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.
Tony Pulis has insisted revenge will not be on his mind when Argyle meet Stoke City tomorrow. He said: "There is no case of revenge whatsoever. I really enjoyed my two-and-a-half years at Stoke. I'm very proud of what I and my staff achieved there and if we can do the same at Plymouth then it will be great. I'm manager of Plymouth Argyle now and I have only got one thing in mind, and that is working hard and pushing this football club on. I wish Stoke success in every game they play, apart from the two games against Plymouth Argyle. We will be desperate to beat them tomorrow. I think what everybody has got to understand and recognise is that I'm still looking at what we have got and what we haven't got. Without being too disrespectful to anybody, there are one or two things we have picked up on already that we think need to be improved. I don't care now about any other club, apart from Plymouth Argyle. My responsibility and remit is to try to get the best I possibly can out of this football club with the resources given." Pulis has made no secret of the fact that he feels much work has to be done, both on and off the pitch at Home Park. He said: "Everything that you can think of in respect of a football team throws up different questions for me. It will take me a while to get everything under control. I think it was two or three months before I got control of things at Stoke, and that was just concerning the way I wanted the first team to be run - in terms of diet, weights, the way we worked and the times we worked." Pulis has confirmed he is set to appoint Mark O'Connor to his coaching staff. "I have a way of working and I like everything to be done in a certain way," he said. "I have worked with Mark before and I have got great respect for him. If we can bring him to the football club I will be very pleased. Kempy and Mark will work with all the professionals and also with the younger players so we have got a connection between every area of the football club. I have worked at clubs like Bristol City and Stoke where they have had youth academies and it's almost a club within a club. It's something I don't personally believe in. If you have got 16 and 17-year-olds and they are good enough to be in your squad then you should be bringing them in and working with the better pros you have got."
Tony Pulis has vowed he will try to build a team Argyle fans can be proud of. He said: "I would like to thank the 3,500 fans who went to Southampton and say an even bigger thank you to the people who went to Sheffield United on Tuesday night. I think it shows they really care for their football club. What my aim is, given the time, is to put a team in place the supporters can be proud of, and who will give as much as the supporters do to their football club. I want them to have a team they can be proud of not only in respect of the way they play but the way they work. It's a working class area and the majority of people want to come and watch the players work their socks off and have a go. They will take it from there then I think." Pulis will want to add more attacking options to his squad before too long as Argyle have scored only twice in the past nine Championship fixtures. Pulis said: "I'm looking forward to tomorrow and I think the players should as well. We have had two good performances and with a little bit of luck we could have got more points on the board. It will be interesting for me to see how they react and play at home. We have passed the ball and moved the ball through the field quickly, which causes people problems at this level. We did that better at Sheffield United than we did at Southampton, but we need to score goals. Paul Jewell got promoted with Wigan last season on the back of him having the two most prolific strikers in the league. It's no secret that nine times out of 10, a team are only as good as their strikeforce is. It's an area we have got to look at very closely. I was very pleased with the chances we created on Tuesday. I think if we weren't creating chances that would be a worry. We got into some great positions and we have just got to take those chances. I'm looking obviously for the forwards to get goals, but I'm also looking for other members of the team to score. We had good quality off set plays the other night and if it's a centre-half scoring or a midfielder scoring I don't care, as long as we are winning." The squad travelled home by coach after Tuesday's clash at Bramall Lane and did not arrive in Plymouth until 3.30am. Pulis admitted he was concerned about the effects of the long trips to Southampton and Sheffield on the players. He said: "It's a massive difference to when I was at Stoke when we had 38 football clubs within an hour-and-a-half of the Britannia Stadium."
Paul Stapleton has insisted Bobby Williamson was not a failure as Argyle manager. He said: "Solicitors are involved at the moment. There is nothing acrimonious, by the way, it's just the length of time solicitors take to do things. It's a pity, really, because with Jocky Scott I contacted him last Thursday morning, we agreed everything on Thursday afternoon and on Friday morning he came in and took his stuff back to Scotland, with his cheque. Someone said to me 'was Bobby a failure?' No, Bobby wasn't a failure because he came in and got us promotion when we could have faltered. Kevin Summerfield really didn't want to do the job any longer, the team had lost to Oldham and there was a bit of doom and gloom, except for the fact we had a title decider against QPR. That was like our cup final and it certainly gave everybody a boost but we needed the lift of the new man coming in. Bobby did the right thing. He came in softly softly, he talked to people like Wotton, who weren't in the team, and raised the spirits. Then the next year he kept us in the Championship." Williamson made six signings over the summer in an attempt to strengthen his squad but the team made a dismal start to the season. Stapleton said: "We realised there seemed to be an air of despondency around the place, both among the fans and the players, and we needed to lift that." The Argyle chairman hoped he could remain on good terms with Williamson, although they have not spoken since the dismissal. "It has been difficult with the solicitors dealing with stuff," he said. "Everyone who has talked to Bobby on a one-to-one basis will know he's a genuine person and well-liked. In fact, the office staff were very sad to see him go because he took an interest in everybody." Stapleton is hoping a settlement can be reached between Argyle and Williamson before too much longer. He said: "Paul Sturrock and I had one sheet of paper between us for his contract. He didn't want a copy of it. He said 'keep it in your drawer.' That was just a personal thing between us. But when we appointed Bobby we used a firm of sports lawyers to create a contract, which is probably 25 pages in length. We operated the termination clause in the correct words to tie in with the contract and the solicitors who drew it up are dealing with Bobby's solicitors. It has taken away the personal aspect really. I'm sure Bobby will want to get things sorted out. I understand he has gone back to Scotland. We have mutual friends so I hear what's going on. I would like to be able to pick up the phone to him and wish him all the best."
