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.
It has been confirmed that referee Kevin Johnson will suffer no lasting damage from the incident in Saturday's game which saw him have to be stretchered off the pitch. An EFL spokesperson said: "The update is that Mr Johnson is now out of hospital with some ligament damage and a bit of blurred vision but thankfully no broken bones. It is anticipated he will be out of action for a few weeks while he recovers and gets back to full fitness."
Derek Adams says that Argyle can be delighted with the points total they have achieved so far this season following the best start to a season since 1929. Adams also praised the performance in the victory against Colchester, saying: "It is an excellent points total to have. We have had a very strong quarter of the season and we are delighted with that. I think for 20-30 minutes we were outstanding at times. The way we passed the ball before we lost the goal, it looked like it was going to be a very good day for us. They were very defensive, organised and hard to break down. They had 11 bodies behind the ball at times. It was a difficult match because they set their stall out early in the game they came and played with five at the back and four in midfield with one striker up, even though they played with two but one came back in very deep. We found it difficult to break down. As soon as we scored the first goal they went to four at the back, then they changed their midfield. It was a game where we were well on top for that period of the game, we lose a goal and they get a bit of belief from that. To win a game in this division is very difficult but it was a good way to finish."
Ryan Donaldson spoke about the unique nature of the game, suspended for nearly 15 minutes after he had just come off the bench and his somewhat accidental winning goal. The wide man said: "You tell me about it! don't know - it happened so quick. It was a bit of a short back-pass so I thought I'd try and put a bit of pressure on. The closer I got, the more I thought 'this might hit us'. Where it's hit me I do not know, but the next thing I've seen is a lot of spin on the ball. I thought it may've gone over the bar, but thankfully it's found the net.
"It's a bit of a strange one. You come on and then you're waiting around for ten minutes again - I've done three warm-ups. You've just got to get on with it. It's one of the strangest situations I've been involved in. We didn't know what was going on at first. We heard a few different things. We just tricked to kick on and stay warm. I don't know how long it was - ten minutes I think. Obviously our thoughts go to the referee - we hope he's alright. But it's a strange situation. It was such a tight game - you take anything when it's a game like that. Obviously we love to play lovely football and get a goal from 25 yards, but at the end of the day it's 2-1 to us, and that's all the matters. In the first 20 minutes, I thought we played really well, but credit to them - they're not a bad team. There's some good teams in this league and I thought they were really good today. They've had a bit of a tough run, but I think I'd expect them to be up there at the end of the season.They caused us a few problems, and it's a great finish from their lad for their goal. It was a bit scrappy after that; it was always going to be one goal that wins it, and thankfully we've got it - off of my calf, or whatever it was!"
Donaldson was also keen to maintain that it was a team effort that saw Argyle rise to the top of League Two, stating: "It's a sign of the squad and the staff that we've got. We're just relentless, trying to get as many points on the board as possible. That's 35, we're on now, and we just want to carry on now and keep grinding. A win's a win, so however we can get the three points, we'll take it. When you're in this run of form and everyone's playing well, you've just got to grind it out and get as many wins as possible. You love coming into work every day when you're on this sort of run. Everyone's firing, training's brilliant, we're really sharp all over the team and squad - it's great to be a part of. We said all through the week that wins are massive. We've been unbeaten and had two draws in this run, but a win is so much more important. The three points are vital. To win as many games as we have is a brilliant achievement, and we want to carry on. Carey is on seven, Jervis is on five, then there's a lot of us who are on three and two. The gaffer's on at us; through the week he said we need to spread the goals around. We need all the help we can get. It's just brilliant to get on the score-sheet and help the lads. When it comes with three points and the end of it, it always makes it nice."
Argyle beat Colchester United 2-1 in one of the most bizarre games to have taken place at Home Park in recent years. A goal for each side in the first half (Tanner netting for Argyle) saw the two sides go in level at 1-1. The second half was marred by a neck injury to referee Kevin Johnson who collided with Argyle striker Jimmy Spencer. An eleven minute delay saw Johnson stretchered off. The club has since confirmed he is in good health and on the road to recovery. Almost immediately after the restart, Argyle got the winner via a fluke goal. A mishit clearance from the Colchester keeper bounced off substitute Ryan Donaldson and into the net. Argyle held out for a 2-1 victory and extended the gap over fourth place to 11 points. Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Bulvitis, Bradley, Purrington, Songo'o, Fox, Carey, Tanner(Donaldson), Slew(Jervis), Spencer(Smith). Subs: Dorel, Osborne, Ijaha, Goodwillie.
Jordan Slew has struck fear into Argyle's League Two opponents by claiming that in spite of Argyle's excellent start to the League Two season, the best is still yet to come. Slew said: "I feel like I'm getting there. I'm not 100% yet, but I don't think any of us are really and that's probably the best thing about us we're still getting better every game. You can see that, towards the last 20 minutes of games, we're getting stronger. We look fit and we look like a good prospect for promotion this year. When we concede a goal, you can see that it's in the players' minds that we feel we are going to score again and it's a great confidence to have. I'm happy how I'm doing now and how the team's doing, and, hopefully, we keep this run going. The most important thing is that we keep working hard in training because that's where it matters and then we take it out on a Saturday afternoon or a Tuesday. We need to keep the run going and get as many points as we can. It is much more difficult than it looks. We are confident going into games, but it's hard because, for teams that come here, it's a cup final for them. It's more about us; we always know it's about us. I feel we have one of the best teams in the league, so it's about how we play. I think teams will come here and they will fear us more than we fear them. We know that, on our day, we will beat anyone in our league. We work harder than anyone else on the pitch and we know our quality will shine through; we know that, if we don't work hard, we will lose. If we keep doing what we're doing, we know we will win games. We are probably one of the fittest teams in the league. We had a tough pre-season but it's benefiting us now in the games. We're a strong team, very fit, and I don't think most teams can handle that. We know that, in the last 10-20 minutes, we are going to be strong. We can get a goal at any time. We are a very dangerous team right now and I think a lot of teams will fear us. We're always working hard; there's never a slack day; there is never an easy day in training and I think it's starting to show on a Saturday. We're 12 unbeaten now and we just want going to keep that run going. Everybody knows what we want to do this season; no-one's really got time to be slacking off."
