A Round-up of Argyle News
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Greens on Screen's Daily Diary is a compilation of Argyle news, with help from these and other Argyle-related sites.
On This Day:
Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
Argyle have today taken the decision to access government support to furlough a proportion of its workforce, including playing staff. All staff will receive their full wages until at least the end of June and a full announcement will be made in due course.
Argyle have teamed up with the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust to make Home Park Stadium available for routine NHS services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response period. With football suspended until April 30 at the earliest, and staff working from home, the club moved quickly to make its Mayflower Grandstand available for the NHS to use for their community antenatal and phlebotomy (over 16) services. With arrangements now formally agreed, the NHS will move equipment into the ground on Thursday, March 26 - beginning patient consultations next week.
The 2019-20 season has been postponed until at least April 3rd as a result of an EFL meeting following the outbreak of a novel coronavirus that is currently sweeping through Britain. Argyle's store and ticket office has also been closed. Argyle chief executive officer Andrew Parkinson said: "We are obviously disappointed that our exciting season, on and off the pitch, needs to be temporarily suspended. However, we are supportive of the EFL's decision, and have taken steps to follow the guidance issued early on Friday. We understand that our supporters will have concerns about how this news affects their tickets, hospitality and event bookings, and we will ensure to provide regular updates as the situation unfolds. We thank you for your understanding."
Ryan Lowe looked ahead to the rest of the season as Argyle prepared to take the trip up North to Morecambe, stating he believes this to be a very special group of players mentally but that they mustn't get complacent and must continue to do their jobs to get themselves over the line. Lowe said: "I've said all along that the group are a special group. We're becoming a very good team, which is what we wanted. We've got back-to-back wins, two clean sheets is always great but there is still plenty of work to be done. We don't get carried away, whether it's 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0. Three points is what we look for and to score six goals is pleasing. We're in that position where you're there to be knocked off your perch but I've said it loads of times: the easy part is getting there, the hard part is staying there. Teams that have been up there all season have lost a couple on the bounce or they've lost one or two and they fall down a little bit. We can't worry about anybody else, we just focus on where we are and what we do. It's just about us doing our job. We have had the experience of doing it once at Bury but whether that will help us do it twice remains to be seen. There are some good teams, good managers in and around there, and we're all vying for the same thing."
Tyreeq Bakinson had similar feelings, speaking of the warm welcome he had received. Bakinson: "I'm buzzing with how things have been going, we had a bit of a dip but I think we're back to how we want to play our football now, so I'm buzzing. The dressing room is feeling excited, we're happy to be playing the type of football we enjoy whilst winning games on the way. Everyone's on the same wavelength, so that's credit to the coaches and staff, playing with the ball on the floor and the type of football we play, it just feels good to be involved. From the moment I stepped in the building really, the players, the staff and the fans in the first game made me feel welcome, so it helps a lot, especially with your performance."
It was another encouraging clean sheet for Argyle against Macclesfield and Alex Palmer was determined that credit be shared throughout the entirety of the side. He said: "Clean sheets set a foundation for the team, there were a few moments where we got away with it a bit but when you've got George Cooper on the left, Byron Moore on the right and our strikers, we know there will be chances. If we can keep it tight at the back, the team's going to get chances. We can set a foundation for the rest of the team to go on and win the game. The way we attack is also our best form of defence as well. The further we are up the pitch, the further forward our defenders are to keep attacks going. I am obviously here to keep the goals out and give us the best chance to win the game. When he gets the ball, he's looking to cross at any moment and that's when the strikers come in. When you get that sort of relationship, the strikers know where they have to be and I'm more than happy to keep watching from where I am."
"We can't switch off and when we played them away, they've got some good attacking players. We knew they were lively on the break. Scotty did unbelievably well and you could see from my reaction how important it was. We had just started the second half and if they go to 1-1, it gives them momentum. It's as good as a goal and Wootton would probably prefer that because that's his job. Our job is to keep the ball out of the net and that's what we've done. Big moments like that are what you need. It's crazy how quick the season has gone and hopefully we can get over the line. The changing room has a good atmosphere and a really good team. We just need to keep going."