Tony Pulis has added to his backrooom team with the recruitment of Portsmouth under-18 and reserves coach Mark O'Connor
Tony Pulis is making plans for Argyle - and Paul Stapleton likes what he hears. During the two-week international break Pulis will deliver to the directors a dossier on the way forward for Argyle. "I've promised the directors that I'll put a report to them," Pulis said. "On everything, not just the playing side but the technical side too, and I'll really go through what I think is needed for this football club to push on." Stapleton said: "Tony has done his homework on us. A manager that is going to give us a written report! That will be a first." Asked how the board planned to fund the manager's reconstruction work, Stapleton said: "We've told Tony that we've finished three sides of the ground and we want to complete the job, replace the Grandstand and produce income for the team, so that we don't totally rely on attendances. We're not a club that has continually high attendances. We want non-match day income which provides money for the manager and, if you have good gates as well, then that's a bonus. Tony knows that we're likely to replace the Grandstand in the next one or two years, and he's with us on that." Asked if the board intended to reverse previous policy and borrow money for squad strengthening, Stapleton said: "We won't borrow money. I've heard comments around the city that we need some big investors to come in. Well, that would be borrowed money. We've had four years of stability and profitability, and we do have some surplus funds."
Tony Pulis took the rough with the smooth after the performance at Sheffield United. "We created enough chances tonight to be pleased," he said. "Although they might have had more possession, I think we created the better chances overall during the game. There's a lot of work to be done - I knew that when I took the job - but there were encouraging signs: I think we had seven or eight real good chances tonight. I think they cleared two off the line, we hit the post, Kenny's made some excellent saves. I was disappointed with the goals we conceded, and we got caught a few times in dangerous areas. It's going to take us a while to get things in place the way we want them. We're still learning. There were a couple of things we had talked about and worked on - we got the wide players inside their players and on to their back line on numerous occasions, and that caused them problems. I'm just desperately disappointed we have not scored. We have had great chances and not scored. Fair play to Sheffield United; they are a decent side. When you bring on Webber, who cost £500,000, as one of your subs, I think it shows the difference between what this club can afford and what a majority of clubs can afford. They were very dangerous, first half, Ifill especially, on the right-hand side. He caused us lots and lots of problems. I said to our players at half-time, for all that had happened, the next goal would be crucial. If we had scored it, it would have been a different game, because Sheffield would get nervous, but the goal never came." Pulis made one change to the side that had started at St Mary's with Rufus Brevett coming in at left-back for Tony Capaldi. "I thought Rufus looked a little bit jaded, a little bit tired," said Pulis, "but you take a chance with his fitness. I though Capaldi played exceptionally well tonight. I don't like to single out players, but I think he did exceptionally for us." Pulis introduced Bojan Djordjic, Akos Buzsaky and Scott Taylor just before the hour as Argyle chased the game. "I thought there were goals there," he said. "I honestly thought we could score goals. There were enough spaces between their midfield players and their back players to get in those little gullies, which we did very well, but you have got to finish those chances off. When you get in there, you have got to be more clinical, and that's cost us, really. We did well at Southampton; we've done okay today - but I don't like losing."
Tony Pulis has not ruled out making foreign signings but he has insisted there is a market for young players in this country that he can exploit. He said: "I tell you what, we do ourselves down in this country. There are some fantastic British players out there. The one area we will work on at this football club is looking at the Premiership academy sides. Look at Arsenal and how many young British players go into that football club and don't get an opportunity. We took the lad John Halls from Arsenal to Stoke for £100,000 and he's an absolutely fantastic player." However, Pulis added: "I have had a phone call from an agent abroad who I trust and he has recommended two players. I will go over and look at those players if I get the opportunity and if they are right for this football club then I will bring them here. Nationality doesn't make any difference to me - as long as they are good enough to play for Plymouth Argyle and it's at the right price."
Paul Stapleton has spoken out following criticism in the local media that the appointment of Tony Pulis as manager had been 'a shambles'. He said: "We didn't have a Press conference on Friday because Tony came in and wanted to get working. He wanted to work with the players on shape and tactics, and I think anybody who was at the game on Saturday would have seen that the team did work hard and have a shape about them. Jocky was fully in the picture about what was going on and we managed sort his deal out within five minutes of sitting down. He was so helpful to Tony Pulis, and wished the board all the best for the future, shook hands with every board member and said 'You've got my number if you need me'. That's not the sign of a man who's been treated badly. All these comments that things weren't done properly hit a nerve when you know that you've done things as well as you can." Stapleton also defended Bobby Williamson against gossip. Stapleton, who revealed that only the ongoing resolution of Williamon's contract termination had prevented him from seeing the Scot, said: "Speak to anybody at the club and you will realise what a gentleman he was, and a hard-working man. In fact, there were very many disappointed people in the Argyle offices when Bobby had his contract terminated. All these spurious rumours around the city about coming to training drunk, about getting banned from various hostelries in the city, couldn't be further from the truth. We were fed up with hearing these things, and I know Bobby was. It is fair to say that Bobby was professional in everything he did." Stapleton also spoke in glowing terms about the club's new manager, and revealed that the appointment had met with approval in footballing circles. "I think, once you listen to Tony Pulis, you can see why we have chosen him as our new manager," he said. "He has the attributes that we were looking for, as a board, to push this club on. He didn't come saying 'I'll save you from relegation'; he came and said 'Let's consolidate and move on' and 'I want to be a Premiership manager and one way I can do that is with Plymouth Argyle.' You certainly listen to a man who has got ambition and who has been a top manager in this division previously. He also dragged Gillingham up from the lower leagues to become an established team, and has got everything we were looking for. He has got that steely determination about him; I don't think he suffers fools gladly; he had a reputation, perhaps, for falling out with people, but he explained that - I think he's mellowed a bit; and he's got a certain charm about him. I think he'll do very well for Plymouth Argyle. He is on a 12-month rolling contract which suited both parties and we hope it's for a long time. If it's for a long time, it means you've been successful in your relationship with the manager, and that the manager has been successful on the pitch. I know that all the managers we interviewed, and all the people that went through the process, complimented us on the way things were done. Phill Gill was instrumental in arranging interviews and talking to people and they've all turned round and said 'What a credit to dealing with Plymouth Argyle'. The people that we interviewed, and even some that we didn't interview, managers with experience of the Premiership and the Championship, all said that we'd chosen the right man. That tells its own story - that these experienced football people had said to us, even though they were in for the job, that we'd picked the right man. That doesn't half give you a buzz. We think that we've got a man who will work with us; be serious about his job; will wheel and deal; will work within budgets; will help us with budgets; will not give money away freely, will treat it as his own; and will make Plymouth a force again. He appreciates the value of the fans to the club and one of the reasons he wanted to come to Plymouth was because of the fans we have got. He's seen the following we get when we go to Reading and Southampton, he's seen we're passionate about football and he wants to be part of that. He's more than willing to speak to fans' groups and forums and he will come across and explain how he plays and what he does. We've got a lot of things to look forward to this season. We've got some big teams coming down here, Leeds and Wolves and teams like this, interesting, exciting games. Let's go and enjoy it. As long as the fans are behind us and can see that we've done our best, that's all we can do."