Derek Adams has revealed what he thinks to be one of the secrets of his side's success this season: a deep squad and not just a strong starting eleven. Adams said of the players at his disposal: We change the team about to give us competition for places. The players in the team don't necessarily believe they are going to play every week, because there are players in the background that can take their jersey. We didn't have that competition for places last season because when I took over the football club I was only allowed to change so many things. This season I have been able to take in a better squad of players because I have been able to work the budget in a better way. You have to get the mix right. You can have too many players, or the right number of players. When players see that they have an opportunity of playing, are getting that opportunity, then they can push the players that are in the side.
"Going into the season, having worked in Scotland for many years, the system was in place there in the top flight. We weren't allowed to take in loan players; you've got to have your squad ready at the start of the season, have cover in different areas of the team, and go for nearly four months without being able to take in players. I think it's beneficial for the league and for the clubs because it gives a wee bit of stability. People were allowed to take in players for 28 days, and to call in favours from other managers. It might have been a free loan, or not costing them a lot of money. Yes, we did exactly the same, but I think it is more professional and beneficial for the league that they do not happen. Some clubs down the bottom are struggling financially. We're not one of the wealthier clubs in the league, but we use our budget accordingly to get the best quality under the budget we have. We will use the January market when it comes along. We've got eight or nine weeks until it opens. We're assessing things at this moment in time. We can look at players, but clubs aren't sure what they are doing. We have an idea of what we want to try and do, but we've got a very good squad, so I don't see it being dramatic. It will be something we might just tinker with.
"Oscar Threlkeld is still out with knee ligament injury. And Arnie Garita is still with a hamstring injury from the Exeter game. Neither of them will be fit for Saturday."
Adams also revealed that he is not concerned about Argyle's ability to score goals this season in spite of not having an obvious 20 goal a season striker. He said he was happy with goals being spread across the side: "I think it is vital to share goals around. We saw that Reuben Reid scored 20 goals for two seasons but the club didn't get out of the division. Having a 20-goal striker doesn't guarantee you getting out of the division. The team finished 10th and 7th when he scored 20 goals. Last year we finished fifth and no-one scored 20 goals. You don't need a 20-goal striker to get out of the division. Would it help? Yes, but you don't need it. In the modern game, forward players have got a slightly different role. They have to assist in the build-up, and sometimes have to occupy two centre-halves to allow space for other players. It's a wee bit different in the modern era to in the past when teams played 4-4-2 and the strikers were the ones who scored goals."
Jordan Slew is enjoying Argyle's unbeaten run of 12 games and said that he has every indication of seeing it continue: "There's a great togetherness in the team. It's the confidence that makes a difference. Like against Newport they were down to 10 men, they equalised and in that situation most teams drop to make it hard for you but we just kept doing our thing. I think everybody knew we were going to score again; and that's the confidence we have as a team. Winning on a Saturday and 12 unbeaten now, we're just going to keep that run going. Everybody knows what we want to do this season. So nobody's got time to be slacking off. It's a good run we're on. We want to be setting records. We want to go 15, 20, 25 unbeaten if we can."
Argyle's accounts from 2015 have revealed an operating profit of £201,000. Having incurred £420,000 in deprecation however, Argyle's overall loss for the year is £118,000. The overall deficit since coming out of administration has increased to £4,051,000. Martyn Starnes said: "These figures underline the club's improving financial stability and pre-date Simon Hallett's investment in April this year. Performances on and off the pitch are allowing us to look forward with a great deal of optimism and we are now looking to improve on everything that we do."
Paul Wotton brushed off comparisons between this side and that which won this league in 2001/2, stating that Argyle were merely taking things one day at a time. Wotton said: "The only comparison that I can see at the minute is that we are both winning games and in that sense a comparison is quite easy to make. We have the same work ethic. The boys work extremely hard and there are perhaps better individuals in this team at present. As for the changing room, I am not really in there now unfortunately, but people make comparisons at the moment because both teams were winning, it's an easy one to make. The biggest pressure that can ever be on them is their own personal pressure and like you said we are on a good run and enjoying ourselves.
"There really isn't a secret. We don't do anything different in preparation for an away game that we don't also do for a home game. As far as the actual game is concerned some away games feel like home games because of the fans that we've got, especially for a London game, and even Newport on Saturday."
Wotton also gave a report on the progress of Karleigh Osborne who is recovering from a variety of injuries to get back into the squad and the team: "It was brilliant he] has worked really hard," said the first-team coach. He did pre-season and then was unfortunate to get a thigh injury, but he's a great professional and he's worked really hard. It is great to have him on the bench because he is a good character and a great professional as well."
