A Round-up of Argyle News
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A disappointing first half performance saw Argyle go down 3-1 at Northampton Town. All the goals came before half-time for the second league loss of the season. The Cobblers went a goal up early on but Argyle shortly levelled via a direct free kick from Joe Riley, his first goal for the club. A spell of home pressure saw two goals result and that was enough to win the game for the hosts. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer(J Grant), Edwards, Riley, C Grant, Mayor, McFadzean, Rudden (B Moore), Taylor (G Cooper). Subs: M Cooper, Aimson, Baxter, Randell
Argyle's teenage prospects Cameron Sangster and Tom Purrington have signed on loan for Dorchester Town until January. The Dorset side are currently playing in the 7th tier of English football.
Jose Baxter spoke about his delight at scoring his first goal in front of the Devonport End in the league cup against Reading. The midfielder said: "It was a great feeling. Once I signed for Argyle, the dream was to score my first goal in front of the Green Army at Home Park. Luckily enough I've done that, box ticked, and hopefully many more to come. I honestly thought we looked very comfortable, I thought we played very well. The 2-2 goal was a bit of a kick in the teeth, and then at 3-2 we were pushing on trying to get back in the game. They get the fourth, but I think the scoreline didn't really reflect how we played. There were a lot of positives to take. Like the gaffer said, I don't think we were ever expecting to go and win the Carabao Cup, but a big day out, a big team would have been good for the club and the fans. It would have been nice, but our main aim is Northampton on Saturday and three points."
"That was another big box ticked for me, I've come in quite a bit behind about four or five games behind the lads who have been playing. Where I'd like to be, there's another 20 or 30 per cent. People might look at it and think, 'well, you've played 65 minutes, surely you're ready' but it's not really like that. I know I've got a lot more to give, and I know where I should be at. Maybe it's another week or 10 days yet."
"I'm loving it, love the place, love the people, love the fans, love the club. I really have taken to it like a duck to water. I'm loving it, and hopefully it's for longer. As soon as I signed, after the first time I came on, I called my dad and said the reception was great. It was really warming for me, I loved it. That's why, when I score goals like that, I like to give something back and thank them for it. Unbelievable, it really is. It's something we think about. People maybe think we turn up and take these things for granted, but we really don't. We speak about it a lot; Tuesday night, the Tuesday before, Salford, even the Orient game they turned out in their numbers. It's unheard of, it's unseen at this level, especially on a Tuesday night. It's amazing. Once the new stand is up and we're in and amongst it, this place is going to be rocking. You go for a coffee around town, and it feels like the whole place has got a buzz about it," said Jose. "That's what the gaffer and his staff have brought. Hopefully we can keep continue getting the three points on a Saturday and bring the buzz even more fill that extra stand up when it's open."
Argyle made their final signing of the summer in the shape of Peterborough midfielder George Cooper. The former Crewe youngster played with Ryan Lowe and Lowe spoke about the time the pair played together at Crewe just a few years ago, saying: "When I went to Crewe, I went and asked 'who's the assist kings?' I realised very quickly it was him and I said to him, 'Every assist you give me, I'll buy you a Nandos'. He actually got about five I think, five assists. He can play anywhere," said Lowe. "He's the same as the players we've got Danny can play on the right-hand side as well the left, Jose can play on the left, centre, or just off the striker, right, Conor can play either side. George is the same, he can play either side of any of them positions. He can play left wing-back, right wing-back, anywhere across the middle three and anywhere across the front two really."
"For me, you can't have enough attacking players. You want goals in your team, and the players can keep pushing each other. If George is to get 10 goals, Jose could get 10 goals, Danny could get 10 goals. You're pushing each other and driving each other to potentially get more goals, more assists and that's why we've brought him in. The boy has been more than happy to come. He's excited at coming, he knows he's got a task on his hands at getting in the team because we're doing fine at the moment. But, it's what he wants, he wants to be a part of it. He's a great lad and when someone like him comes along who's got the ability to be the best player on the pitch you have to snap them up very quickly."
Head of operations Jon Back has described how they have tried to make the new complex 'a bit special' for the Pilgrims' squad. Back spoke of a great improvement in the facilities: "It has been 100 per cent positive. We have got players who have played at quite a lot of clubs in various leagues. The unanimous feedback from all of them is that it's amongst the best facilities they have ever had. A lot of it is not just the design but the nice little touches we have added. The green LED lighting in the home dressing room gives it a real sense of occasion. There are club crests throughout the dressing room, the brushed stainless steel door signs. Everything has been thought through and delivered to a really high standard. The feedback from the management team and the players alike has been one of delight. For the first time, maybe in the club's history, we have now got facilities that add to the draw of the club rather than being something we hid away until people had signed. Certainly for the home dressing room, we really wanted just for the players to come in and feel a bit special. So even each of the separate players' compartments have got a power socket with USB connection so they can charge their phones. We just wanted to go that extra mile to make the home dressing room feel like the top end environment that it needs to."
"We are planning to put an extendable tunnel in. I'm about to review that with GL Events, our main contractors, because they will be the ones providing that. It's just to see whether or not what we have got currently got planned is the optimum for that area. Certainly when the Mayflower is open, we are going to have home fans right up against it but, of course, we have got the away fans on the other side. So we just need to think through how we can give the home fans first view of people coming out and, of course, the maximise the advantage of being at home."
Ryan Lowe feels the 4-2 loss to Reading was a harsh reflection of the game and that the greens were unlucky not to take it to a penalty shootout following a lively performance. Lowe said: "I thought for large parts of the game we were dominant, we controlled large parts of it, we created a lot of chances, a lot of set-plays. I'm pleased; when you find yourself 2-1, you're thinking, 'ooh, go on then'. But, unfortunately, the goals we've conceded, I feel we can do a lot better in certain areas. The second one's a worldie but before it gets to that we feel we can maybe win a header, win a bit of contact and it doesn't get to that. When you give small fouls away or small decisions that you're not really used to doing, you get punished by top opposition and that's what we did."
"I said to some of the youngsters and some of the lads who are mid-20s, if you want to get to that level, that's what you have to do. They had a few youngsters out also, but if you don't do the right things in the right areas you can be punished by top opposition and that's what's happened. We've been punished by top opposition in certain areas. As I said, it was a win-win. We're never going to win the Carabao Cup, with all due respect. It was a win-win game for us, I was pleased - but it was harsh on the lads I thought because they got themselves into a fantastic lead with two good, well worked goals."
Lowe also advised fans that the withdrawals of striker Ryan Taylor and Josh Grant were precautionary as the two both picked up knocks during the game: "He got a whack on his ankle on the front of his foot. As a precaution, we got him off the pitch because, as I've said to you, the league is our priority. Nothing to worry about. He wanted to stay on the pitch, but I said to him, 'no, you're coming off.' He's in a rich vein of form, you want him to keep playing, keep scoring and that's what he's doing. When you're in a rich vein of form like that and you're scoring goals, you want to play every game no matter what and Ryan wanted to stay on. He had a bruise on the top of his foot, like a stud, but what's the point in risking an injury? We feel if it was a cup final he would've stayed on, we would've made him stay on, but it wasn't. We had to do the right thing and make the choice for him really, but he'll get the ice on it and we'll settle it down and we'll take it from there."
"Josh has come in and he's done himself no harm whatsoever. We knew Josh needed to get a couple of minutes in him because he hadn't played since the Leyton Orient game, but he's been a little bit unfortunate because the back lads have been doing outstanding. He was cramping up towards the end but it's because of the demands we ask of them day in, day out and maybe now we have to look at recovering them a little bit better for the weekend and make sure we get it right and we will. He hasn't played for a while, has he? I think it was more precaution. When you've got the skipper on the bench who can just slot right in, it makes sense to do it, so we did."
Lowe went on to reveal that Jose Baxter is on a fitness plan with coach John Lucas as he works his way back to full strength. Lowe explained. "He's been chomping at the bit, Jose. He obviously wasn't fit when he first came, so we've had to double sessions and triple sessions at times and on his days off he's been working hard. He's been put on a plan with John to make sure he can get to that standard but at 60-odd minutes, you're thinking he's done enough; he's potentially nearly scored the winner. He was fantastic. His football brain is unbelievable and that's what he gives you. He was disappointed not to score in the first half, when he's bounced one over the bar, so possibly he could have had three because he had that one and one that's just gone wide of the post. We know his talents, we know his qualities. Once we get him 100% fit, he's going to be something else."