Argyle lost 2-0 at Sheffield United. Argyle: Larrieu, Barness, Kouo-Doumbe, Aljofree, Brevett, Gudjonsson, Norris, Wotton, Capaldi, Evans, Chadwick. Subs - Djordjic, Taylor, Buzsaky (not used - McCormick, West). Attendance - 20,111.
Tony Pulis agreed a 12-month rolling contract with Argyle. Paul Stapleton said: "What it basically means is Tony Pulis will be the manager for 12 months from today and, if we don't serve notice, it will be so on and so on. Just to give you an example, if we got to June 2006 and we thought 'Tony is not a bad manager and he will see us right for the next year but the year after we fancy someone new' then we can serve him notice. He could work from June 2006 to June 2007 and then leave. Technically, that would revert to a one-year contract. We don't want to invoke any clauses because the longer Tony is here the better for all of us, but what it means is that we are not liable to paying off someone on a three or four-year contract." Stapleton admitted that, at first, Pulis was keen on a long-term contract but was prepared to compromise. "He quickly understood the rationale and was totally in with it," said Stapleton. Pulis confirmed that when he was asked about the length of his contract at Home Park yesterday. He said: "I specifically wanted a certain contract in place. We discussed it and we talked about it and we were in agreement. I say, in agreement - that's myself and the board of directors on which way to go."
Tony Pulis has stated his first target as Argyle manager is to make sure the club are not relegated from the Championship this season. He said: "I think the important thing is people understand the first step really is to establish ourselves in this league and not to get embroiled in a relegation battle year after year. I think we need two years to do that. This will be the most difficult year, with no disrespect to the players that I have inherited, or to the previous management team. As a manager, you have your own ways and your own ideas. I'm picking up a team that was struggling a little bit. Let's be fair, I wouldn't be in this seat now if the team hadn't been struggling, and we have got to change that quite quickly. Given the little bit of backing and support the chairman and the board of directors have said they will give, I'm hopeful that if we do find there are weaknesses within the squad we will be able to fill them and push the team on to secure a Championship place at the end of the season again." Pulis believes Argylehave the potential to be a 'top six Championship side/Premiership club.' He said: "The club has made enormous steps over the last three or four years when you look at where they have come from. The success that Paul Sturrock and this board of directors have delivered for the supporters of Plymouth Argyle has been absolutely first class. What the directors and the supporters have got to understand is that now we are in the big pool with the big fish. We are now competing against the top 44 clubs in this country. No disrespect, but the club is no longer going to places like Southend, Rochdale, Chesterfield and playing in front of 2,300 crowds, where they are the big fish. We have just started in that big pool and although big strides have been made in the past we have now got to make little strides to enable ourselves to build a strong base. I'm just hoping and praying that people in the area understand where we are coming from and where we are trying to go. The directors have been very specific in the way they want to take this football club. It has been run in the right and proper manner financially. There is the opportunity to build a fantastic new stand to finish off the ground development, and I hope it comes to fruition. Hopefully, that will then enable the club to generate more income. Having spoken to the board of directors, they were adamant that new income would be given to the manager to improve the team and push it forward."
Paul Stapleton has revealed there will be money for Tony Pulis to spend on loan signings. Pulis is expected to make use of those funds after an initial assessment of the squad he has inherited. The transfer window does not open until January 1, but the Football League will allow loan signings until November 28. Stapleton said: "I have been quoted as saying the previous manager used all the wages budget. That was true but we are able to help Tony with further funds as, no doubt, loan signings will be high on the agenda." Stapleton called on Argyle's supporters to put the club's disappointing start to the season behind them and to look forward to the future. He said: "It's time for the negativity at Plymouth Argyle to stop. Let's be positive. We have had to dismiss a manager, move on and appoint a new one. We think we have got the right man for the future. I want to see smiles back on the faces of the fans and the players, and to enjoy playing against the teams like Leeds and Wolves." Pulis was appointed by Argyle last Friday after reaching a financial settlement with his former club, Stoke City. It came 17 days after Williamson had been fired after four successive defeats. Stapleton said: "The board have acted as quickly as they could in appointing a new manager. I think in the past we have been criticised for waiting six or seven weeks. This was just two-and-a-half weeks. It's true to say the appointment would have been quicker if Tony's agreement with Stoke had been sorted out." Stapleton also thanked Jocky Scott for taking temporary charge of Argyle for four games and insisted there were no bad feelings between the club and Scott. He said: "We thank Jocky for being our caretaker for two-and-a-half weeks and for earning four valuable points. Jocky was very professional in his attitude and we parted company on good terms, contrary to some comments otherwise." Stapleton then spoke about the reasons why the Argyle board chose Pulis as their manager, in preference to John Gregory and Lennie Lawrence. He said: "Tony's managerial experiences - particularly with Gillingham and Stoke, his knowledge of this division and his ambition were key factors in appointing him. It is ironic that at the start of the season, I said to the board and to Bobby Williamson that I would like our team to be like Stoke, in so far as they were a mid-table, established Championship side, building a platform for the future."
