot to knock crosses in. He is our player and I'm delighted he's our player. I don't get worried about things like this. I see it as a compliment."
Argyle won 8-0 at Saltash in their final pre-season friendly last night, with one of the goals scored by Welsh international midfielder Owain Tudur Jones, who is on trial at the club from Norwich City. The other goals were scored by Bradley Wright-Phillips (2), Rory Patterson (2), Craig Noone, Joe Mason and Curtis Nelson. Argyle: Doyle, Manuel, Seip, Paterson, Trott, Noone, Mason, Tudur Jones, Kinsella, Patterson, Wright-Phillips. Subs – Chenoweth, Young, Harper-Penman, Nelson, Bolasie, Rickard).
With the pre-season friendlies over Peter Reid is looking forward to the start of the new season. "There's nothing like the start of a season," he said. "It's a big game. It's live on Sky, which is great for both football clubs, so the British public in general can have a look at us. I'm looking forward to it. I watched Southampton on Saturday against Reading and they are a good side, but I've been quietly satisfied with the way we have been progressing, even though it's going to be a real good game. I've got a bit of competition for places." Nowhere in his squad is that rivalry keener than in the middle of the back four. "Reda Johnson and N'Gala are strong," he said, "but you've got to say Timar has come back really strong, and Kari Arnason, so there's real competition, which I'm glad about." Rory Patterson and Bradley Wright-Phillips scored four goals between them last night, but that may not be enough to get a starting place against Southampton. Reid said: "I've got to say Rory Fallon and MacLean have been sharp. So I've got a few problems, but I'll settle for those sorts of problems. I've enjoyed working with the players, but it's ultimately about football results. I was very impressed with Southampton - they have got strong squad - and it's going to be a real good test for us."
Owain Tudur Jones comes to Argyle highly recommended. Peter Reid said: "Ian Rush, who I know well, had a word with me about him and recommended him. So we're having a look at him see if he likes us and we like him." Tudur Jones scored the third goal and played the entire 90 minutes against Saltash last night. "I thought he did alight," said Reid. "We're having a look at Laurent, too. He's been injured but he was very determined tonight. I'm just trying to balance the squad. It's difficult to say who I'm going to take on. There are certain things I've got in my mind and they will probably come to fruition in the next few days. Doyle has done terrifically well. I think it might all boil down to finance. I'd like him."
Peter Reid paid tribute to Saltash United after seeing his side win 8-0 in their friendly last night. "It is always good to get out in the local community and play football matches," said Reid. "The crowd was excellent and the facilities were good. It is a small club and these are the lifeblood of communities. I'm delighted we came here to play. Saltash have had a good go but are obviously inferior opposition, without any disrespect to them. We passed the ball and, in terms of shutting down when we haven't got it, which I keep going on about, I think we denied them a lot of space. Then we got our passing going. Games are always better than training. It's good exercise. Young Curtis came on and showed what a good prospect he is - I think he's got a chance, Rory Patterson has hit the back of the net, Bradley Wright-Phillips has got a great goal, Jim Paterson and Marcel Seip have got 90 minutes under their belt. So there's a few things there; it is worthwhile."
Tony Capaldi's on-off move to Argyle could be back on following the collapse of a deal with Crystal Palace. Peter Reid held positive talks with Capaldi on Saturday, who said: "Plymouth are definitely my preferred option. I know the players from having been on tour with them and they are a good bunch. I know the club and I know the city. I'm sure my kids would settle pretty quickly so, hopefully, something will get sorted out."
Chris Barker is on trial, with a view to a one month loan, at Paul Sturrock's Southend United. Peter Reid said: "It's a chance for the lad to go and play games. He wasn't going to get many games here. I hope the lad does well."
Argyle centre of excellence schoolboy Dan Barrow has been named in the Welsh under-17 squad for two friendlies away to Estonia later this month. Barrow made his international debut for Wales in two under-16 friendlies against the Republic of Ireland in May.
Trialists Lee Molyneux and Stephane Zubar are continuing to train with Argyle as they try to secure contracts with the club. Peter Reid admitted he had been pleased with them on Friday against QPR. He said: "I thought both of them did well. Molyneux has missed a lot of pre-season training and his fitness level isn't at its best, but I was pleased with him. He's doing really well." With Molyneux playing at left-back, Onismor Bhasera moved onto the left-side of midfield. Reid said: "I think Bas showed that he can play pushed on one, which is a plus. There were a lot of plusses from the game." Another trialist used against QPR was Laurent Manuel, who was sent on in the 79th minute. Manuel had been training with Argyle earlier in the pre-season, but suffered an ankle injury, which meant he missed out on the tour to the Netherlands. Reid said: "I just wanted to have a look at him. I haven't seen that much of the boy but he has done alright in training so it was a little taste for him."
Steve MacLean has insisted he remains committed to the cause at Argyle, despite not playing any competitive first team football for the club since last September. He said: "My situation is the same as it has always been. If I'm here, I want to play. I will always give my best for my team-mates and for the manager. That's the same situation now. As long as I'm here I'm desperate to play and I want to do well for myself, for the club and for the fans." Peter Reid is a no-nonsense character and MacLean has taken to that approach. He said: "I like the manager. Black is black and white is white with him. That suits me. What he says goes. If he's not happy he tells you, and I don't mind that." Reid is under pressure to reduce the size of the club's wage-bill, and MacLean is one of the top-paid players. MacLean said: "It's hard for me to comment on that. Let's be honest, the club are probably looking to get rid of a few players. I think it's common knowledge. Whether I'm going to be here or not, I don't know. But if I'm here I will be working hard, I will want to play and I will be trying to get in the team. That's all I can really say. I haven't been to the manager and told him I want to leave. I'm here working hard and I want to do well. We will see where it takes me." Argyle will kick-off their season at Southampton on Saturday and MacLean is in contention to start the match based on his recent performances. He said: "I have done okay, and I would like to think I have got a good chance. Obviously, it's down to the manager. He will pick a side that he thinks will beat Southampton and, hopefully, I can be in it if I'm here. I had a good record before I came to Plymouth and I think I can do a job if I get a run of games. Last season, I didn't get a run of games. If somebody gives me a run of games and shows a bit of confidence in me, I think I will repay them. Let's just hope so."
Argyle's youth team lost 3-1 in their friendly at Aston Villa, the goal scored by Luke Young. Argyle: Chenoweth, Stephens, Nelson, Pearce, Clifford, Young, Harper-Penman, Berry, Rickard, Sims, Copp. Subs - Ord, Hart, Clarvis, Young, Vassell.
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