Argyle have exited the 2019/20 Carabao Cup with an eventful 4-2 loss at home to Reading in the second round. Argyle took the lead early on through Ryan Taylor but the away side equalised shortly later. Jose Baxter's strike saw the greens regain their lead early in the second half but a series of late Reading goals, their third from the penalty spot, saw them win the match by four goals to two. Antoni Sarcevic served the first of a three match suspension following his red card against Walsall. Argyle: Cooper, Wootton, Canavan, J Grant(Sawyer), Edwards, Moore, Baxter(C Grant), Mayor, McFadzean, Taylor(Lolos), Rudden. Subs: Palmer, Aimson, Randell, Fletcher.
Ryan Lowe revealed that his close friend Steven Gerrard, now managing Rangers, did him a favour with the loan signing of Zak Rudden. Lowe explained: We are pleased with him. We are thankful to Rangers and Stevie for letting us have him. He could have went to a few other clubs. He was actually here on Tuesday night, watching the Salford game. I spent half an hour with him in the hotel before the game and an hour after the game. He was excited. It was a full house packed to the rafters under the lights and he said 'I want a bit of it'. So we sent him home to get all his stuff and brought him straight back, and he's here. He's going to score goals for Argyle because he wants to. He will harass people down, he will get on the ball, and he's always in the right areas. I think he's a little bit different to what we have got so I'm really pleased to have him. He had a knee injury so he had to get held back, and to be fair to Stevie he has held him back for us because of the relationship we have. He said 'Look, I will hold him back, when he's fit I will give you the nod'.
"We got the call last week that he was fit and available, but there was a lot of club wanting him, so we had to act fast. Fair play, to Stevie and Mark Allen for letting us have him. They feel he's in the right hands with us. If he keeps doing what he's doing, harassing people and getting on the ball he's going to score goals. Then we're helping him out and he's helping us out, so pleased."
Rudden himself echoed the words of his new boss: "On the first day of pre-season I was with the first team and I tore my lateral meniscus, so that was a killer for me. It has been tough but I feel like I'm back into it now and I'm getting sharper again. Hopefully the goals will come with it. I had a good season last year and I will try to replicate that, or get better, this year.cIt's much quicker and slicker down here than up at Falkirk was. We were battling all the time, and down here at Argyle we have got most of the ball. Both Gaffers have got faith in me so I just need to keep paying them back.
"I came down to have a look and see if I wanted to come. I saw the fans, I saw the style of play and I thought 'This suits me'. It was a no-brainer. They are a great bunch of lads and have welcomed me in. They are all good footballers and I like the way they play."
"I wasn't expecting it at all, but when I saw Dom pull up I thought I needed to get myself ready. I went and got ready and obviously came on. I was blowing a bit in the first half but I grew into the game. It was a gutter for Dom. I feel sad for him that he's injured but he will come back and be even sharper when he comes back. He will get stronger and fitter. It was a great feeling. The fans were brilliant, they were electric all day. I didn't expect the club to be as big as it actually is. I knew it was big, but it's a massive club."
Finally, Ryan Lowe revealed it likely that Argyle would make no more than a couple of changes heading into the game against Reading but nothing wholesale. Lowe hinted: "We'll assess the lads and see what we've got. I'm all for them coming to me and me asking them how they are feeling, and getting the right answers. Our number one priority is the league let's have it right but we've got to respect Reading because they are a good outfit, so I am not going to make a million changes; I'll make changes if I feel they are necessary for niggles, or tiredness, or little injuries, whatever it possibly may be. But, at the moment, when you're in a rich vein of form, it's just keep going. We have got to play a decent few players because we haven't got a massive squad.
"As 'keepers, do you want stay in because you've kept a clean sheet and are on a little bit of a roll, or do you want to come out? As a striker, when you are in your goalscoring form I can guarantee you now that Ryan Taylor will want to play on Tuesday because he scored two goals."
Ryan Lowe gave another positive appraisal of Argyle's display as they confirmed a more than satisfactory ten points from the first 5 games with a win over Walsall. Lowe said: "We felt we were on it today," he said. "I felt we dominated the game from start to finish in all honesty. No disrespect to Walsall but I thought we had a little bit too much in certain areas. It doesn't matter who's top of the table. It has no relevance. We just worry about us and we'll continue to play the way we're playing; score goals, keep the clean sheets. We know we can always get better, improve. The league position at the moment it is what it is."
"To get a goal from what we're working on in training is what we want and then obviously the second one and the third to finish it off. Three points, three goals, clean sheet happy days. When we do our patterns of play, when we do our training sessions and where we feel we can score and how we're going to score, and when it comes to fruition like that; Fadz down one side and Tayls getting across his man goal. For the second goal Danny Mayor comes inside, passes into Sarce, who takes it on the back foot, takes the defender out and one-on-one with the keeper strokes it in."
"Everything can get better, we look at flaws in the game, we'll analyse it and the positives are great, which we expect because the standards are high. Little small details in what we need to improve on and when we're giving a ball back cheaply, we can't do that. It's learning things every day and we'll keep continuing to do that but you want to win every game you possibly can."
"We won't get carried away. I won't let my lads get carried away. The fans will get carried away, and rightly so, because I think they've seen a different side of what we're about, now. We will have our ups and downs. At the moment, we're having a lot of ups."
He also spoke of his delight for two goal star Ryan Taylor who returned to goalscoring form after a long dry spell. Lowe added: "I'm buzzing for Tayls, rightly or wrongly he's not scored as many goals as he'd like but he's been magnificent, and I've said this since day one. I'm really pleased he's got two goals." We're just happy with Tayls' contribution and what he's doing on and off the pitch, in training and in the games I couldn't be more happy for him to score two goals, he deserves it because of the work he's put in. I was a striker myself when you go on a barren run of not scoring and you find yourself scoring goals. I've said to all my strikers, if you are in the right places and do what we ask you to do, the way we play football and the way we set out to play, you're guaranteed to get chances."
Lowe kept his powder dry on the subject of Antoni Sarcevic's red card, not committing to an appeal or ruling one out: "I don't want to get involved with the referee and stuff but we'll address it, we've looked at it and we don't feel it's a red card, so we'll look at it again and again and again, get some information on it, some advice and if we feel it's worth appealing, we will."
On the injury to Joe Riley, Lowe explained: "Joe got a whack on his arm I can't remember what game it was. He landed on it, and obviously he's got a plate in it, so we feel it just gave a little bit of a shock to it. He's fine. He can move it; it's just a little bit sore. He's had an injection to play, so he goes right up in my estimation, because he didn't want to let us down; he didn't want to let the fans down; he didn't want to let the club down; and, ultimately, he didn't want to let himself down. If he does, he could find himself out of the team."
"We've got players who can fill that role. Joe Edwards went out there for a little bit and Josh Grant can play there also. We're fine; we'll just make sure we recover him properly."
Goalscorer Ryan Taylor revealed that it was the confidence gained from getting that all important first goal that gave him the focus of mind to take the ambitious shot required for Argyle's third. Taylor said: "It's a bit of a relief to be honest, it's been a while since I've scored, so the pressure's obviously been mounting," said Taylor, who also bagged a second late in the Greens' 3-0 win over Walsall at Home Park. "The longer you go without scoring as a striker, the pressure builds up and you start thinking about things more, so I'm happy to get a goal - but the most positive thing is the three points, obviously. It adds confidence to your game, as soon as you score as a striker, all the other little touches start coming together. It can only be a positive thing, and obviously I go on and get the second goal, which is another positive."
"I think if I don't score the first goal, then maybe I don't hit it that true first time," he said. "But, like I said before, the most important thing was the three points for us today. We've had a few scrappy games, so it was nice to get a good three points under our belt. Obviously, to get another, it only adds to the confidence I think you'll see that in my game now going forward. It's easy to say 'don't let it affect you' but as a striker it's going to. It's always playing on the back of your mind, so it's nice to get that off my back now and try and move forward. I just need to keep the standards high now and keep trying to score every week. As a striker you get judged on goals, so it's up to me to keep knocking on the door."
"I always played one up front with Derek so it's nice to play in a two. The gaffer obviously had a good career, he scored a lot of goals, and he's on the training ground every day coaching the strikers. That can only be a good thing for us because he obviously sees things a striker that maybe other managers or coaches wouldn't. He's tinkering with things every day, and obviously that's paid off for myself, I've got two goals and I'm very happy with that."
"I think, last year, the strikers were pretty isolated up there on their own," he said. "This year, we've seen a difference already. The proof is in the pudding, we've all added goals to our game - we need to move forward now and keep the standards high. I'm sure we will, the gaffer will be on us every day in training he gets on at the strikers more than anybody, I think. He scored a lot of goals and that can only be a good thing for us."