Tony Pulis was impressed with the way the fans got behind Argyle from the first whistle until the last at Southampton. He said: "That's why I have come here really, because of the potential. I think everybody outside of Plymouth recognises what a big area it is and what support you would get if you did get it going. It has been re-iterated today in respect of the numbers that have turned up. They got behind the team as well, which was nice." Paul Wotton also praised the support of the Green Army. He said: "I have got to make a special mention of the fans, who were absolutely frightening. To hear them at the end, it was just like a home game. They were fantastic and, on behalf of all the boys, I would like to thank them."
Tony Capaldi has admitted he does not mind whether he plays in midfield or defence for Argyle. He said: "I have spent two years now playing left midfield and if I do play left-back it's going to take time getting used to it completely. The gaffer spoke to me briefly on Friday and had a few ideas. If he wants me to play left midfield then I will be more than happy to do that again. I don't mind where I play, as long as I'm in the team. I have been really disappointed recently at not playing." Capaldi admitted there was a difference between playing left-back for Argyle in the Championship and for Northern Ireland in World Cup qualifiers. He said:"I think it's a bit more hurly burly in the Championship. You get more time to rest in the internationals. But you do sometimes come up against better quality players in the internationals so you have got to be more switched on maybe." Capaldi felt Argyle coped well defensively with Southampton as they restricted them to only a couple of clearcut chances. He said: "I think part of it as well was the midfield helping out. The midfield and back four was a solid eight with Chadwick dropping in as well. "It was a really solid team performance and it has got us a good result." Argyle only had one training session with Pulis before taking on Southampton, so the preparation was not perfect. Capaldi said: "We spent about an hour doing a bit of work on what he wanted us to do and I think it showed through. He put a lot of ideas in our heads and I think it's going to take time to all bed in. He just wanted us to be organised and more difficult to beat than we have been recently, and that's what I think we were. We have still got things to work on, which I'm sure he will do over the next few weeks, but it's a great start." Capaldi was relieved the uncertainty about the managerial situation had been resolved. He said: "I'm delighted it's all over and we can settle down now. We have got to give this sort of performance every game."
Paul Wotton has admitted the slate has been wiped clean for every player now Tony Pulis has taken over as manager. He said: "We know we have got a lot of hard work ahead of us on the training ground now, and that's great. That's what we are paid for. It's a clean slate for everyone. It's case of us getting to know the gaffer and the gaffer getting to know us. It's like any walk of life - when a new boss comes in you have got to impress him. You just do your best, that's all you can do." Argyle kept only their second clean sheet of the season as they kept Southampton at bay. Wotton said: "It's not an easy place to come and get a clean sheet. They are as good a passing team as we will probably play this season. The gaffer had a quick word with us on Friday and again on Saturday morning. He said the minimum requirement was hard work and giving him everything we had got, and that's fair enough. I'm sure there is a lot more hard work to come on the training ground but we showed a decent attitude and got a deserved point." Argyle even had a couple of chances in the last quarter-of-an-hour to have snatched an unexpected victory. Wotton said: "To be fair, the gaffer told us that if we kept frustrating them they would end up giving the ball away and then we could get away on the counter attack. "With a little bit more care in the final third we could have got ourselves not just one but a couple of goals." Argyle now face a trip to Sheffield United tomorrow night. Wotton said: "Obviously, another old gaffer of mine is doing great up there. They have got some talented players and they have got a good work ethic as well. They are flying high so it's going to be a difficult game, but Saturday's one was as well. It's a game we are looking forward to. I'm sure there will be a good atmosphere at Sheffield
Tony Pulis is aware that his own reputation centres on being a fire-fighting manager who adheres to a direct style of football. "I think you get closeted," he said. "I think there's no doubt that people put you in a certain category. I don't think you will change certain people's opinions. I like my teams to be competitive. I think supporters pay good money at football clubs to see their team really compete. We play football. If we've got the players in the team to pass the ball, we will pass the ball, but players have got to understand that the work-ethic has got to be second to none. If we are going to punch above our weight, they have got to be fit; they have got to be prepared; they have got to be committed. First and foremost, you have got to put that in place. That's the basis. Sometimes, because you are so desperate to win, so desperate to put a performance in for your supporters, people may put you into the category of being aggressive, but I've built teams over my career and those teams have been decent sides, decent footballing sides." Pulis has helping him David Kemp, a former Argyle player of the year and past manager of the club. "Kempy's been a big help," said Pulis. "He said, if you can get the place going, if you can introduce the right work-ethic, the right players, if you get the results on the pitch, the supporters will come along. What people have to got to realise and recognise in football is where your club is at. Obviously, there's a lot of talk around the town about the new stand, finishing off the stadium, and that will bring in the revenue which the club needs to maybe push on a little bit further. In the meantime, the most important thing is that the football club stabilises itself as a top half Championship club. It's going to be a tough season, there's no doubt about that. It will be interesting to see what the standard of the squad is, what we have got and what we haven't got. You have got recognise where the club is at. I'm not going to come in here and say 'We're going to be in the top ten this year'; I'm not going to be shouting my mouth off and say that we are going to do this, that and the other. The important thing is to stabilise the football club, to get to know the players as soon as possible and see what we need to establish ourselves over the next 18 months in this league. There is a massive difference between the Second and First Divisions and what is now the Championship. Plymouth Argyle have come a long way in a very short space of time and I think it is important for people to realise that the club has got to take stock, and that is going to be a slow, gradual process. We aren't going to jump out of it at this present moment. We need a lot of planning and things to be put in place where the club will grow from there. I'm not a great fellow for going on the telly, spouting my mouth off, and attempting to build an image up that then I can con someone else with - my job is to be manager of Plymouth Argyle, to get as many good players as I can at the football club within the budget I have got, and get as much as I can out of those players. My responsibility is to try to do my damnedest for the supporters. Now that I've signed for this club, there's only one thought in my mind and that is: how can I drag this club up and give the supporters as much as I possibly can, for what we've got in respect of budget and opportunities? I'm not a great person for going out and saying 'Look at what I've done, look at my record' but I think at every club I've been at, I've generated money from bringing in good players, working with them, improving them, and then selling them on. I've always said to every player I've brought to any football club that I'm hoping the club will grow with them and they will grow with the club, but, if they grow quicker, they will move on. I'm certainly not a glossy manager. I'm not one of those pretty books in a bookshop that everyone picks up and, when you open it up, there's no substance inside. I think I'm probably that dusty one at the back that, when you pick it up and start reading it, you really enjoy it."