Luke McCormick spoke about the extraordinary goal scored by Newport's Jon Parkin that happened to fall on McCormick's 300th appearance for Argyle: "It took me by complete surprise - it was the last thing I expected him to do. I've got a short space of time to make a decision. Looking back on it now, I'd like to see if I could've got to it if I'd have gone for it. I actually thought it was going wide, but it's ended up in the back of the net. It's disappointing not to get the clean sheet, but the three points are obviously all-important. We spoke about records again this week and it's something that we're proud of and we want to keep building on. At the moment, it's as enjoyable a squad as I've ever been in. But it's too early to start comparing; there's a lot of games and a lot of football to be played. We'll see at the end of the season."
McCormick also spoke about Argyle's performance in the game in general and the penalty call given against his opposite number for a foul on Jordan Slew, saying: "We expected it to be a hard-fought game and it turned out to be exactly what we predicted. I spoke earlier in the week about being able to roll up your sleeves and dig in when you have to, and I thought that's what it needed today. We did that and came out with a positive result, which we're all really pleased about. Away from home we're going to get that. We're going to have to win the battle first, then when the ball comes to us, we can get it down and play. It's important when we come away from home that first of all, we're solid, so we have a base to push on. We had to whether the storm early doors and we did that. By the time we can get the ball down, I don't think there's many better in the league.
"I'm always going to sympathise with a goalkeeper for the penalty because you've been in that position, or a similar position to that. I can sympathise, but at the same time, I think he saw red because there appeared to be a pull, as opposed to him actually going for the ball. Fortunately, Graham's been big enough to step up and tuck it away nicely. Even if he goes the right way, I don't think he's going to keep them out. That's the quality Graham's got. It's hard enough from 30 yards, let alone from 12. I think he wanted to get his hands on a penalty few weeks ago. We've got boys full of confidence, and everyone wants to get on the score-sheet. It can only be a good thing. As the game went on it opened up, which suited us. Having the man advantage obviously helps. It was a thoroughly professional performance from us. We're just grateful to come away from a difficult place to come with three points."
Derek Adams noted that McCormick could have done better for Parkin's shock goal and then went on to praise Argyle's performance in the game more generally. He said: "It was a bad mistake from Luke. Luke will tell you that it was right at his near post and he shouldn't be scoring from there. We shouldn't have allowed him to turn and get the shot off to start with, and Luke shouldn't have let it in at his near post.
"We knew it would be difficult coming here today. They have got a new manager so we know what their tactics are going to be and we had to stand up to that. They were going to knock the ball long into Parkin and play off of him; they were going to go for the long throw-ins and the corner kicks, and that's what we saw. They didn't disappoint and we had to deal with it. To win 3-1, to score three goals away from home, is very good."
Argyle have won 3-1 at Newport to secure a 9 point lead over 4th place. Argyle took the lead in the first half after Joe Day was sent off for denying a clear scoring opportunity to Jordan Slew. Graham Carey duly converted the resultant penalty against former pilgrim James Bittner. Newport equalised through Jon Parkin but Carey soon put Argyle into the lead from the spot again, this time himself having been brought down to win the spot kick. Jordan Slew's effort soon sealed the game for Argyle. Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Bulvitis, Bradley, Purrington, Songo'o, Fox(Smith), Carey, Tanner(Jervis), Slew, Spencer(Donaldson). Subs: Dorel, Osbourne, Ijaha, Goodwillie
If selected, Luke McCormick will have his 300th appearance for Argyle at Newport on Saturday across two spells at the club. The keeper had this to say: "It's a milestone that I will be very glad to reach. I'm very proud to pull on the shirt every week for this club. To hit the 300 will be pleasing, and quite special. I arrived here when I was 15. I did an apprenticeship and found my way into the first team. I'm originally from Coventry but I've lived in Plymouth a lot longer than I ever did in Coventry. I consider Plymouth my home, and it is a place I have thoroughly enjoyed working and living in. The people around the town are absolutely fantastic. They were that way towards me the first time I was here, and probably even more so the second time. Not just the people around the town, but the supporters, and the football club. I feel very much a part of it, and it's a big part of me.
"Your debut is something that will stick in your memory forever. I knew the day before that I was playing. I actually had to phone Jon Sheffield to ask him for a pair of gloves, because mine were like Greengrass' gloves! Fingers coming through the end of them! I remember all the little details, the feelings. Obviously it is a long time, but it will always stick with me. I've been fortunate to enjoy some fantastic times with this club. The standout one has to be the QPR game here which sealed our promotion and the title in fell swoop. The celebrations, the looks on people's faces around the stadium, the euphoria of it all. That will never leave me. The next one to hit is 400. That's the aim."
Louis Rooney has extended his loan deal at Truro City. The 20-year-old forward joined the National League South last month, and has now agreed to remain at Treyew Road until January. Derek Adams is content to let the young striker continue to get experience to benefit his development, saying: "We have spoken with Lee Hodges and we feel its beneficial for him to go out and get game time. He's played a lot of Peninsula football but we need to get him into a better standard of league to see how he copes there. If he copes well there then we will try and get him into the National League after that - and then try and get him into our team. That's the progression."
Derek Adams has looked ahead to the game against Newport and confirmed that Newport's recent appointment of Graham Westley will not effect our preparations for the game. Adams said: "New managers come in with different ideas and a different style of play. That will be no different on Saturday. We have to be aware of that and we will be. We've seen last Saturday against Yeovil and we will have to be on our game to win. I spoke to Darren Way mid-week. That was just a conversation we were having - it wasn't specifically to speak about the game - but we did speak about it. He gave me an idea of how Newport played, but Greg Strong was at the game we know roughly how they are going to play. We will line up against a different team from what we played in the Checkatrade Trophy.