"Zak was very good. He's sharp, he makes the runs in behind, which I don't tend to do much! It's nice to play with somebody who complements you. I think he does, as does Dom, so I think it's going to be positive moving forward. I think you've just got to be able to adjust. Injuries can be picked up, we've had three strikers get injured already and we're only a couple of weeks in. With how tough the seasons are, you're going to pick up injuries, so you have to be adaptable. In the past, little and large combinations seem to have worked well with me, but we'll see as the season goes on."
Argyle's unbeaten start to their Home Park campaign has continued with a thumping 3-0 victory over Walsall at Home Park. Ryan Taylor was back amongst the goals, grabbing Argyle's first and third. His goals are clearly like buses with the last one coming in April 2018. The goals sandwiched a strike from Antoni Sarcevic off the bench who was then sent off for alleged serious foul play just after scoring. Argyle climb to second in the league. Dominic Telford and Joe Riley both went off with injuries during the match. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards, Riley(Baxter), C Grant(Sarcevic), Mayor, McFadzean, Telford(Rudden), Taylor. Subs: Cooper, J Grant, Randell, Lolos.
Argyle have signed Rangers striker Zak Rudden on an initial six month loan deal. Rudden spent last season on loan at Falkirk, was a Scottish youth international and scored a hat-trick against Lowe's former side Bury last pre-season. Rudden said he intends to go straight into the action: "I'm not coming down here to just sit on a bench or not be involved in the team. I've got to try get in the team and try and score goals. I just though the team created loads of chances, so I thought I'll come down and try and push my way into the team. I thought the fans and just everything suited me, I'm delighted to be here."
"I did well last year, and it was a good year for me, but I felt like I missed out on a lot football-wise," said Zak. "I feel like this is my next step, to go away from home and challenge myself. When I was speaking to him, he was a striker back when he was playing, so that was a big factor for me to come down. I thought this was perfect for me to come down here and get the bits I need, and maybe take them back to Rangers."
Conor Grant is relishing the competition that currently exists in the Argyle squad in spite of the fact that it makes it harder to secure a spot in the starting eleven. Grant said: "I think that competition for places is really good, especially if you want a successful squad," said Conor. "We want to be doing really well and winning a lot of games. We're going to need a good and competitive squad, so that when players come in, they will be ready to perform. I try to show up with a good attitude and be ready when called upon. I got the call for Leyton Orient, which was my first 90 minutes since late November, so it was really good to get it under my belt and I'm really happy with Tuesday."
"When we were dominating, we should have got a goal or two to settle it down, and then maybe you go on and it's comfortable. Obviously, with them going ahead twice, we showed good character to come back. In the end, a point is not a bad result, because you don't want to lose two on the bounce, but in the future we need to be a bit more clinical in front of goal. I think we're playing well, and maybe we haven't quite got the killer instinct in the final third, but you can see it coming together, piece-by-piece."
Conor Grant has given praise to the 'special' Green Army after two impressive home crowds packed out Home Park at the start of the season. Grant said: "It's unbelievable, really, over 11,000 on a Tuesday night, it's phenomenal. It shows what a special fanbase we have here, and we're desperate to reward them with good performances. It's a lot better having the fan-base than not. It's up to us as players to embrace it and try to do well for them. You want to play in front of as big a crowd as possible, we filled the stands the other day, and when the Grandstand is done it's going to be pretty special."
"I've been keen to put last season behind me. It wasn't a good season for the team, or for me personally. I'm happy that it's in the past now, and I'm happy with the way I've started the season I want to continue that. I've known about Schuey. I didn't know him personally, but I've obviously got to know him now and I'm loving working under him. This season, the coaching staff have come in and everything's fresh, new ideas, and everything's positive. We just need to continue that and keep working hard on the training pitch. My personal aspiration is to play as many games as possible, be involved and contribute to the team with goals and assists I want to try and add that to my game," said the midfielder. "As for the team, we want to win every game we go into. I'm not going to set any targets, but we want to be successful, that involves winning games, and that's what we can do."
As Argyle prepare to face Walsall on Saturday, Ryan Lowe said he was sure not to underestimate the opponents. He explained: "They've got a young fantastic manager in Darrell, we know what they're gonna be, what they're about. They know what we're about and it's just two teams locking horns to get three points, or a point each - whatever you can get. We respect them, we respect every team that comes here. They're a good team, they've come down from League One like us, they've got some exciting young players, but it's just another game really. It's a game at Home Park that we are hoping to get three points. We can't read too much into any results. The league will not form itself until probably 15, 20 games in. Especially when it's Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday we just keep going as long as we can until we get that rest period. Five games in, if we get a positive result on Saturday that's two points a game, which is not bad. We're on the right track."
Ryan Lowe has heralded the return of exciting football to Home Park and said that Argyle did well at times in their draw against Salford even if there are area for improvement. Lowe was particularly complimentary of the first half play, saying: "We have said we will bring exciting times, and it was exciting tonight. It was good. Obviously, we would have liked another two points but, look, if you can't win it, you certainly don't lose it. I said in that documentary I did with Sky there were probably a few swear words that shouldn't have been in there that we are going to get the place bouncing. And we are, because why wouldn't you? I want this place rocking every other week, every other Tuesday, whenever we are at home. They have bought into everything we have asked of them, the fans. They have been different class. The support of us, everyone, my players, my coaching staff, has been phenomenal. That will continue because I think they have gone home tonight having seen entertaining football like that."
"In the first half, I was like 'Wow, it's like watching a Premier League game on TV, the way we moved the ball quick and got into the final third. You are just missing that little Aguero, or a Salah, or a Mane aren't you? But when we play exciting football like that it's certainly turning me on, let me tell you, and I'm sure it's going to turn the fans on."
"I loved every minute of it, and I can't thank the fans enough. They are with us, which is good. They are backing us, which is even better, and I think they are excited at what they have seen so far. When they come through the doors like this the one thing I can guarantee is we won't disappoint. We will always try and do what we feel these supporters want, and that's passion, desire, commitment and entertaining football, and I think they are getting it. The problem we have got is there are lads still learning about us, and learning how we want them to play. They are forever questions still now, weeks and months in, but brilliant. They want it. They are very critical of themselves if it's not done right. I have gone in there and said 'The goals we have given away were avoidable' and they know.
"I would have been gutted if we hadn't have gotten a point, let me tell you, because of the work we've put in of late and what the lads have done here but I'm pleased, if you can't win it, you certainly don't lose it. You have to give Salford credit, they're putting bodies on the line for their manager and the football club and rightly so, that's what they should be doing I expect the same from my lads. Fair play, they've come here with a game plan, they've dug deep and got bodies behind the ball."
"We need to hit the target more but that was more like us and our attacking style of moving the ball quicker one and two touch, and I think we just need to score when we're on top, especially in the first half. The possession stats will always be in our favour predominantly, especially at home, but you've got to make that count. I just felt we were ruthless once we got until that last little bit. Then we were, not sloppy as such, but not clinical."
Lowe reserved specific praise for certain players. He added: "We are aware he can't keep doing that all the time because there is opposition that is stopping you. Where he normally picks the ball up and does it is a bit closer in. That was the point of the 18-yard box tonight, I think. We know what Dan has got. He's a special talent. I think he would have still been running now if the whistle hadn't gone. "He was running everywhere tonight tackles, everything because that's what he is. He felt he didn't put in a performance of his standard on Saturday against Newport and he shines like that tonight. He was special, but I want that every week, and every game and every minute from all my attacking players."
"Dom and Tayls have been fantastic. They have missed a few weeks. Dom hardly had a pre-season but he's getting more like it. Tayls was fantastic holding the ball up, getting some snapshots away, coming in some pockets and getting across the front. It's the mentality I instil in the boys, a never-say-die attitude. Bury scored a lot of goals in the last 15 minutes of games last season. I don't want to keep doing that, but it just shows the fitness levels of the boys to keep going. It shows the determination, the attitude and the commitment that they want to keep doing it, and they have done. I brought Joe Riley off for Sarce for one more attacking push and put Joe Edwards at right wing-back, just to freshen things up. Joe Edwards was magnificent tonight. He has moved the ball quicker and got our number eights on the ball a lot quicker. That allows people like Danny to do what he can do, and Conor when he was getting chances."