Ryan Lowe re-iterated that he believes Argyle to be in a good place going into the business end of the season, explaining: "I said when it's around this point that you start seeing light at the end of the tunnel but we've just got to take it step by step and that's certainly what we'll do. It's a great three points for us and another win in the right direction. They are in a good spot, the place is bouncing. We've got a lot of good things going on behind the scenes and a lot of good people here. We said when we came in that we wanted to bring the good times back to this football club. Why wouldn't you be confident? Why wouldn't you be happy? Why wouldn't you come into work with a smile on your face? We'll just keep working day in day out and keep seeing these games off as they keep coming thick and fast. I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be confident and why they wouldn't be happy, because when you're winning games you can't beat it. We'll hopefully keep picking up points and get where we want to be."
It has been confirmed that young striker Alex Fletcher has extended his loan deal with Tiverton Town until the end of the season.
Ryan Lowe effusively praised his Argyle side after another win and another clean sheet saw them dominate proceedings and comfortably see off Macclesfield Town. He said: "It's another three points, another three goals and a clean sheet, which is always pleasing. "I thought our boys were fantastic in every department today. The work ethic, runs on and off the ball, the shape, the pass appreciation, the passes forward, the runs forward – couldn't have asked for better. I've got to give credit to Macclesfield because they came here and gave it a good go – fair play to Mark Kennedy. A lot of credit has to go to them today. They've been beaten by the better team but that wasn't for the lack of trying. Credit where credit is due – they were different class today. We knew we had to be patient today. You know the team that is potentially coming and you need to be patient – teams come here to have a go. Macclesfield had a real go today and were trying their best to keep the back door closed – they were resolute. Their front three were a threat, we knew we just needed to focus on our game and worry about how we break those types of teams down and we certainly did – Ryan Hardie's finish was calm and collected. Sometimes at 1-0 you expect it to go in in twos and threes but that isn't always the case – we went in at half time at 1-0, deservingly, but we came out in the second half knowing we needed to be patient. The build-up was, as was the pass appreciation around the park – which was very good. It's another win in the right direction. Our next one is Morecambe, which is going to be another tough place to go, so we'll rest and recover the boys now and look to put on a performance at Morecambe."
He gave specific praise for George Cooper who got in on the scoring act as well as being an ace assister. Lowe added: "It's good for him to get on the scoresheet. We know what George is capable of, we know he's got that talent and we know he can score goals. That's his third goal, but the assists he's providing and his delivery is different class. I don't like singling anyone out but fair play to him.
"It was possible that Ryan Hardie should have had one more, it is what it is. For him as a striker, it's disappointing but he's always in the right place at the right time. A lot of credit goes to Ryan and George. Scotty Wootton's clearance off the line was also important. That's what they're there to do but fair play to them, as they were there at the right moments in the game. Wootton put his body on the line for his team, fair play to him. I don't want to take anything away from him, but that's his job - defending. The same with Alex Palmer, same as the strikers – they get credit for scoring goals, Scott and the defence get credit for keeping the ball out the back of the net. The attitude and the application of them is different class. We can't give Scott an assist or anything, but he's got his clean sheet. I'm sure he'll be happy. Most importantly, he's happy that we've kept the ball out the back of the net and got the three points."
"We've been monitoring Jarvis for a while and he trains with us most days. He will be with us day to day in the coming weeks, we have to let him play his games with the youth team as well. It's been in the back of my head to bring him in, he got the call with a couple of suspensions. He deserves it, he's a good kid and he's worked his socks off. It's a nice moment for him. I told him 'you'll be rewarded for the hard work you're doing and when there's an opportunity to get you on the pitch, you're on'. We believe he's got a fantastic future ahead of him."
It was a fine day for George Cooper at Home Park as he produced an assist and two goals to dispatch Macclesfield Town at Home Park. His cross set up Ryan Hardie to put us into the lead before the break and two shots from range after the interval put the icing on the cake. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, McFadzean, Bakinson, B Moore(Cleal), C Grant, Mayor, G Cooper (Randell), Hardie, Jephcott (Telford). Subs: M Cooper, Aimson, Telford, JV Grant.
Ryan Lowe revealed his hopes that two of Argyle's long term absentees are closer to returning to full fitness after lay offs to add to Argyle's defensive options. He did however go on to praise his current squad after some good performances against Grimsby from players who have just come back into the side. Lowe said: "Will Aimsoin is training again, he has done a lot of work with John and Dave, and yesterday was his first full training session with the lads. Saturday will be too soon for him but then train next week. I'm excited for Will, looking forward to having him back involved and I know he's chomping at the bit. In the times the fans have already seen him play, they've seen what he's got and that was probably only at 70% fit. A full 100% fit Will Aimson will be a real asset. As for Josh, Chelsea have got all the stuff for scans, he's doing his rehab with them and will be back with us to train next week."