"I realise there was a rugby game there Wednesday. Hopefully it will be in a good condition. It can't be any worse than it was the last time we played there around December time. This time of the year all pitches are hopefully in a good condition and I would see that no different at Newport. I think that it is tough when there are lots of competitions at one venue and when the weather has been wet. I know they had the problems with the drainage and hopefully they have sorted this out. It can be difficult to play the game you want to play and Newport have maybe found over the years that they have had to change their style. It's not great from a player's point of view because sometimes it can be very bobbly and worn come December/ January time."
Argyle will have a lot of travelling to do in the week of the FA Cup draw, with trips to Mansfield, Swansea and Crewe in the space of a week. Craig Brewster however says that it's all part of the experience and Argyle must take cup ties as seriously as league games. He argued: "It is great to be involved with. When I was in Scotland, the Scottish Cup was a fantastic trophy to go for, and the FA Cup here is exactly the same. Everybody wants a good FA Cup run, and it would be nice to get a run for this club. It's one game you have to deal with. One game from being in the hat for the next round. We have to there and win. It won't be a distraction from the league. It's another Saturday, and we'll go there determined to put on a good performance and win. We played against them here earlier on in the season, but cup days are totally different. Being in involved in this club, you know you have to do long distances. We have a nice bus, we stay in nice hotels. Everything is organised, and the players are well looked after. They have produced, up to now, really good away performances as a team. We have to continue that throughout the season. You always want a home draw, but we're a team that is very confident at the minute, and we'll go to any place. It would be nice to have a run in the cup, but every club in the country is saying that."
Derek Adams was eager to see more consistency in refereeing after an incident-filled 2-2 draw against Portsmouth. He said of the game's major events: "The referee at times today booked some of our players for challenges and allowed their players to go free without booking their players. I thought that was a bit inconsistent at times today from the referee. I think that it was shown more in the first half with Jordan Slew picking up a booking, and it was all caused by Burgess pushing him. I don't think that's very consistent. We've got to be very careful that when a referee is refereeing games, he needs help from everybody. I believe that Yann Songo'o was booked for going off the pitch for celebrating. There's got to be a consistent nature to the game, and I don't think that there was. When they scored their goal, they went across to our supporters, they celebrated in front of our supporters, and we know that's going to incense our supporters. It's not right. Nobody got booked in that situation, and that's what I'm talking about consistency. It wasn't there today. It's disappointing because I think that it could've been a lot better."
Argyle have been drawn away to fellow League Two side Mansfield Town in the first round of the FA Cup. The visit to the One Call Stadium will take place on the weekend of November 4/5/6.
A draw between Argyle and Pompey was a fair result according to Derek Adams. He spoke about how proud he was of his players ability to react to certain events in the game. He said: "It was entertaining game. It's two very good football clubs going for the win today. I think that when you have such a big attendance at a game, you want goals in the match; you want to see good football; you want to see a wee bit of controversy; and we've seen that all today. We just needed to stiffen up the midfield. It became a bit stretched, the game, and we just changed the formation a little bit to sit Songo'o in midfield, and played Fox and Smith either side to give us a wee bit of solidity. It was hard for us, just because Bennett was coming in off the side, and Roberts; they're good players. I've seen that from Connor since he's come to the football club. He's a football player that plays on the front foot, he plays balls round the corner, he's got the ability to finish - both left and right footed. He took it well and put it in the top corner.
"I thought that we responded well. To be fair to the players, I think they thought they could make it 3-2. That caused us a bit of problem, because you've got to take a point at some point in the game. I think I'll be happy with a point, because of where we were in the game. We were 1-0 up, then you go back to 2-1 so late in the game. You lose a goal that comes out of nothing really; it's a great strike from Rose and we have to respond to that. We showed again that we go to the last minutes of the game. Keeping the gap to fourth place to seven points and extending our unbeaten run is important."
Adams feels that Argyle's point was made all the more creditable but the fact that we were facing strong opposition in Portsmouth. He said of our opponents: "I know that Paul Cook and his staff are very vocal on the touchline. They like to put pressure on individuals in the game - that's their nature. Sometimes that benefits them, and I've seen that since I've come to England. It's something they do week in, week out. I think that you have to try and deal with that the best way you can. You could see from the Portsmouth bench when they scored their two goals what it meant to them, and then you could see what it meant to us when we scored the equaliser. Bennett's their best player. He's very lively - we've seen that on a number of occasions - but they've got a lot of very talented players in the forward areas. Portsmouth are a very good side - they're the best we've played this season, and they're always going to be, because of the squad they're able to generate this season. I don't want to play against them too often. They're a very good side, they move the ball well, and I think that we've done exceptionally well against them in the past."
Connor Smith gave his own account of the excellent strike that secured Argyle their point late on in the game: "It was unbelievable. It keeps the unbeaten run going. When you are a goal down with five-ten minutes to go, you'd take a result at that point but, before the game, we were obviously going out for a win. We can beat any team in this league so, every game, we want to win. When you get a result like that, it feels like a win, I guess. I couldn't really see their goal; I didn't know if it was in. But we reacted well to it with not long to go and we got a lucky break with the ball dropping on the edge of the box, and I was lucky enough to score.