Tony Pulis revealed how Jocky Scott had played an important part in the build-up to 0-0 draw against Southampton. Pulis said: "I spoke to Jocky and Geoff Crudgington yesterday morning, before we went training, and just told them what we wanted to do, which way we wanted to play and the shape of the team. I asked them to pick a team that they thought would suit that shape, which they did. I made one or two changes because I have been fortunate enough to watch a couple of games. I have said to the players this is about them this week. I'm the third manager in and it's about them rolling their sleeves up and working hard. I could have avoided this week and just taken over after the end of it, when there is 12 or 13 days to prepare for the next game but I wanted to get in the mix straight away and find out what it was all about." Pulis was impressed with the commitment shown by the players as they ended a sequence of four successive away defeats. He said: "They have worked really hard and made it difficult for Southampton, who are a quality side. There are certain things we have got to improve on but I have only just started here so it's going to take a little while to click in. We looked dangerous on the break when we took our time. Sometimes we tried to get from back to front too quickly. People were chasing away from balls rather than coming short and then looking to get in afterwards, but I was pleased with their attitude and commitment." Argyle kept only their second clean sheet of the season and Pulis said: "We have got to get more of them. It doesn't look as though there are a lot of goals in the team - I hope I'm wrong. We will work hard on that part. We had some really good chances today and if we had shown a little more composure we may even have come away with three points. There were three times we broke in the first half where we tried to force ourselves into the box and ended up shooting from distance, when another pass gets us there and puts us in an even better position. But they are decisions the players are making and we will talk about that and, hopefully, improve on that." Pulis did not sit back and settle for a point as he sent on Scott Taylor and Matt Derbyshire, as well as Akos Buzsaky, as substitutes in the closing stages. He said: "I just thought in the last 20 minutes, when it opened up, if we could keep nice and solid we could go on and win the game." Pulis will now take his team to Sheffield on Monday for a Tuesday night visit to the Championship leaders, United. "People have told me about the distances the club has got to travel and I wanted to find out what the week was like," said Pulis. "The preparation is so important for the players when you are doing those sort of distances and I want to see how it's done and how they react and how they cope."
Jocky Scott believes Argyle will avoid relegation this season but warned it will be a close call. He said: "Obviously, I'm disappointed to be leaving the job but, as I said all along, it was the directors' decision. There was nothing I could do. I tried my best in the time I was in charge of the team and I enjoyed it. Now I have got to try to pick myself up and get another job." Scott has spoken to Pulis and told him he thought Argyle were good enough to beat the drop. He said: "I have wished him all the best and told him I don't see any problems with the team in terms of where they will finish at the end of the season. I'm not saying it will not be a struggle at times. What I'm saying is they will, in my opinion, stay in the league. Exactly where they will finish, I don't know." Scott told Paul Stapleton he wanted to be considered for the managerial post but was not even interviewed. He said: "Obviously, I showed an interest in the job but, to be honest, I didn't think at any time that I would get it. But these things happen in football and there's no problem as far as I'm concerned. I'm leaving here with my head held high. I have no regrets. It's just disappointing I'm going to be out of a job again." Scott revealed he was told officially on Thursday that his services were no longer required. He said 'goodbye' to the Argyle squad after a training session at Harper's Park. He added: "It was a football decision. It's well known that new managers coming in bring their own staff. It was to be expected. I have got no problem with that at all. I have been in the game long enough. You recognise these things happen and just get on with it. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. The travelling is a nightmare but, apart from that, it has been great." Stapleton paid tribute to Scott in a statement issued by the club yesterday. He said: "The board would like to thank Jocky for everything he has done for Argyle. Everything has been agreed amicably with Jocky and we wish him all the best for the future." Argyle have still to reach a settlement with Bobby Williamson over the two years remaining on his contract. Williamson has not made any public comment since he was dismissed
Argyle drew 0-0 at Southampton. Argyle: Larrieu, Barness, Kouo-Doumbe, Aljofree, Capaldi, Gudjonsson, Norris, Wotton, Djordjic, Evans, Chadwick. Subs - Taylor, Buzsaky, Derbyshire (not used - McCormick, Lasley). Attendance - 26,331.
Tony Pulis could have waited until early October to take full charge at Home Park, but instead he wanted to start work as soon as his contract had been agreed - even though the trip to Southampton will be followed by a visit to Championship leaders Sheffield United on Tuesday and then a home game against Stoke a week today. "It would have been quite easy for me to sit back this week, having agreed a deal with the club, let the next three games roll, then start in a week's time," he said. "But I really wanted to step up and be involved with these games, because I think they are going to be three really, really, difficult games and I want to be in there. I want to smell the dressing-room, and see what we have got in there and what we haven't got in there. I've got a week now, three very difficult games, to see how the players respond. I've said to the players that I think it's important that they give their best in the next three games. It is up to the players to show everybody - not just myself, but the supporters, the directors, everyone connected with Argyle - that they have the ability, the commitment and the togetherness that we need to push on. This is their week, really."
Argyle's home game against Leeds United on January 2nd, will now kick-off at 5.15pm and will be televised live by Sky Sports
David Kemp returned to Home Park yesterday and admitted: 'It's great to be back.' He said: "This is my third time at the club. I came here as a player and I was here as the manager and now I have got the full set and come back as a coach. I have enjoyed it when I have been here before and I'm sure I will do this time. I have only got good memories of Argyle. I'm sure there were some bad times in both my periods here before, but I don't remember it like that. As soon as I knew I was coming back I was highly-delighted. It's all positives for me." Argyle have three games before the next international break, and that will be when Pulis and Kemp can really start to work on getting their ideas across to the players. Kemp said: "Yesterday was the first time we had the chance to work with the team so it was a little awkward. We will have a look at them in the next three games and do what we can. We can then take it from there." Kemp has seen both of Argyle's last two matches in anticipation of Pulis being appointed. He said: "I have obviously seen them play and I know them from a distance, but it's getting to know them from close up - what their attitudes and characteristics are." Kemp has worked as a coach for Pulis at Portsmouth and Stoke and believes the Welshman can turn around Argyle's fortunes after a poor start to the season. He said: "The club have had some success in the lower divisions but now they are back to where they were when I was last here. The truth of the matter is that it is harder for Argyle in this division. If you want to be the playground bully you go to the lower leagues and win some games. In this division, it's much harder. You have got Wolves, Leeds and all the rest of it and it's tough, but there is a good side to that. We are going to Southampton and then Sheffield United on Tuesday. They are great places to go for players, fans, managers and coaches. It's going to be tough for Argyle in this division but it's a challenge I'm looking forward to."