On Argyle's two unavailable strikers, Lowe updated: "Byron Moore should be with us for training Thursday, Friday. Joel is just taking a little bit longer, but he's doing all the right stuff. "Possibly Joel will be Northampton maybe, but we are hoping Byron is with us in the next 24-48 hours. That's very encouraging news. As I have said before, last season at Bury we had a 97 per cent availability ratio. We probably won't have that this season well, I'm hoping we get up there the reason being Byron never had a pre-season, Dom Telford didn't have a pre-season. Will Aimson was injured and didn't have a pre-season. Ryan Taylor got injured but he got a bit in. We have got to make sure now we look after these boys and recover them the right way. We have got the facilities to do it, up at Marjon University and the stuff we use there, and over at the Life Centre. We have got the masseurs in, the ice baths in the dressing room so they have got everything they need. We will make sure we will recover them properly. I would rather miss someone for one or two games, or one or two days of training, then lose them for three or four weeks."
Argyle have announced former England and Everton coach Neil Dewsnip as the club's new technical director. Dewsnip who previously coached Steven Schumacher has been spoken highly of by Ryan Lowe who has praised his ability to make a difference from upstairs. Lowe enthused: "Neil could have gone and worked for any Premier League club in the country, but he chose to come and work for Plymouth Argyle because he sees the plan that we've got and what we are trying to build. He brings the experience and the knowhow upstairs; he thinks on different avenues. Me and Schuey will be straight down, tunnel vision, on what we want and Neil will throw a spanner in the works of how we can get better, how the staff can get better, and how we can all get better, from top to bottom. So, working now in a senior environment is fascinating, but the principles are exactly the same. The same issues crop up, whether they're nine years of age or 34 years of age. We've got connections up and down the country through Neil but, more importantly, we've got a good man who buys into the project that we have started at Argyle."
Argyle picked up their first draw of the season with a thrilling 2-2 match against Salford. The visitors took the lead towards the end of the first half but Argyle soon equalised thanks to a superb individual effort from Danny Mayor. Two goals in quick succession also followed in the second half. Salford thought they'd got the win but Callum McFadzean was brought down for a late penalty that Dom Telford duly converted. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards, Riley(Sarcevic), C Grant(Baxter), Mayor, McFadzean, Telford, Taylor(Lolos). Subs: Cooper, T Moore, J Grant, Randell.
Ryan Lowe spoke of a quick chance to make amends from the Newport defeat as Argyle host Salford City for the first time on Tuesday night. Lowe looked forward to the same by saying: "When you've lost, you want to get another game to bounce back. We won't be disrespecting Salford, they've got a big budget and they're signing players. We know it's going to be a tough task but we're at home. It's about us and what we can do. We'll nullify their weaknesses and every team we come up against will be fired up to play Plymouth Argyle. Graham Alexander always has a competitive team and I'm pleased for them to get in the Football League, but we're not too worried about what they're doing. We will look at what we're doing and how we can nullify their weaknesses. We try to take games to most teams, especially at Home Park. Even at Newport, we took the game to them but the result is what matters. We'll bounce back and Salford will pose a different type of test. Not everyone can have a brilliant game every week, there is always room for improvement. We'll put the plan in place and it's up to them to follow that plan. What I like about my squad is they've got the right attitude."
Ryan Lowe reacted philosophically to Argyle's first loss of the season, citing a good first half display but a disappointing loss in concentration. He said: "I thought there was only one team going to win the game in terms of football stature. In the first half, we were dominant but it was a lapse in concentration for the goal. I've said from day one that we're not the finished article, nowhere near. Newport are a different style of football and I'm just disappointed we had the ball in their half of the pitch, and then it's in our net. They are small details and if you don't get it right, you get punished, but I can't criticise my lads and my team. We came up against a different type in Newport today, with balls into the box. We were outstanding for 80 minutes until they scored. I've said to the boys that if you can't win the game, then don't lose the game. It's three points lost and we need to bounce back quickly. I've learnt a lot about the lads since I came in, from pre-season and the three wins. I've learnt a lot more about the true characters we have in our team and also learnt that you can't give silly free-kicks away, silly fouls, silly offsides. You always learn from a loss and we will analyse it on the way home, and put it to bed on Monday morning.
"We created some decent chances but sometimes we failed to put the ball in the right areas. The two front lads were decent in the first half but it was more of a fight in the second half. We wanted balls down the sides of their centre-halves and we didn't quite do that. Without being disrespectful to Newport, they are quite different. They go from back to front quickly, with power and pace. We withstood all of that but I'm disappointed to concede on 81 minutes. We could deal with several situations before they scored and a long ball has gone into the box for the big lad, fair play to them. We're disappointed to not come away with a draw. There were one or two, maybe three or four who weren't quite at it today, and you can't have that. They were loads of positives, just needed a little bit more in the final third. We've had one loss, at a tough place, so we look forward to Tuesday night at home to Salford."
Lowe also went on to add that Argyle's summer business may not yet be done with the chance of a striker to come. Lowe hinted: "We're looking for one more player and we're in discussions. As I always say, there are other clubs involved, it's not just Plymouth Argyle looking for players. We're making good progress and we're looking for one more attacking player. We feel we're quite comfortable now with the midfield and the back lads. We've got plenty of cover at the back, so it will be an attacking player. Joel is on his recovery and not far away, he's doing quite well. We left Byron Moore at home for the Newport game because we felt he had a tight hamstring and I'm very cautious that I don't want to risk anyone for a long time if there's some sort of niggle. We will see where he is on Monday morning."
Scott Wootton had a similar outlook on the game, maintaining his belief that it will be a successful season for Argyle whilst admitting his disappointment at the loss of the clean sheet consistency. Wootton said: "We had a good start to the season, six points from six before Saturday. We said at half-time, minimum is a clean sheet. We feel that we should be winning these games, but if you can't win, don't lose. We're gutted to not win again. I thought first-half we controlled most of the game, they didn't really create that many chances. We had a couple cleared off the line, Joe Riley had a great strike and if they go in it's a completely different game. Second-half, I don't think we played anywhere near our best, and ultimately that's cost us today. Long throw, second-phase, a good ball in and the lad's attacked it well. We've had three clean sheets so far, we wanted to get another one, and we're disappointed about it but we've got a big home game on Tuesday that we want to put right and go and get three points. I think we controlled early on in the game. Teams are going to do that, the way we play and the quality of players we have, we're going to take control of games and teams are going to change to try and stop us do that.
"They obviously changed the shape, and it's up to us to break them down. We can't cry and say 'oh they changed the shape', we've got to be good enough and clever enough to break them down and get through it and we weren't Obviously, Ryan Lowe is gutted that we didn't win, just like everyone. He's very passionate. He just said that we will dissect it, analyse it, learn from it, talk about the good things we did and things we need to get better at. We'll go again on Tuesday, it's a big game and it's pleasing that we can try and send the fans home happy. If we turn up and play to the levels we know we can on Tuesday night against Salford and take the three points, we won't be worried about the Newport game. There's so many games coming thick and fast, so you have always got a chance around the corner to put things right."
Wootton did however speak with warmth about his development so far this season under Ryan Lowe due to the belief the manager has shown in him: "I wouldn't say I learned anything last season on the pitch, I've learned a lot more already this season Picking up the injury was the start of it, really. I was in the team until I picked up the injury at Charlton away and then I didn't get a chance after that, which was frustrating. That's the biggest thing, keep believing in yourself. Just because you're not playing doesn't mean that it's necessarily the right thing.
"He has been fantastic from the second he came into the building. It was probably difficult taking over a relegated side, but I think, just the way he is, he's so positive. Things were black and white straight away, there was no grey areas with him, and that's what you want as a player. You know what he wants, on the pitch and off the pitch. It's down to the lads then. You get a platform and a structure to show what you're about and what you can do, and then it's up to the players. If you buy into, you'll be a part of it, if not, you won't. That's all you can ask for as players."
"I'm enjoying the formation. I've played it a couple of times in my career, at two different clubs. I personally think that if you get it right, it's the best formation. There's men everywhere, triangles all over the pitch. It's a really good formation and one that I like to play in. It's great, I'm obviously thankful to the manager for that, but obviously I've got to play well to earn that. Last season was horrible, my worst season by a mile in my career. I came back, worked hard in the off-season, got fit and so far so good, personally. I've got to keep going, though, we've got 43 league games to go and my mentality is that I want to play every game."
"I don't think it'll be a problem, but I think it will be a common theme. I think we have enough good players, guile and creativity to get through that. Teams are going to sit deep, especially at home, they're going to sit off us, but we've got to be good enough to break them down and score goals. Once we get up in games it'll be a different story. Plymouth Argyle in League Two is a big outfit, and teams will respect us, especially with the start we've had. We've just got to be good enough to break that down. Gutted, really. Three games, three clean sheets so far. Ten minutes away from a fourth. I don't think they had that much, really. As a team, I think we defended well, if we carry that on throughout the season it will give our attacking players the license and freedom to go and do the goods at the other end. As defenders, it's our job to keep the back door shut and supply the quality to the attacking players to do their stuff."