"I was over the far side of the pitch and a long diagonal ball had come to Ryan Donaldson; he was strong and the ball got through to Ben Purrington somehow. I think Ben was cutting it back to Foxy to be honest, but he overhit and I gave Foxy a shout to stand over because I thought he was going to get a toe on it. I just stepped on to it nicely. The 'keeper was unsighted, so I used the defender to lift it around him. It shows the character we have got. A lot of teams, against such a good side, could have faded off and died out with fatigue, but we just kicked on and just went for it. We'd nothing to lose then; we pushed on and you could see them dropping back and back, and we got on top of them and got the goal.
"After they scored, it was only us pushing and, after we scored, we went for it, as well. They were dropping off more and we were pushing on, looking for the winner. You can tell they are a decent side, but we are a decent side, as well that's what the league shows. Considering we can play better, it's a decent point."
The 100th Dockyard Derby has ended in a 2-2 draw following an enthralling encounter between Argyle and Portsmouth. Argyle went 1-0 up in the first half through Yann Songo'o but the visitors equalised shortly before half-time. A great long range shot with just four minutes to go nearly won it for the away side but a great long range effort from substitute Connor Smith secured a share of the spoils. Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Bulvitis, Bradley, Purrington, Songo'o, Fox, Jervis(Smith), Carey, Slew(Donaldson), Spencer(Tanner). Subs: Dorel, Bentley, Ijaha, Goodwillie.
The Battle of the Ports resumed at Home Park on Saturday as Argyle once again face Pompey at Home Park. Derek Adams anticipated an electric atmosphere and an excellent game, saying: "Last year, it was very difficult to think sometimes because the atmosphere was relentless for 90 minutes. Last year, the four games we played against each other were the best atmospheres throughout the season and it'll be no different on Saturday. They always take a very good following; we've sold over 11,000 tickets already. So it's going well. We're looking forward to having that atmosphere here on Saturday again. They are well supported, and we are, as well that will show on Saturday with the attendance. It will be the largest attendance in League Two, if not League One. They will be looking to win the game because of what happened last year. They have definitely got better experience of the game; they haven't changed too much from last year; they have taken in a number of players, but the core of the team is the same. They play an expansive game; they like to pass the ball; they are attack-minded. That's what we expect, but we have done exceptionally well against them in the past and we would like to continue that. A number of my players have played in cup finals; played in European matches; and played in internationals, so they have got that experience. This is a big game for both football clubs. They have always been very good atmospheres and both teams will be looking forward to it."
Adams also however, noted that he did not believe that the game would be a litmus test for Argyle's success so far this season: "We started the season really well and been able to pick up a lot of points very early in the season. It's important that you do that. We've had tough tests. We've had to go away from home to the likes of Notts County and Leyton Orient, so we have had tough tests already this season. It's a big test but every game, on a weekly basis, is exactly the same. It's a difficult league; it's a harder league than it was last year; it's more competitive. It's going to be another good season for League Two fans."
Gary Miller is new to the club, but he too is no stranger to the competitive and ferocious nature of the derby. He said: "I've been made aware. I knew about the interest in me coming here in summer, so I watched a few games. I watched the play-off game it was won with a header, I think. I saw it when I was on holiday, saw the reaction, everyone going crazy. I grew up in a city that like a bit of a rivalry! It's not something that's strange to me! They're certainly a big side, one of the biggest in the league. The manager will set us up and we will adjust accordingly. It's going to be a good game, and we know it is a big game for us. It's always good to have a competitive rivalry, teams wanting to do well against each other. It's all set for a big game on Saturday. Hopefully all the fans will be out and we'll try and do the same again. It's always brilliant for us to have extra fans in the stand. It gives you that boost, and a lift. As you go along, you realise how good it is to be here. It is something that we all enjoy. It's always an extra bonus when you have all your fans behind you. The adrenaline rush always kicks everybody on. It's a great help. Hopefully everyone comes out in numbers and we can get the result we want."
Plymouth Argyle will own its Home Park stadium by November 1 after exchanging contracts on a £1.7million purchase. Club chairman James Brent confirmed the club had paid Plymouth City Council a 10 per cent deposit and the deal will be done by October 31, 2016. Brent said: "It will be owned by Plymouth Argyle Football Club, and not another company. "The options were to either buy back the stadium or not. If we did not, we'd spend between £3.4million and £5.5million over 20 years and still not own it and have to carry on paying rent. It wouldn't make sense. The other benefit is more subtle. Are you more likely to improve a home you own, or one you rent? In terms of raising money to do the grandstand and invest in other facilities, that should be easier to do going forward. So this is a great outcome for the club."
Derek Adams praised the performance of Vincent Dorel in the South West Peninsula League game against Plymouth Parkway in midweek. Adams did note however that he still had work to do do dislodge Luke McCormick from the number one spot: "Vincent had to make a number of good stops. He's performing well and it was good for him to get a game. You have to be better than the number one. At this stage Luke McCormick is the number one. I think that as a goalkeeper you have to realise that and then wait on your opportunity."