Akos Buzsaky has been called up by Hungary for their World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Croatia next month
Argyle today issued the following statement: "The Plymouth Argyle board of directors is delighted to announce the appointment of Tony Pulis as the club's new manager. Tony is an excellent, proven, manager with a wealth of experience who the board feels has precisely the right qualities to ensure the club continues the fine progress it has made in recent seasons. He will be assisted by David Kemp, who many Argyle fans will remember fondly from his past associations with the club. We are sure that the Green Army joins with us in wholeheartedly wishing Tony a long and successful spell in charge of the club. Tony will take full control immediately and will naturally be in charge of the first team for our visit to Southampton on Saturday. The team is traveling to Southampton on Friday afternoon and, understandably, Tony wants to devote all his attention to preparations for this important game in the short time he has available. Because of that, Tony will be formally introduced at a Press conference to be held in the Argyle boardroom on Monday, September 26, starting at 9am, when he will be happy to answer questions and be interviewed. Tony will be giving post-match interviews after the Southampton game, when he will be available to talk about the game."
Paul Stapleton has paid tribute to the departing Jocky Scott. Scott left the club on Friday in the wake of the appointment of Tony Pulis as the club's new manager, following 11 months at Home Park. The board would like to thank Jocky for everything he has done for Argyle," said Stapleton. "Everything has been agreed amicably with Jocky, and we wish him all the best for the future."
The process of finding a new manager for Argyle should be concluded today, when Tony Pulis is poised to take the helm at Home Park. The announcement was expected to take place yesterday, but it is believed that the two parties were unable to conclude contractual negotiations in time for that to happen. Pulis has confirmed that he has been given the chance to take charge at Home Park. "Plymouth have offered it to me and I hope something will be sorted out within the next 24 hours," he said yesterday. "Talks have been ongoing with Plymouth and Paul Stapleton for a while now, and I'm very hopeful of us reaching an agreement." It is thought that a number of obstacles needed to be removed before Pulis was ready to accept the job. The length of contract on offer was not, it is believed, initially to his liking. Pulis has also been receiving a salary from Stoke since his dismissal in May. That arrangement was designed to end when he found new employment, and it is understood that discussions about his final pay-off by the Potters have taken some time. "We still need to sort the situation out with Stoke, as I am still being paid by them, but so far they have been very good, so fingers crossed. Plymouth are a big club and the opportunity to go there and manage in the Championship again was a big pull. It's something I am really looking forward to."
Argyle are expected to name their new manager tomorrow and Tony Pulis is the favourite for the job
Tony Capaldi has been included in the Northern Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Austria next month
Rufus Brevett will miss the trip to Southampton on Saturday. Brevett is suspended, having picked up five yellow cards in his ten Championship games this season
Argyle's youth side went out of the St Luke's Devon Bowl in the first round as they lost 3-2 at Home Park to Ilfracombe last night. Martin Watts and Ben Joyce got the Argyle goals
Jocky Scott did not mince his words after Argyle's loss at Barnet last night. With managerial candidate Tony Pulis among the crowd at Underhill last night, Scott could have been taking charge of Argyle for the final time last night. If that is the case, the caretaker has bowed out in disappointing fashion. He said: "They wanted to win the game more than we did, which is a bad thing to say, but it's true. We went asleep for the first goal, allowed them to take a short corner-kick. There was a hell of a strike at the end of it, but we still went to sleep. As for their second goal, we'd talked to the players at half-time but 21 seconds later we were a goal down again. It's just not good enough. We didn't create enough. Barnet had all the chances. As I say, they wanted to win the goal more than we did. If I knew why, I wouldn't be here. You need to ask the players." Scott clearly saw the defeat as a setback, following a draw and a victory from the previous two home games. "The results we got from the Crewe game and the Burnley game were because pf the commitment on the pitch, the determination, the desire," he said. "Unfortunately, that wasn't there tonight, not to the same standard. Don't get me wrong - the players tried hard, they worked, but I didn't think they showed the same commitment and desire that they had showed in the previous. We gave far too much possession away when we were in good positions; we didn't create enough when we were in good positions; and we lost two bad goals again - schoolboy errors, schoolboy stuff." Asked whether the speculation as to the appointment of a new manager might have affected the players, Scott was unequivocal in his reply. "That's not an excuse," he said. "That does not affect them directly at this moment in time, so you cannot use that as an excuse."
Argyle lost 2-1 at Barnet in the Carling Cup, the goal scored by Akos Buzsaky after 19 minutes. Argyle: McCormick, Barness, Kouo-Doumbe, West, Capaldi, Gudjonsson, Lasley, Buzsaky, Derbyshire, Chadwick, Taylor. Subs - Summerfield, Djordjic (not used - Larrieu, Mendes, Martin). Attendance - 1,941.