"George Cooper came in after being left out for a couple of games, Ryan Hardie has been scoring goals off the bench, and Conor Grant was fantastic - we name them three because they came in against Grimsby. It's tough and the likes of Conor have been waiting for the opportunity. Not a day has gone by where he hasn't done his work properly. It's testament to them and their attitudes. We always say that when we sign players and they're good lads, good characters, who are waiting for an opportunity."
Cooper himself insisted it was a noticeably different game to the one against Macclesfield a few weeks before, adding: "It's a new game, we know what we need to do against them after we played them a few weeks ago. It'll be a different game this time round with the pitch and we need to get the three points. They were tough to break down and they had a couple of chances in the first half but we have a feeling about what they might do when they come here - we have to be ready for that. We just take every game as it comes and we know if we do our bit in the last ten games we should be ok. It's going to go right down to the wire and whoever does the best in these last ten games will be there."
George Cooper wracked up his 11th assist of the season in Argyle's win against Grimsby and the king of chance creation spoke positively about his teammates' display. He said: "It was a great win first-half, we were on it. In the second-half, we didn't score any more goals but we still created a few chances and could've made it four or five. All the lads were enjoying it, we played some great stuff on Tuesday night, first-half especially, and on another day we could have had more goals. We all knew before the game on Tuesday that we needed to win, so that meant we were on it when we went out there and we got what we deserved, comfortably.
"Before the game. I'm going to get in the box today, find me at the back post' – thankfully, it hit him on the head and went in. The players know when I play and get the ball that I'm going to try and cross it as soon as I can."
Ryan Lowe added to his assessment: "It's always nice when you've won. We look back on it today, do some work today and tomorrow, and then look to put a plan in action for Macclesfield. A lot of credit has to go to the boys. We've got a good group, we do the work with them, tell them what we want and they go out and apply it. What they've done over the course of the season, when they've lost games and been disappointed, they've bounced back because you don't want to lose two or three. Our lads have been excellent. Every time we've asked them to bounce back with a positive mindset, positive attitude, they go and do it, so a lot of credit goes to the boys. We know the squad we've got and they always want to put things right, and want to win every game. You can't win every game but they definitely try, and it's the same with the staff. There have been times when we haven't and times when we have, but the bouncebackability of our boys has been special, which is always pleasing."
Finally, Lowe gave more details on his decision not to appeal the red card shown to Gary Sawyer at Bradford last week, explaining: "I spoke to Carl Boyeson after the game and he said he would have a look. Fair play to him, he said he would admit if it was wrong but he felt it was the right call, so I'm not going to argue. I was disappointed at the time but when you look back on it, what is a red card and what isn't? There are plenty of things that happen throughout the leagues and I just feel that whatever the referee decides to do in that moment, we'll always respect it. Sometimes we will be disappointed but the more we've looked at it, Gaz has his studs showing and the kid has reacted. We move on from it and in terms of appealing it, we went down the right lines. We spoke to the referee, who was open-minded and he said it was the right decision. I don't know the rules nowadays because they change that often. It was determination from Gaz and he's been excellent for us. Does he want to right some wrongs from last season? 100%, he's the captain. I don't want my players pulling out of tackles because you get hurt. The Newport one, the kid was just too fast and would have been too fast for anyone. The Bradford one was down to the pitch because the ball stopped. I'm not questioning Gary Sawyer's mentality because he's had two red cards, he just wants to do well for the football club."
Ryan Lowe spoke of Argyle's positive response to the loss at Bradford by praising the encouraging performance and win against Grimsby. He said: "We said bouncebackability to the boys and that's what we wanted. They were chomping at the bit, you could see that. Although the performance was ok on Saturday, you shouldn't have to play in league football on a pitch like that at Bradford. We eradicated all the excuses and said 'let's get back to winning ways'. It was always going to be a tough test, Grimsby are in decent enough form, Ollie's gone in there and turned it around. We felt they would try and play a bit, fair play to them, but we were clinical, especially in the first half. I would've liked to be a bit more clinical in the second half but I always want more. A clean sheet and three goals, so very pleasing. We knew they would play 4-3-3, three attackers up there and we just moved it around a little bit tactically, with one or two players in different positions. We always felt, especially at home, we could play our passing game, breaking through the lines and always be a threat."