Derek Adams paid tribute to an unsung hero in Argyle's successful start to the season- defensive-midfielder Yann Songo'o. Adams signed Songo'o when he had not played competitive football for around 18 months but it is a chance that so far appears to have paid off. Adams said: "He can tackle, he can head, he can pass the ball. He's very competitive; he's a winner. He's only a young boy as well. We're delighted with him. I had him at Ross County he was on loan from Blackburn Rovers and I looked at playing him in that midfield role when I was there. Due to circumstances I had to play him at centre-half, but I always hoped I could play him in there. I was going to play him in there at the start of the season but Bulvitis' clearance hadn't come through, and Karleigh Osborne was injured, so Yann played at the back. He's been a top performer. He's played in every single league game from the start, and has shown the qualities he had at Blackburn Rovers. I had Steven Watt he was at Chelsea, and played for me at Ross County and he was a central defender, and I moved him in midfield because you need defensive qualities in that area. If you have a lot of creativity and good passers of the ball, you still need a defensive one in there. He's done really well. He's not shown that he didn't play at all last season. He has a great attitude to go and win every game."
Derek Adams expects his Argyle side to have to deal with more of the pressure that Stevenage put them under before they secured a vital 2-1 victory at Stevenage that maintained their 5 point lead at the top of League Two. Adams said of the victory: "We had to deal with the pressure that Stevenage were going to put on us they were the home side and we knew they would try and press but, after 45 minutes, we knew that our good players would get on the ball; we would pass it and move; and we would get chances in the game. We had to deal with the physical aspect of the game. We knew, before the game, that they were going to be very physical with us. We dealt with that really well and then we passed the ball extremely well in the second half. That is the way they play. They are very physical and we knew there were going to be a lot of fouls in the game, which there were, and we knew we had to deal with that. They can't play at that pace all game it's impossible so it was about being in the game and then, when the game opened up, we lengthened the pitch, lengthwise and widthwise, and created a number of openings. We could have scored more goals and gone on to have a hefty margin. The goalkeeper has made some good saves and they have had blocks. We found, last season, everyone lifts their game to the team that is top of the table and it becomes more difficult. We have to up our game even further and, at times, it's not easy because we probably have to play at a higher pace than other teams when they come here.
"Sonny's very good in the air and he has shown that today. He has done really well for us this season. He's scored a good number of goals for us. It's important, as I've already said earlier in the season, that you get your defenders scoring goals. We know from last year, we didn't have a squad that was capable of going the whole distance; we are hopeful that, this year, we have got better competition for places that can help us get as many points as we possibly can to help us get up the league. We are well equipped. We've got very good individuals in the side, defensively, creatively and attacking-wise."
Adams also paid particular tribute to Jordan Slew (who made his return to the side) and captain Luke McCormick who made some good saves for the role they respectively had in the victory. Adams: "The first 45 minutes was about going in at half-time in the game, which we did we were very good, physically, in the first half as we had to be. In the second half, we opened up the game a bit and got our quick players in the game Jordan Slew was unplayable at times and he took us up the park. Jordan will be a very good player for us because he's strong; he's direct; and he can put defenders right into defending because of his pace. He could have scored a goal today but, overall, defensively and offensively, he was very good. We had a lot of top performers today because you have to when you come here.
Of McCormick: "He has done really well for me since I've been at the football club. I've only been here for just over a year now and it's important to have players who know the history of the football club, and he knows that. He's been a very good captain. This season, we have got a lot of new players who have come into the football club and it is important that we have players who are able to draw on their experience from being here before and help the new players come in."
Sonny Bradley, the man of the moment, gave his assessment of the match and talked fans through all three goals that he was involved in. He said, in order, of all three goals: "It was a brilliant ball, and all it needed was a nick. I just a got a little nick on it; whether it deflected the flight of the ball I'm not sure, but I definitely got a nick on it. I turned around and we were off celebrating I didn't even see it go in, so I ran off and celebrated.
"We said at half-time that we need to stop giving free kicks away. It was a good ball in; I've stuck a leg out to try and block it, and it's come off my shinpad and gone in. I was a bit upset about that but you just have to move on. I knew that if we stuck to our game plan and kept playing the way we were, we'd come up with a winner. There was only one way to react, and that was to go and keep playing the way we can.
"When I saw we had a free-kick and seen Graham Carey hovering over it, I knew I was going to get a chance and if I didn't get a chance, I knew one of the other lads would get a chance. A great delivery with the second one, left foot. Again, I couldn't miss. With service like that, there's no reason why us centre halves shouldn't be getting bags of goals.
"We pressed for that third goal; Jordan Slew had a couple of chances, Jimmy Spencer's had a couple of chances. But when you don't get that goal, it's important that you don't concede again. In the last five minutes we shut up shop, and just made sure we got the three points. When it's only a one-goal cushion, you're always wary that if they get a chance, they could nick a last-minute equaliser. You see it happen hundreds of times in a season, up and down the leagues. All this week, all I've been focused on is winning this game today, and that's exactly what we've done. We've worked hard during the week, we've put the effort in, and we've had a game plan but we had to change it early on. They were right on top of us; they wouldn't let us play out from the back, but we adapted well. I think we won the battle in the end and I think that showed."
Argyle have continued the league winning run with a 2-1 victory over Stevenage in a bizarre game in which Argyle defender Sonny Bradley scored each of the game's three goals- all within the first 15 minutes after half-time. He put the greens into the lead from a David Fox free-kick before turning the ball into his own net shortly after. He made amends again however by scoring from Graham Carey's set piece shortly after. Argyle held on to pick up all three points. Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Bulvitis, Bradley, Purrington, Songo'o, Fox(Ijaha), Jervis, Carey(Smith), Slew(Goodwillie), Spencer. Subs: Dorel, Osborne, Donaldson, Tanner.