Argyle's perfect start to the season came to an end at Rodney Parade with a late 1-0 defeat to Newport. A game of two halves saw Argyle dominate the first half and Newport dominate the second before an 82nd minute headed goal gave them the win. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards(Baxter), Riley, Mayor, Sarcevic(C Grant), McFadzean, Telford(Lolos), Taylor. Subs: Cooper, T Moore, J Grant, Randell.
Argyle and forward Calum Dyson have agreed to cancel his contract by mutual consent with immediate effect. 22-year-old Dyson made two substitute appearances for Argyle in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Ryan Law's loan to Truro City has been extended until January. The 19 year-old defender, who is in his second year as a professional at Home Park, signed on an initial 28-day youth loan in July.
Joe Riley is enjoying his new role as a wing-back and spoke of being in a 'happy place' as Argyle's perfect start to the season continued. He said: "It's been a happy place ever since the gaffer has walked in the building to be honest," said Joe. "Winning brings a feel good factor around the place and we're just looking to continue that. Since the gaffer and his staff have come in, it has been a breath of fresh air, which is not common when you get relegated. It's been great for everyone and that has transpired into results now. Anyone who knows me knows that I like to get forward. The way we play, it gives me an opportunity to get forward and create chances. That's what I've always been known for throughout my career is an attacking full-back who likes to get forward, so wing-back suits me. I played there before for a couple of other clubs and always enjoyed it. To be honest, the way we played last year never really enabled full-backs to get into advanced positions. This year has been a breath of fresh air for me personally with the new role."
On the injury to Joel Grant that kept him out of Tuesday's win against Orient, Ryan Lowe revealed: "He's just under a grade two, a minor tear in his hamstring, so we are hoping he's not going to be too long. Possibly 10 days maybe, which is good for Joel. He's feeling better every day. I think we have got him off at the right time because he said if we hadn't done that he would have carried on. We got him off the pitch straight away, so I think it's a blessing we did that. Rather than him missing four to six weeks, we are probably going to miss him for two. I'm gutted we are missing because he has been flying in pre-season. He scored against Crewe and he was doing very well against Colchester but we have got other lads in there now who can step up and get an opportunity. I'm sure Joel will be back with us in the next few weeks. The lads out the team at the moment are pushing really hard to get in it. But they are not only pushing really hard to get in, they are pushing the lads in front of them and they are helping them as well. I always feel you should help your mate whether it's your position or not because we are all wanting the same thing, and that's points on the board."
Lowe also hinted he was looking at loaning out a couple of players currently on the verge of the first team, saying: : "You are looking at Ryan Law and Luke Jephcott now, they are getting rave reviews so brilliant. They have done what I have asked them to do. There are certain lads who have been asked to move on as well and get some game-time. Whether they stay or go, they won't be treated any different. It's up to them. But if I'm one of them I'm looking at Jephcott scoring goals and Ryan Law playing and scoring goals. They will be giving me selection headaches pretty soon because I can call them back at any opportunity. If there is any sort of injuries I can call them back.
"We will have a look at one or two more and see if they feel they want to go out because I'm not pushing anyone out, it's up to them. I'm not going to say 'You have got to do this, you have got to do that' because it's their call. I would want to be playing games. I know their agents are onto it, trying to get them out to get some game-time. If the right club comes along for them to go to, then great. If they come to us and say 'Look, I want to go here and play some games' and we are happy with the solution, then great. As for an in, if we are going to do anything it will only be one more. Maybe we could have that before the weekend, maybe not."
Ryan Lowe declared himself delighted with the win over Orient, coming as it did with many players being rested from the team. Lowe said: "I'm happy especially with the lads who came in I made a couple of changes and I'm pleased I know that they can do what they've done tonight. I'm pleased for them because sometimes it's not easy when you're left out of the starting eleven for the first week or two, but the application of the boys was fantastic. In football, you know what's coming, you know what's around the corner and you know when you're on top. When their manager says to you, 'you're a fantastic outfit' I love that - when opposition managers say how good you are, but we play it down, we're not there yet. Three games in, three wins and three clean sheets fantastic, I couldn't have asked for a better start, but we know there's going to be bumps in the road."
"We know Dom, we know what he's about, what he does and what he gives us. That burst of pace there he needs to be a bit more selfish now, because there are a lot of strikers who are selfish, and that's how you score between 10 and 20 goals a season, by being selfish. If you want be nice and pretty and set your mates up you ain't going to score. They've come up from non-league last season and with all due respect they've got to find their feet a little bit and obviously with the circumstances of what happened. They've got some fantastic coaches there and I'm sure they'll do well. Whatever happens they've got some good players and style of play but we always felt, if we are on it, we are a match for anyone."
Lowe had particularly positive words for two of the youngsters starting for Argyle in the shape of Josh Grant and our very own Michael Cooper. Lowe said, first of Grant: "He didn't look out of place, he's barely watched us, but he knows what we are about from training and the game on Saturday, where he watched from the side. Josh has been on our radar for some time when we get calls about players who are highly recommended from other players, Josh is a fantastic kid and he couldn't wait to get here.
Cooper is solid, he passed the ball well and he's getting used to our style. He's threading balls through, perfect, that's the way we want to play. He hasn't put a foot wrong; he's been fantastic." He's my 'keeper, he's one of two 'keepers, he's a 'keeper I know I can rely on at any time. No-one's guaranteed a place in the starting eleven.".
Argyle will play their Carabao Cup second round clash with Sky Bet Championship side Reading on Tuesday, August 27, at 7:45pm. Ryan Lowe said of the draw: "It's a win-win game for us. They are going to come here, and, whether they are going to change the team, I'm not sure, but we'll stick to what we're doing. Our main priority is the league but we'll never disrespect any cup competition when you've got a squad like ours, and it's probably got the makings of an entertaining game. We're never going to win the Carabao Cup because, when the big-hitters start coming in, then you're out, but it's always nice to get through. Especially the first round."
Dom Telford got off the mark for Argyle last night and revealed his opening goal was just as he visualised it being. He explained: "I am a bit of a visual person. So, this morning and last night, that is what I wanted to happen, and scoring down that end is unbelievable. I hope it's not the last one. I picked the ball up I think it was off one of their mistakes I saw a little gap, and drove with it, and it opened up. I've always been taught to strike across the 'keeper, hard and low and just to see it hit the back of the net was some feeling it never gets old. I'm delighted and hopefully it's the first of many. The bigger the game, the better," he said. "It a chance for us to impress against a top team. That's why we looked for the win. We'll crack on and try to do our best against a good side."
"I told the gaffer I'll get twenty goals. I'll have to live up to that. Personally, I'll crack on and score as many as I can. I wont put a limit on it but I set targets each month. I'm quite visual with what I want to achieve. I believe, if I'm dong my job, then it'll help the team get to where we want to get to."
Argyle have marched on into the second round of the League Cup with a fairly routine 2-0 victory over Leyton Orient at Home Park. Argyle kept 6 of the same team going into the game but mixed things up a little, including a first start of the season for goalkeeper Michael Cooper. Wing-back Callum McFadzean and striker Dom Telford got the goals to see Argyle draw another home tie in the next round: this time against Championship side Reading. Argyle: Cooper, J Grant, Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards(Baxter), Riley, C Grant, Mayor(Randell), McFadzean, Telford, Taylor(B Moore). Subs: Palmer, Wootton, Sarcevic, Lolos.
Ryan Lowe turned his focus to the upcoming cup game with Leyton Orient, insisting that he will play the game to win and get through to the lucrative next round. Lowe said: "We know they are going be at it, they're not coming here to roll over no team will, but we have to worry about us, and we have to make sure that we are on point and doing what we were are trying to achieve. We want to play the way we play, we want to excite people and, first and foremost, win games of football. The next round the Premier League clubs come in, who wouldn't want to go through. Every competition, every game we play, me and my staff, and my players want to win. I'm not saying we are going to beat Leyton Orient and go through to the next round, but we want to go as far as possible and that's our aim."
Lowe also said that striker Dom Telford is operating only at partial fitness currently but will doubtless have a big part to play this coming season, adding: ""Dom is looking sharper. He looked a lot sharper on Saturday and he's looking a lot sharper in training. Dom will score goals, we know that, but he had a little niggle and we have got him back in the right frame of mind now. He's probably 70 per cent, but when you need a goal he's there to do it. Taylor and Telford have got a little bit of catch-up but I want all my strikers to score goals and they know that."