Ryan Hardie's goal went some way towards freeing himself from the super sub tag with his goal and all round good display in the game. Hardie felt he had cause to claim for another goal too, saying: "The referee put it [the third goal] down as mine but Jephs is claiming it. Naz headed it back across and Jeph has had a shot from a tight angle. It has either went in or stayed on the line and I've made sure it went in, I'll take it if the referee gave it to me. Of course, what you want to do as a footballer is start games, but the manager makes the decisions. Whether I feel it's right or not, it's up to him at the end of the day. I am glad I got my chance and I finally got a goal as a starter."
Lowe said of the striking option: "It's a great combination and we've also got other players, who are just as good. We're just pleased to have three points, three goals and a clean sheet. They've been terrific and I call Hardie a greyhound because he's rapido and when he gets in there, he's calm and composed. Fair play to him, every time he's got into those positions, you're confident he's going to hit the back of the net. What people often don't see is the big picture; we have monitors in the dug-out, eyes in the sky and people watching from different angles, people analysing and telling us what is going on. We don't just look at Ryan scoring when he's come off the bench, we look at the chances he's been given, the chances he's created and we do that with all the forwards. In Ryan Hardie's case, he has always been in the right place at the right time, and it was proved when he was put through, stayed calm and composed. Ryan is a fantastic asset, he's scoring goals and that's what we brought him in to do."
"It's always tough in the second half but fair play to Grimsby, they changed shape a little bit and tried to cause a few problems. Our lads put their bodies on the line, we defended a few corners and a fantastic team performance. It's never easy going out again when it's 3-0 at half-time because people think you're going to score six. They've got an experienced manager in Ian Holloway and he was never going to let that happen. All I'm pleased with is three more points on the board for where we're trying to get to. You can always think you should score more but how can you be disappointed when you've scored three goals. We respect Grimsby massively and especially their manager, when you look at what he's achieved and what he's done. We just wanted to make sure we got the three points, we got into some good positions and scored three goals."
A first half blitz from Argyle saw off Grimsby Town in a formidable display where the game was wrapped up before the interval. Goals from Bakinson, Hardie and Jephcott made the second half a non-event. Argyle: Palmer, Wootton, Canavan, McFadzean, Bakinson, Moore, C Grant, Mayor, G Cooper(Edwards), Hardie (Telford), Jephcott (Taylor). Subs: M Cooper, Randell, Cleal, JV Grant.
Gary Sawyer and Antoni Sarcevic have had their suspension confirmed by the Football Association after each received a red card at Bradford City. Sarcevic who was shown two yellow cards will be unavailable for the Pilgrims' two home League Two matches against Grimsby Town on Tuesday, March 3ed and Macclesfield Town on Saturday, March 7th. Sawyer, who received his second straight red card of the season will also be absent for those two matches, as well as visits to Morecambe on Saturday, March 14th and Leyton Orient on Tuesday, March 17th.
Despite some referring decisions and a dubious pitch going against Argyle in their game against Bradford, Ryan Lowe insisted Argyle should not look for excuses and rather focus on their own performance in the game. He said: "We're overall disappointed, gutted is the right word. You come to Bradford and you want to play on a nice pitch, but that wasn't to be. We're not making excuses but have we been beaten by the better team? Probably not, but we've been beaten and we're disappointed. They had a couple of chances that flashed past the post but so did we. When we came in the morning, it probably wasn't [playable]. The groundsmen have worked their socks off, they've got it done. It wasn't playable to our standards but we wanted the game on, we travelled seven hours yesterday but I'm not making any excuses, we've been beaten and we've got to get back on the bike, and get riding again."
"We did it last year with Bury at Newport, tried to change our tactics and got beat, so I was never going to change my tactics again. We did change a little in the second half because we felt the ball was coming back too soon and we put Ryan Hardie on to stretch them, and Ryan Taylor was outstanding. In terms of tactics, we're always going to try and play our way. In the first half, there were some good bits but the goal kills you. We found ourselves 1-0 down from a corner and the second one is in the top corner. We were 2-0 down and felt we had to go again. If we conceded another, it's still the same three points that you're losing. We've had a right good go in the second half. I'm disappointed in the first red card but I'll have to analyse it properly. The kid has made a meal of it, the ball died a little and it is what it is. We will have a look at it. Sarce has got the ball. He knows he's been booked but he was the captain, the leader, he had the armband on at the time and he was frustrated with what was going on. The decisions that were made are down to the referee."
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