Derek Adams has been named the League Two manager of the month for September following 4 wins and one draw from Argyle's 5 league matches. He was keen however to spread the acclaim around: The players have responded very well to the changes that have happened over the summer. It's a collective unit; it's to do with the team and the backroom staff, and everything together allows us to have positive results. The players have shown terrific form to have accumulated the points total so far, which is the club's best start for 90 years. This has been achieved by hard work, creative edge and good character. We have to keep going; it's a tough league you can see that by the results every week. We had excellent season last season and we have made an even better start this season. We had to make many changes to the team over the summer we've taken in 16 new players and I'm delighted with the blend to the squad."
Sonny Bradley was also nominated for the player award and had this to say about the success of the defensive unit that he is a part of: "When you look at our last six games, maybe more, we have kept a lot of clean sheets and we have scored goals. Nauris has chipped in with a few; I've scored one myself. Hopefully, as the season goes on, we will get better and better. We've never played together in any team I only met Nauris in pre-season so it is a new partnership, but I think, when you settle into a partnership this well, you can certainly see a good future. It's a good partnership. We're doing well. We're getting on. We talk well. We have just got to keep it up. It's going to be difficult. There are going to be times when one of us isn't on our game you have got admit that because I don't think anyone has gone through a whole season when they are perfect for 46 games. When one of us does drop a little bit, it is down to the other one to get behind him and make sure he is alright. I think me and Bully have got that sort of relationship at the moment, on and off the pitch; it's just a case of keeping that up now and playing to the best of our abilities."
Billy Palfrey has joined Torquay United on a youth loan for a month. The 18-year-old defender in signed a development deal with Argyle in the summer, designed to bridge the gap between the club's Academy and first-team."
Sonny Bradley is a man who knows League Two well and has said that he could not be happier with the state of Plymouth Argyle at the moment: "It's where we want to be and it's where we want to stay. We had a bit of a difficult start, losing three games, but, since then, we have kicked on and have done really well. The training that we do and the way we apply ourselves is really reflected in our results. I couldn't be happier at the moment. It is just a case of keeping it up and not letting our standards drop. If we keep working hard and applying ourselves in the right way, I don't see why that can't happen. I've had a look at the table and a couple of teams will be having a difficult time at the minute. I've been down there and it's tough. When you are top of the league, you are certainly happier you are a happier person and you have just got to keep that up. It's a tough league and I do believe that, on their day, anyone can beat anyone. You have got to make sure that you work hard during the week, look after yourself, and maintain your fitness just keep going and make sure you stay top of that league. It's a great start and we have just got to keep that up. It's a long season. At the minute, the pitches are nice; they've still got grass on them. Come January and February, when the pitches start tearing up, it starts getting difficult, cold Tuesday nights I think that's when you find what players are about. I think we have got the players in this squad to handle those situations.
"Stevenage is a difficult place to go, and I spoke to Luke McCormick earlier in the week and he said Plymouth haven't really been successful there. So that is something we will be looking to make right. If the lads apply themselves in the right way, we have got more than enough to go there and get three points. We have just got to turn up on the day, perform how we can perform, take the game to them and come back with three points."
Derek Adams has mixed news regarding the injury latest to Gary Sawyer, Oscar Threlkeld, Paul-Arnold Garita and Karleigh Osborne. The manager said of Sawyer: "Gary Sawyer has had a setback and he's going in for an operation next week. I have been told the timescale is 12 weeks before he's back playing. I'm very disappointed. He's an experienced left-back and for him to be out for that period of time is not going to be easy. Along with Ryan Brunt, who has been out for a long period of time, it doesn't help us. Ben has come in and been able to take his opportunity. At this moment in time we don't have any competition for Ben and that's something we will have to look at."
Of Threlkeld: "He got a bang on his knee and we will see how he is before the game on Saturday.
Of Garita: "He had a slight setback to his injury but he is progressing well now and will be back in full training on Monday."
Of Osborne: "He just needs to get game-time and he's obviously going to find it very difficult at this moment in time. We will still give him game-time in the reserves. It has not been easy, when you come to a new football club and you are not part of things on a Saturday or a Tuesday night. It was important to make him feel part of it against Wimbledon."
Adams also revealed that the club have offered a new contract to Graham Carey and that the Irish midfielder is currently keeping his options open. Adams said: "We have offered him a new contract and he is keeping his options open. It's up to Graham and his representatives to decide what their next move is. Over the first weeks of the season he has performed well and scored five goals already, which is very good from the position he plays in. "
Gary Miller acknowledged his disappointment with the way Argyle performed in the Checkatrade Trophy match against Wimbledon on Tuesday but vowed to use the loss as motivation to succeed further, saying: I think we have been building every week. With so many new guys, training can only take you so far, to get to know people, and gradually we are getting more confident. We have started to look better on the ball, we have started to keep the ball better and we have started to defend better as a unit. And that can only come with playing games. We had a defeat the other night but we have to be good at wiping that clean and starting again. We can't let defeats get on top of us, and I think that's what we did well at the start of the season. We were disappointed and angry to lose against Wimbledon but we just need to look forward, and acknowledge the good run we were on and try to start another. It's still a loss. We don't enjoy that. Yes, people might say 'it's only the cup' but you want to try to win everything you are involved in ad go as far as you can."