Ryan Lowe gave a happy assessment of his first home match as Argyle manager, with praise for players from all over the pitch. He said: "It was excellent I keep saying, we know the fan base, we know the football club, we know what it is. The fans are getting behind us and sticking with us like they have done, and we know they will, it's massive. When you come out and see the fans, all singing you get goose bumps, it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but I knew that and that's why I'm here. The defence was solid. You see Scotty Wootton, Gaz Sawyer and Niall Canavan are forming their little relationship and when you've got a 'keeper like Alex Palmer who just comes and collects balls from the sky, it always helps. The wing-backs did their defensive duties perfect and Joe Edwards mopping up. It's always nice to keep clean sheets, especially for the lads who are on clean sheet bonuses. I'm praising the defenders, but we start from the front, first half before Joel Grant went off injured, I thought he and Byron Moore were working solidly and tirelessly hard up front. Defensively, out of possession we were fine; attacking play, we're nearly there. We're two weeks into the season, we will keep building and keep working my standards are high, I'll always want more. I told him I want goals from my two outside midfielders. Two wins and two clean sheets I couldn't have asked for a better start. As long as the season goes on, we're not going to get carried away. There are some parts we need to work on, but we are getting in the right areas and creating chances, which is always good. The season is not won in August, it's not won in September or January. We'll see where we are come the end of the season."
Sarcevic took on board his manager's words about goalscoring and was delighted to get off the mark so early in the season. He reflected: "Its something that I've not shied away from, it has always been in my game, I just need to get it back out again, which is frustrating because it has always been there. It's nice of the gaffer to give me that licence. He has given me a target to get and I have to get it. In my first taste of the Football League, with Fleetwood, I got 15. The manager has helped me. He has come in with a breath of fresh air and enthusiasm. We are excited for what's to come and we hope everyone else is as well."
"Even today he wasn't happy with parts of the game. From the outside it is exciting but there is still a lot more to come. The lads who were already here before the gaffer came in haven't played in the system, so he used a large part of pre-season drilling that into us, and he still is. We are two games in, our feet are on the ground and we are going to try and keep going. It was one of those games, it was a bit frustrating. It was a good strike, I was saying previously that Dom teed me up, at first I didn't think he was going to give it to me. It was ages before he gave it to me but it was nice to see it hit the net."
On the injury that forced the substitution of striker Joel Grant, Lowe said: "I think Sarce has played a cross-field pass and Joel has sprinted for it. I'm hoping he has come off at the right time and we have just got it. I have told all the players 'Any sort of niggles, feel anything, you are getting off the pitch.' You can't risk it. We had a great record at Bury last season of fitness players, 97 per cent available ratio, and we want that again, if not more. John Lucas, Paul Atkinson and all my staff will make sure we get that. We will address Joel tomorrow morning and take it from there. He just said he felt something so I'm hoping it's not major because we have got him off the pitch. t's too early to observe it now really. We will let it die down, get it compressed and strapped up and then we will take it from there. He has made a big impression. It would be cruel for him if he was out for whatever, but I'm hoping he's not. I'm hoping we have caught it. Joel knows where he's at and potentially it gives someone else an opportunity. But it won't be cruel for Joel. He's a big part of our plans and we will assess him and we will get it right, and we will make sure he comes back fit."
Antoni Sarcevic scored his first goal since January to ensure he was the difference between the two sides as Argyle made it the perfect start to their home campaign with a 1-0 victory over Colchester United. Argyle lost Joel Grant to injury in the first half but his replacement Dom Telford put the ball on a plate for Sarcevic to slot home. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards(Baxter), Riley, Sarcevic, Mayor, McFadzean, JV Grant(Telford), Moore(Taylor). Subs: Cooper, J Grant, Randell, C Grant.
Upon the arrival of Chelsea loanee Josh Grant, Ryan Lowe has said that the youngster comes highly recommended and that Argyle were keen to wait and make sure they had the right player. Lowe said: "He's had a fully fit pre-season, and comes highly recommended from good sources. I spoke to the lad on the phone, he's a good kid. I told him what I want, what we're about, and he couldn't wait to get here. He's another body who is going to challenge. We felt it was important that we got that cover," said Lowe. "He's going to challenge and make competition even harder and that's what we want. He's a right-sided centre-half who can play right wing-back. He's been highly recommended, and won quite a lot of trophies with Chelsea under-23's. He's had a spell on loan in League Two last season played a few games and then got injured. That should be it. But, we'll never say no because something might pop up. It's got to be the right fit; we're not just going to get anyone in the building."
Now the incomings seem to be done, Lowe turned his attention to the possibility of some outgoings. He set expectations for a couple of departures: "There's going to be one or two more that might start to slip out of the door on loan over the next week or two, so we've got to make sure that we are well prepared for that. What we want with the lads is to get some game-time, because they may not get much here. The under-23's doesn't start for a while, the EFL Trophy we're not in action in that for a month or two, and in all honesty I want to be as strong as possible in those competitions so there may not be an option for those type of players in these games. We spoke to them in-house, and it's only right that we keep that between us," said Ryan. "We spoke to certain individuals and said, 'go and get yourself some game time.' When you get farmed out on loan, depending on what club or status you're at, it's as if it's the end of the world for the kid, but it's not. Go and get some games, and then we will address it in January. If you haven't done what we'd expect you to do then it might be a different story, but ultimately it's up to the lads who are not in the match-day squads to go and get some game-time. Let me read and have videos of what you're doing and how you're performing, and then, if it's good enough, you'll get a chance."
Lowe also made a point of restating his adamance that he alone is not solely to thank or blame for management of the team this season, revealing the extent to which he and his staff operate as a unit. He said: "At the end of the day, it's not just me and Steven, it's Nance, Rhys, John and Jimmy. We speak on a daily basis, what we can do, how we're going to do it. We put all of our cards on the table and we'll mix it up and see what suits. Schuey is my number two, we go back a long way, and he's just as important as me. All of my staff are just as important as me. I am the manager, I make the final decisions, but, ultimately we're a team. We're quite open with each other. We challenge each other every day, we're a quite relaxed group," Lowe continued. "If there's a small disagreement on stuff, we'll make sure we put it right. The relationship with the team is very good. We prepare like there's no end. We're on the phone Saturday and Sunday, off Monday, and then start talking about Colchester, their result, looking at what they did and how they did it. We have someone at every game, we had someone at Colchester, Leyton Orient, we'll have someone at Newport. And then we get all the DVD footage, break it down into areas looking at what we want and where we think we can get something out of them."
Niall Canavan has praised a feel good factor around Home Park at the moment by fans and players alike as the greens gear up for their Home Park opener against Colchester United on Saturday. Canavan said: "Obviously, nobody wanted to get relegated last year, but you've got to make the best out of each situation. If our best case is that we go up this year and that leads on to better things for the club, then that's what we've got to go for. This big stand behind me is coming close to being finished. It just ties in together that we are building something. You ask anyone, when that is full and ready to go do you want to go play in front of 18,000?"
"I think we all know we've had some bad starts in the recent years, but it's a nice feeling to tick off the first three points and a clean sheet. As away performances go, you can't ask for much more. I enjoy three at the back. It's a system that needs work, but we've had that, and we've had to play with direction. I think if you ask any of the boys, they are very clear on their role and what their job is. I've never had a pre-season game delayed for crowd congestion. Ever. That just shows the support we've got, and the lads are very aware of the support we've had. The new boys are a bit taken aback by it at times. It's looking like it's going to be a good atmosphere on Saturday. Hopefully, we can get the right result and send everybody home happy."
Having been a striker himself, Ryan Lowe revealed a 'tough love' approach to ensuring that Argyle's young forwards develop to the level they are capable of. Lowe detailed his philosophy: "I never started until I was 20, and finished just before I was 40, so I had a good innings. I give the strikers a lot of tough love because I don't want them to fail," said Lowe. "The likes of Luke Jephcott, Alex Fletcher and Klaidi Lolos, I don't want them to fail in their career. I failed as a youngster, I couldn't get to a professional level until I was 20. I want them to do well, I'm chomping at the bit, hopefully they get it. Jephcott scored four goals the other week, Fletcher is eager to do it, he scored a couple in pre-season, Lolos too. Just keep scoring goals because that's what makes you money and gets you good moves. They've got the best opportunity now, but they've got to listen, they've got to do it. It's not life or death, but it's the making of whether you're going to earn a lot of money or you're going to go and play part-time football."