Jocky Scott has promised Argyle will not make the mistake of underestimating Barnet in tonight's Carling Cup tie. He said: "They are at home and it will be difficult. It's always difficult against teams from lower divisions, especially on their own patch. They will want to do well, but we have got to go there and show the qualities we did on Saturday. We have got to stand up to them and take whatever they throw at us and be able to respond back to them." Scott will be hoping Argyle will be good enough with a less than full-strength team. Paul Wotton and David Norris are rested, while Mickey Evans and Hasney Aljofree have been given time off to recover from minor injuries. Scott is adamant that Saturday's game at Southampton is more important than this evening's encounter, despite the financial gains that could be made from Cup progress. "I'm aware of the financial aspects, but our main priority is our League games," Scott said. "We have to take as many points as we can from 46 League games. Unfortunately, a manager has been dismissed because we didn't have enough points on the board from our first six games. We have to weigh up the whole situation, and this is the decision I've made. It's one I stand by. Of the players with injuries, Brevett is the worst one. Aljofree and Evans are more just knocks and it's just precautionary with them. It's different with Brev. He felt his hamstring on Saturday. That's why we took him off. It's something which has been bothering him for a couple of games and we are not going to take any chances with him. Wotton and Norris have played in every game this season so I have given them a break. It means the players who have been sitting on the bench, or sitting in the stand, they get an opportunity to play. They all think they should be playing in the first team so they are getting an opportunity to show they are right and they should be in, as opposed to the ones who are in at the moment. It's entirely up to them. I'm not taking the game lightly by making changes. I'm looking towards the Southampton game next weekend. Last Saturday's game was a battle, it was bruising, and the players have a lot of games to come this season. There are a lot of midweek games this month, so there has been no real rest for the players."
Paul Stapleton has paid a warm tribute to Jocky Scott on the eve of what could be his last match as stand-in boss. He said: "Jocky is a realist and he understands the process we are going through. I can't have enough praise for him really because it's true to say under the previous manager Jocky hid his light under a bushel as far as the board are concerned. He was very respectful to the manager and any comments that had to be made were the manager's comments and not necessarily Jocky's. I appreciate that and I didn't really know the man and his ability. He has certainly rung the changes. He has got his own ideas and seems to have put a smile back on the faces of so many people. If Jocky goes back up to Scotland then he will have done a great job for us by stepping into the breach. I can't thank him enough for the attitude he has shown after something which must have hurt him. Jocky was shocked but, nevertheless, agreed to fill the void as it were and set about it right away. I know he has been on to other clubs about loan signings and you don't know that if you are just sitting around twiddling your thumbs. You are actually getting on with stuff." Argyle reached the second round of the League Cup for the first time in 13 years when they beat Peterborough United and now the aim has to be to beat Barnet and get drawn against a Premiership club in a lucrative third round tie. Stapleton said: "We hope we can get a result against Barnet because that would help to compensate for the lower gates we have been getting. If you get a good draw in the third round you have got some more money in your budget. It's fair to say the budget was used up by the previous manager."
Mick Heathcote will make a guest appearance for Argyle in Paul Wotton's testimonial game against Anderlecht at Home Park next month. Tommy Tynan will also make a guest appearance and organisers of the game hope to confirm the participation of another ex-Pilgrims legend soon
Matt Derbyshire is poised to play his first Carling Cup tie tonight, after helping Argyle achieve a victory last weekend which he had a special reason to savour. "I've always been a Blackburn fan and I've always wanted to play against Burnley," he said. "I enjoyed the win and I enjoyed the battle against them. They're a physical side." Derbyshire is relishing the chance to gain first-team exposure with Argyle. "It's more physical than I thought it would be," he said. "We've played at a high tempo in the last couple of games, and the lads are doing well. I'm finding my feet, I'm playing OK and I'm training hard. We'll see what happens from here." Derbyshire is aware that beating Barnet could be very beneficial to the Home Park club. "The League is the priority," he said, "but for financial reasons it would be great to win at Barnet and play a big club in the next round."
Jocky Scott believes Taribo West has taken time to find his form at Home Park because he missed the first three weeks of the season. West was not included in the squad for the draw against Crewe Alexandra but returned to the starting line-up on Saturday. Scott thought West's physical presence would combat the strength of Burnley's two powerful forwards, Ade Akinbiyi and Gifton Noel-Williams. Scott said: "I was pleased that he stood up to them. I think, in Taribo's defence, the three weeks that he was away after doing pre-season training has had a big effect on him. He's lacking in fitness in comparison with the rest of the players, which is then a big problem for us. Games are coming fast and furious. We have got midweek matches all this month and does it benefit Taribo to play three times in a week? I don't know the answer. That's why I left him out on Tuesday, to be honest. I had this game in mind for him to play against the two strikers." Scott admitted playing Mat Doumbe out-of-position at right-back had not been a total success but praised the defender for sticking to his task. He said: "In fairness to Matt, he's not a full-back but I played him there for various reasons. He did okay, but there were one or two occasions where he got caught in that position, especially when the boy Branch came on. He got inside him a couple of times or got on the ball and started running at him. Mat did well but I know he's not a right-back. That might have just been a one-off because I was worried about their two strikers, to be honest. They are both big and strong and I thought Taribo's physical presence would handle them a lot better than Matt Doumbe would. At the end of the day, we have got a result so it worked."