Derek Adams was left annoyed with Argyle's 2-1 loss to Wimbledon last night and said the greens had only got themselves to blame. He was particularly annoyed with the defending of the two goals, saying: "We were in control of the first half and played really well. We got a goal ahead and took that into half-time. In the second half, Wimbledon took the game to us and they were the better team. We were winning 1-0 and the two goals were extremely poor goals to lose from our point of view, really preventable. It's our own fault we have given two goals away tonight and we have lost the game because of that. The first one, we could have dealt with the first header, and then he gets in behind us; for the second one, we get too close to the man, he rolls off and turns, and gets a goal.
"In the first half, we kept the ball really well, but, in the second half, Wimbledon came into the game, got a wee bit of pressure, and got the goals. They didn't really have many opportunities in the game; they had more pressure than us in the second half and we had more pressure than them in the first half. We have got a month to wait until the next game, and it is a competition we would like to try to progress if we can. From my point of view, it is the league that is the most important thing, and we have now got to go to Stevenage on Saturday."
Argyle's fate in the Checkatrade Trophy will go down to their last group stage match against Swansea U-23s after losing 2-1 at AFC Wimbledon. Connor Smith put Argyle 1-0 up early on but second half goals (one of which came from a certain Lyle Taylor) secured the victory for the home side. Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Bulvitis, Songo'o, Purrington, Threlkeld(Donaldson), Ijaha, Smith, Tanner(Carey), Goodwillie, Slew(Spencer). Subs: McCallum, Osborne, Fox, Jervis.
Derek Adams believes both sides will make changes as Argyle travel to AFC Wimbledon for the second matchday of the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday. Adams said: "We will make changes to the team but we have done that throughout our league campaign and in the cup. We'll assess the squad. A lot of players have played a lot of minutes this season and we want to keep the continuity throughout the side. We are away in London on Saturday again, so we need to have a freshness for that game, as well."
Adams also backed David Goodwillie to end his goalscoring duck for Argyle and hinted that there could be a role to play for ex-Womble Karleigh Osborne in the game, saying respectively of the striker and defender: "David has played really well since he has been here. He has been unfortunate not to get a goal, but his movement and style of play is excellent. Sometimes, he's ahead of other people on the pitch.
"He'll not start. There is a possibility he is going to be in the squad and could be around about the 18."
Derek Adams hailed Argyle's fantastic performance against Yeovil Town and a terrific start to the season, saying: "Four really good goals in different ways. Jake Jervis scoring another two goals, Jimmy Spencer scoring his first goal at home, and then we had Carey's goal, which was outstanding. All four were well worked, and I'm just pleased that we've got players who are scoring throughout the team. In the first half we were under no pressure really - we were in total control of the game. We go in 2-0 and it becomes a different match. In the second half I thought we started a wee bit slowly, but we got ourselves going. We got away with a couple of opportunities that they had, and then we make it 3-1 and 4-1. We could've made it five in the end. It's always important that you have a cushion. Graham's goal was fantastic, and it's something that he's more than capable of.It was a terrific performance. I don't think that I would want to face them today. At times it was exhilarating; the way we passed the ball and moved the ball. It would've been very difficult for any team to stop us today, just with the that we passed it and moved, and got into good areas. I don't know what the possession stats are, but it must be at least 60 or 70 per cent in the game, and that's good. It's terrific form, for eleven games and to have the points total we have. We have to keep going. It's a tough league and you can see that by the results. We've made an even better start this season. Everyone was excited with the team last season; we've had to change the team this season. We've taken in 16 new players, two loan signings, and I'm delighted with the start we've had."
Graham Carey accounted a new found maturity for Argyle's barnstorming form this season as well as their excellent footballing ability, saying: "Even when we lost the first two games, we knew we had it in us because of the pre-season we had and the type of football we played. We probably weren't as street-smart as we are now we know how to grind out games and we have done that. We haven't played well in some of the games and we've got victories. Maybe, last year, we would have got draws or lost those games. We're more grown-up this year as a squad, a lot older, a lot more experienced, and I think it tells. It was at an important time of the game. They had had a few chances and 3-1 just gives you a bit of a cushion. I'd had a few shots from outside the box when I tried to lace them and put too much power on them. I thought 'just bend it around the defender' and it kind of conned the 'keeper I think he was expecting a bit more power. I don't think he even saw the ball. It was a nice finish. I had some family over today and I always seem to score when they come over. We knew, going into half-time, when we had conceded the goal just before, that Yeovil were going to come out of the traps, and they did. They had few chances, probably from our sloppy defending at times, but I think, all in all, we had the game under control. Every time we lifted the tempo and lifted the pace, they couldn't live with it. Even if they did get a goal, we were still comfortable, creating chances. Some of the play today was great and some of the movement and patterns of play were brilliant. It showed today with me, Jake and Ryan Donaldson we found ourselves in positions where, at times, they couldn't live with us. It's the freedom the gaffer gives us once we are in the defensive shape, the front four can express themselves. Apart from the goal it would have been nice to keep a clean sheet it was probably the most complete performance of the season. For the complete 90 minutes, I thought we were dominant; we played with a bit of freedom, with a bit of arrogance, almost."
Argyle have won again with a 4-1 victory over Westcountry rivals Yeovil Town through goals from Jimmy Spencer, Graham Carey and Jake Jervis twice. The visitors got a goal back just before half-time but their only effort was sandwiched by two Argyle goals each. Argyle: McCormick, Miller, Bulvitis, Bradley, Purrington, Songo'o, Fox(Threlkeld), Jervis, Carey(Goodwillie), Donaldson(Tanner), Spencer. Subs: Dorel, Smith, Ijaha, Slew.
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