Chelsea defender Josh Grant has come to Home Park on half-season loan. The 20-year-old centre-back first signed on professional terms at Chelsea in 2015 and has been capped four times by England Under-20s. He played against Argyle for Chelsea in the Checkatrade Trophy last season before being loaned to Yeovil in the second half of the season. Josh joins namesakes Joel and Conor at Home Park, and follows in the footsteps of departed Peter - now at Morton.
Chief Executive Andrew Parkinson has said that the grandstand development is still on track to be complete and open for business by the start of 2020. He said: "We are still going to be completed for the last quarter of 2019. We are looking at the end of October for the construction to have been completed, there or thereabouts. Then there is a fit-out programme which is usually about five or six weeks. We have been working on those in parallel, which means the first events will hopefully happen in the second week of December. We have got some Christmas events lined up for non-matchday. Then what we have got to work through over the next couple of weeks is putting a programme together of test events. We will have a limited number of people that will be able to come into that to test access and egress. From there, we will then go into the plan which is our first game. That's going to be in December in some format, but it might be a more limited capacity. Certainly we will have our first home game if not before the turn of the year then it could be New Year's Day. We are working through what is the right mechanics and dynamics for that.
"They are always unpredictable in terms of how they develop, and you are not just dealing with a stand as well, it has got to work operationally. It's the outside area too, and we have got the supporters' bar that is being developed as well, which is another aspect. There are new ways of getting in, the land outside has got to be levelled so there are lots of different things, the things you don't know until you are in there. But it's so important for the club because it's not just the 30-odd games that we play, it's about all the other times the stadium needs to be open."
"It's how do we generate income so that we can get the best first team on the pitch, and so on. It has been really positive. Having three different offerings, not a one size fits all, is great. Also, as a non-matchday events venue, we have also had a lot of provisional bookings. We are probably almost halfway there to what we targeted, and we have still got eight or nine months to go in the financial year. It has been very important to us, but it's also been great to see the interest in it as well.
Regarding the possibility of naming rights for the stand, Parkinson added: "It is an opportunity. We are also conscious as well it is the Mayflower Grandstand and it is at Home Park. I think people would recognise that the connection needs to be retained in whatever way. "Clearly, a club in our position, we have to look at the opportunities that there may be too. That also means working potentially with the right partners, who have the same connection and the same values that we do. We have to make sure that we don't lose connection with the place and the integrity of the club. So, yes, it's definitely an opportunity and something we are looking at. There is not a bus coming up with that on at the moment but we are working on that."
Ryan Lowe has explained that he sees the transfer of Ashley Smith-Brown to Oldham on a season-long loan deal to be the best decision for all parties concerned. He argued that the player would benefit from more games and Oldham would benefit from having him there: "I don't want four wing-backs and I said to Ash he can stay here, no guarantee you can play and no guarantee you can't. He has been fantastic all pre-season but Oldham had come in for a season-long loan, it was local for him, he is back home and playing games. I've got plenty of cover at wing-back and it was a no-brainer for both parties. It was nothing against Ash, he's shown a fantastic attitude in pre-season but once he saw we signed Fadz, he might have felt he was going to be a number two."
Joe Edwards has described Ryan Lowe as 'relentless' in the way in which he goes about his work as well as paying tribute to the Green Army's exceptional support. Edwards said: "It's nice to be talked about, and that comes probably with the size of the club and where we are at. Stats and things like that don't always go as planned. I have been favourite to be relegated and got promoted from a season before. What we do know here is we have got as manager in charge who is very driven and relentless in how he works and how he wants you to train. For me, that can only be a good thing and put you in the right direction."
"I have never been in a pre-season game that has been delayed for fans coming in. That's special for me. It's one of the reasons why you would want to come and play for this club. The fanbase is brilliant. The expectation levels are where they are because they want to be back where they belong, and that's fair enough. That's something we have got to take on as players and thrive upon, to have that expectation and to really go through with it and give something for these fans to get behind. They can be the added factor that can help us go all the way with their support."
Ryan Lowe declared himself delighted with a superb opening day victory at Crewe, explaining how pre-season had been built towards the optimal outcome. Lowe said: "You build up for five or six weeks and that's what you want; an opening-day win. I'm pleased with the goals, pleased with the clean sheet but disappointed at not keeping the ball well enough toward the end. The standards are high and they'll get higher because I demand it but I couldn't have asked for a better start. We knew they would come at us because they're a fantastic team but we felt we would be too strong for them in possession, and out of possession. We were comfortable but let them come into it in the second half and you can't let a Crewe side do that. They have a never-say-die attitude and we had to withstand that little storm. They were never going to lie down.
"Jose Baxter came on and you could he was calm on the ball with his little touches, which is what we needed because Crewe were getting on top. We put him on to do that and I was mindful that Joe Edwards was on a yellow card. The gelling happened the minute we walked in the building and I'm big on that; galvanising players and mixing with them. We work with them and bond with them, running up and down hills in Spain. That's bonding for me and we knew we would get that. Every club I go to in my career will have that because we're a family now. I've told them that if anybody hurts me, they are hurting the boys, and anybody hurts them, they are hurting me. We're a family and you can become successful like that. When you come to a football club like Argyle, you want to get off to a good start. We will have bumps in the road during the season because you can't beat everybody 3-0, we know that, but I'm happy to get off to a good start."
Lowe dedicated the fantastic victory to Argyle's loyal fans who had travelled far and in numbers, adding: "The fans have come in their numbers and sometimes you worry about letting them down after travelling all that way. This win is for them and for coming here in such numbers. Yes, we played the football and scored the goals, but they backed us all the way. I'm relishing putting out a style of football for them and they will keep travelling in their numbers to follow us. If we keep putting in performances like that, I'm sure there will be 2,000 next time. We know what the fanbase brings, they're massive. They travelled up and down the country last season and didn't get what they deserved, but hopefully they'll get that this season. It's the first game of the season, we're not getting carried away, but this win is for them. Our attention will turn to Colchester, one of the best teams we played last season, but we will concentrate on us and hopefully Home Park will be packed to the rafters."
Lowe had specific praise for some players, one of whom was loanee goalkeeper Alex Palmer who had a dream debut making more than one superb save alongside good cross collection and distribution. Lowe said of Palmer: "He made a lot of saves and that's what he was brought in for. He's a top class 'keeper and will play at the highest level because you can see the size and stature of him. Sometimes, those shots can ricochet and roll in, which is why I was bit disappointed we allowed them to have those shots but he is doing his job by making those saves."
He added praise for striker Joel Grant too, enthusing: "It was very good from Joel and he's been fantastic. I spoke to him in pre-season when I wanted him to sign an extended contract and he was one I had a soft spot for straightaway because he wanted to put things right from last season. I know he was injured toward the end of the season but he was pleased to sign a new contract, and forever asking what I wanted from him. He's played in midfield and as a striker. I just said to do the simple things, work your socks off, shoot and score goals. We know he can play striker. He scored a goal, his hold-up play and link-up play was very good. It's his place to lose now but we've got some fantastic strikers. Byron Moore can play different positions as well. I've said to the boys that all of them will get a chance and if Joel keeps doing that, he'll play a lot of games."
Callum McFadzean revealed his delight at getting off to a two goal start in the win at Crewe and gave his assessment of the game and the goals. He said first of his previous season at Bury: "Plenty of assists, but no goals. So it's a bit strange. I think you'll probably see more assists and more goals if I'm there, I'm not afraid to shoot. It's a great start, personally and as a team. It's always massive to get off to a winning start. That was one of our main objectives, coming in to the start of the season, to get off to a good start. I feel we've done it and we feel like we've got more to come, so that's a big plus, as well."
"Coming from the left-hand side, I had a shot with my right foot. It deflected, went up into the air, and I saw it fall nicely. I thought 'Might as well; I'm in the box; give it a try.' It went in. Buzzing. Me and Danny have done that last season; that's what we like to do," he said. "We're an attacking left-hand side and you'll see that all season. I'll be going from minute one to the final whistle that's what I'm all about; I'm up and down and Danny does what he does. He's a magic man. I just make the runs if he gives it to me, he gives it to me; if not, I expect him to do the rest. I think we've got a good partnership there and, as the games go on, we're only going to get stronger."
"We had to dig deep, to defend; Alex's has pulled some great saves off, kept us in the game. It was a good test. We expected that from Crewe they are a good team, so to come here and keep a clean sheet and score three goals is a good start. The second goal knocked the confidence a little bit, and we expected them, in the second half, to come out guns blazing because they are not going to just sit back. I thought we dealt with it right. It shows with a clean sheet."
"It's a good start. We can't get too carried away but we're going in the right direction. The fans are going to go away buzzing; we're going to go away buzzing. But we have got to be level-grounded. We just want to keep going. We know there's more to come and that's a good feeling. There's stuff we need to work on, but it's the first game and to get a win and three points is a big plus."
McFadzean echoed the words of his manager towards Argyle's fans, saying: "It's class. To come that far in their numbers is absolutely excellent and hopefully we can keep repaying them through the season. Thinking about it now, it's actually frightening what numbers are going to be coming down next Saturday. I can't wait for it now. When people say it, you don't realise how big the support actually is until you get down to Argyle. As soon as I got here, I was blown away. We want to pick the place back up and we feel, from pre-season to now, we're going in the right direction. Keep working hard and stick together and hopefully it will be a good season. I think we've gelled well as people they are all good lads and that's what the gaffer wants. Everyone wants to be there and everyone's in it together. We're like a big family, really."
Lowe said of McFadzean's surprise goal: "He rifled one in the top bin in training on Friday and I think he had the wrong boots on last season. His desire and commitment to get up the pitch in the 94th minute shows his willingness, and what he wants to do for this team, this badge, for me and for his team-mates. That's the type of character he is and hopefully he can get a few more goals. Sometimes, you can score too early but it did relax the lads. You can get into a comfort zone and I've done it myself where you think it's going to be easy, but it was never going to be easy."
Argyle have had a dream start to their League Two season with a stunning 3-0 victory away to Crewe Alexandra. The greens went 1-0 up early in the game from Callum McFadzean, scoring his first goal in over a year. The lead was shortly doubled thanks to Joel Grant on his return to the side. A gritty second half followed before McFadzean's second and Argyle's third secured the victory towards the end of the match. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, Sawyer, Edwards(Baxter), Riley, Sarcevic(C Grant), Mayor, McFadzean, J Grant, Moore(Taylor). Subs: Cooper, Randell, Lolos, Telford.
Defender Ashley Smith-Brown has joined Oldham Athletic on a season-long loan deal. The young full-back made 37 appearances last season but looks to have played his final game given his contract is due to expire at the end of the season. Luke Jephcott has also joined Truro on an initial 28 day loan. Lowe said of the departure: "I've said to Luke 'now you need to kick on, play games, score loads of goals and give me a headache. It's only a 28-day loan but go and score as many goals in that 28 days as you possibly can. If you're scoring goals and you're my player, then why wouldn't I be bringing him back to be a part of the first-team? Because that's what I want. He scored four goals at Buckland, which I was very pleased with, and the training sessions from then on have been brilliant. I said to Luke from the minute I came in, and I've watched him, I was waiting for him to spark. I know he had a bit of an injury last year, and he wasn't fully fit when he came back in, but the last two weeks he's looked a better player than what I'd seen. He's shown me something different, so going out now to play some games is going to benefit him and benefit us."
After a misery-laden first season with Argyle, defender Scott Wootton has revealed his determination to push on and earn a place in the side now that he is fit and hopes to repay the trust shown in him by Ryan Lowe in giving him the number 5 shirt. Wootton said: "Obviously, at the start of the season, we didn't get off to a good start as a team. I picked up an injury, was out for a long time and I struggled to get back after that. The manager sort of had a settled team and that went against me.
"I was incredibly frustrated last season. For the first month or two, the team was going well so there was not much that I could have done or said, but then there became a time when the team wasn't performing well, and we were conceding a lot of goals, and I was sat watching, believing in myself that I could have contributed. I'm not saying I single-handedly would have kept us up I'm not saying that at all. I do feel that I could have helped the team, though. One, I didn't play to my best, or get long enough to get up to the level; and, two, I wasn't given a chance. That's just doubly frustrating. I got a phone call off the gaffer, midway through the summer, shortly after he took the job. He spoke really well and gave me the extra determination to make me want to come back in the best shape and get another chance at this massive club."
"It's a great compliment to be given the No.5 shirt. I'm made up that the manager has put that faith in me. I want nothing more than to re-pay him and give everything I can for him, for myself, for my family and for the club. Off the back of last season, I've got that extra determination to succeed. There's a really good feel around the place, amongst the players, staff and the club, and that's given me an extra determination off the back of last season, having that in my stomach. I want to show everyone how good I can be. As a footballer you are not immune to criticism, and football is a confidence game. The fans pay their hard-earned money and travel in amazing numbers, so they are entitled to their views, but on a personal note I never quite understood the criticism. If I was playing week in, week out and we were losing every week then I would understand, by all means but I wasn't playing or even on the bench at times, so I found it bizarre. That's football, of course, and you have to have the thick skin to deal with it. The fanbase is one of the reasons I wanted to play here. Last season was as frustrating for me as it was for them, I promise you. I'm just asking the Green Army to give me a chance, really. Judge me after 15-20 games, fully fit, fully sharp. I will be giving it my absolute all to represent Argyle, and I just hope they see that."
Ahead of the forthcoming season, Ryan Lowe laid down a marker to say that his side are clearly aiming for nothing less than promotion out of this league. He spoke of the value of having a settled squad and team, saying: "It's going to be like that, isn't it? When you're managing Argyle, the standards and expectations are massive," said Lowe, ahead of the Greens' Sky Bet League Two opener against Crewe. "We'll relish it. We know what's expected; we've got 46 games and we'll break the season down in quarters, and we'll see where we are. Why wouldn't it be a realistic aim? We're not here to make the numbers up, we want to finish as high as we possibly can. We're under no illusions, it's going to be a tough season, some fantastic football clubs and players dropping down to League Two because the standard's getting better."
"We haven't got any headaches behind the scenes, that's probably one of the biggest differences to Bury. Everybody knows my style of play, and the football I want to play. We are going to come up against opposition that want to stop us, they will succeed on some occasions and not on others. We had quality players last season, and I'd like to think we have quality players this season. We've got a competitive squad, a competitive team and some fantastic talent. Everyone's in the same position, there's going to be so many teams wanting to try and get promoted, and we're no different."
Ryan Lowe revealed his own personal excitement heading into the big opener to the season at Crewe Alexandra, detailing how well he has settled into the area of Plymouth. He said: "I'm excited to be working for this football club more than anything - in terms of how big it is, the stature of the club, the fans. The players have bought into it now, the lads that were brought here and the lads that were here previously. There's a lot of lads that we haven't seen the best out of last season or the season before. It's been great to me, the city. It's different, coming from Liverpool, which is a million miles an hour. Down here, they're a lot more chilled out and relaxed. I think you've seen me around the place since I've come through the door. I'm bubbly and excited, I just can't wait, and I want to do what's best for this football club and Simon Hallett, Andrew Parkinson Zac Newton and everyone else associated because they've put their faith in me to run this football club. When someone gives you those chances, I'm one to want to pay them back massively. That's my aim to get this football club back where it belongs."
After the previous day's news that Jose Baxter looked set to be fit for the opener, Ryan Lowe added that Will Aimson is also being considered for selection. Meanwhile, the club have decided not to offer a deal to trialist Ben Hall. Lowe: "Will's training today, so hopefully that will go well, touch wood. Other than that, we're fine, we're at one hundred per cent. He's on the grass today, he's been doing double sessions to make sure he's back to where he wants to get to
Byron Moore spoke in further detail about how the tactical approach of Ryan Lowe was crucial to his decision to join the greens, explaining: "He asked me if I would be interested and basically I snapped his fingers off. I know he can get the best out of me, he knows how I play and I like the way he plays. It was a no-brainer. "We have all got families and we need to support them. It has been a struggle but we got through it just about. When I was at Bury he stuck me up front, and at wing-back I had never played there before. I played up front in my Crewe days. He thinks I can play there and I respect his decision. The Gaffer likes attacking football, quick football. That's what we did at Bury and how we got all of our goals."
Lowe revealed that he has been constantly offering areas for improvement to another striker, young pro Alex Fletcher who Lowe feels needs to further develop his game in order to get into the side regularly: "I have told the strikers I will always be critical but it's never personal. It's more that I want them to do well. Fletch is a great kid. He's a fitness freak and he can run all day but there has got to be a time when you are in that 18-yard box and you have got to be calm and composed. That's what gets you in the team, that's what gets you big money moves scoring good goals and scoring a lot of goals. He hasn't quite done that yet. We are working with him on a daily basis for him to try and do that. We are eager for him to do well, to be honest, because he's ours and we want him him to score goals. He just needs to tidy up on that final little bit and make sure his runs are in the 18-yard box, not outside."
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