Paul Stapleton has admitted there is a 'reasonable chance' the club could appoint a new manager before the game at Southampton on Saturday. He said: "We are not aiming to keep it open for too much longer and I would say there's a reasonable chance before Southampton. We are still reviewing the final options and looking at things. There are perhaps even interviews to do. It's quite true to say we have spoken to some people but I'm not sure they are the ones that everybody thinks they are. Yes, we have spoken to some people and that may continue to be fair. I read the Evening Herald on Saturday and it talked about someone who is very interested in the job. Things will go on of that nature. We are looking forward to the game against Barnet and, hopefully, getting something resolved if we can by the end of this week. That's what we are trying to do because we realise two weeks is a reasonable time to get things sorted. We are really pleased to have picked up four points from the last two games. It could easily have been six. There were smiles on the players' faces when they left the pitch on Saturday and there were smiles on the faces of the fans. That's what we want to see." Stapleton would not make any comment on who the Argyle board had spoken to about the managerial vacancy. "Whoever we have interviewed, or will interview, I'm quite keen their names are not bandied about," he said. "I know it sells newspapers and is interesting for the fans, but the people we have seen, or will see, have all got merits." There has been widespread speculation in Plymouth over the weekend that Paul Sturrock could return to Home Park, but Stapleton has put an end to all such talk. He said: "Paul is a good friend of mine but we have got to look after Plymouth Argyle and he has got a job to do. Paul did ring me on Saturday morning actually. He said: 'Old chairman - I don't know if that was affectionate or not - just ringing to wish you good luck. He didn't have to do that on a Saturday morning when he's preparing for a game, but he has got a lot of friends here." Meanwhile, Argyle have yet to open talks with Bobby Williamson about reaching a financial settlement with him
Jocky Scott revealed that he had deliberately kept Mickey Evans up his sleeve after Argyle got their first home Championship win of the season. "I had this game in mind for Mickey," said Scott. "Sometimes I choose horses for courses and Mickey battered them last year and their manager was the first to admit it after the game. I told Mickey last Monday that he wouldn't be playing on Tuesday, that I was saving him for today. He scored the winning goal, which is great. He should have had more. If he'd scored with a header at the end, he would have spared everybody the grief of the last three or four minutes." Evans revealed that Scott's decision not to start him on Tuesday had probably benefited everyone. "I've started every game so far this season," he said, "and I've played up front by myself in a few of those games, so it's been hard work. I think I needed the rest, although I wasn't happy, not playing. "It probably did me the world of good, to be honest." About the goal, he said: "I remember Brev putting the ball into the box, their lad trying to clear it and the ball just dropping to me. I hit it first-time and, luckily enough, it went in. I think he might have been surprised I took it so early and that's the reason he was slow to get down." Asked if the win would boost the teams morale, Evans said: "The team-spirit has never been a problem - the attitude towards the games has been great - it's naivety, stupidity, at times, when we've conceded goals that we shouldn't have. I think we've only let ourselves down one this season, at Brighton away, when I though everyone was poor. Burnley were always going to be a battle for us - a big team who defended well - but I though we thoroughly deserved the win. I thought we were unlucky in midweek but I think you'd take four points from two home games. It was a big win - it takes us out of the bottom three - and it's a big boost for everyone involved." Scott admitted that the final few minutes were nerve-wracking. "When Burnley are getting the ball up round about our penalty, crosses into our box, and corner-kicks, one goal is not enough, but, all credit to the boys, they didn't allow them to score and it is great for us to keep a clean sheet. In fairness they had one or two decent chances that they put by the goal - thankfully - but, overall, I thought we, maybe slightly, deserved the three points. We knew it was going to be a battle and we had to win the battle to earn the right to play. At times, I thought we played some good football when we were allowed to. At the end of the day, we have won the game, which was the most important thing. We've got to build on that. That will give the players a big boost, and it also gives the fans a big boost."
Argyle beat Burnley 1-0 at Home Park, the goal scored by Mickey Evans after 46 minutes. Argyle: Larrieu, Kouo-Doumbe, West, Aljofree, Brevett, Norris, Wotton, Djordjic, Derbyshire, Evans, Taylor. Subs - Barness, Capaldi, Chadwick (not used - Gudjonsson, Buzsaky). Attendance - 11,829.
Stan Ternent has admitted he is interested in the managerial vacancy at Argyle. He said: "Like any manager, I would listen to what Plymouth had to say. In our job you go wherever the job takes you, if it's what you want to do. I want to get back in the game. I have had a nice break and I'm ready
Anthony Barness faces a late fitness test before today's game. With Paul Connolly still sidelined by ankle ligament damage Paul Wotton may continue to fill in at right-back, as he did against Crewe. Jocky Scott is set to be in temporary charge for the third time. He said: "Paul Connolly is still out but he's back in doing a bit of training with the physio. Hopefully, he will be back as soon as possible, but he's definitely out for tomorrow. With Anthony Barness, we will just have to wait and see." Scott will have to decide whether to continue with the 4-3-3 formation he used against Crewe, with some success. He said: "The players acquitted themselves well and they got the crowd behind them, which was always going to be a doubt after the previous games at home. It was nice to see the crowd get behind the players and nice to hear them clapping when the players went off the park at half-time and full-time, as opposed to the booing they have had recently." Scott is expecting Burnley to be difficult opponents. He said: "They will be very well organised and their result at Preston will give them a lot of confidence. But we have got to set out our stall and go about it the same way we did on Tuesday. We have got to get at them right from the start, and keep at them the whole game. We have got to impose ourselves on Burnley and not allow Burnley to impose themselves on us. We have also got to avoid losing the goals that we have been losing, although, in saying that, when you look at Crewe's goal on the TV we could have possibly had a couple of free-kicks."
Ahead of tomorrows game against Burnley, his third in charge as caretaker boss, Jocky Scott said: "We acquitted ourselves well against Crewe. The team got the crowd behind them, which was always going to be a doubt after the previous games here. It was nice to see the crowd behind the players and to hear them clapping when the players went off the park at half-time and full time, as opposed to the booing they have had in previous games. I thought we deserved more than we took out of the game, but we couldn't score a second goal, and the game is all about scoring more goals than the opposition. If we start like that and play at a good tempo, and keep that tempo up, that's when we produce our best performances - especially at home - and possibly our best results. If we try to play at a slower tempo and try to play the ball slowly, that's when we struggle. We have got to take on board what we did on Tuesday and do that in every game. We have got to impose ourselves on Burnley, and not allow Burnley to impose themselves on us. They will be very well organised. Obviously they will come away with confidence from their result at Preston on Tuesday. We have got to set out our stall and go about it the same way as we did on Tuesday. We've got to get at them right from the start and keep at them the whole of the game." Scott added: "We have got to try and avoid losing the goals that we are losing, although, in saying that, when I look at the goals on television, we could have possibly had a couple of fouls. What is disappointing about the goal, other than that, is that the man allocated to mark the player putting the ball in the net - Johnson - is nowhere to be seen."
Trevor Francis has emerged as the latest candidate for the managerial vacancy at Argyle, and was one of the five interviewed by the board on Wednesday
Jocky Scott has admitted that he is not sure if he will still be in the Home Park dug-out this weekend. "I don't know," he said. "At the moment I've got to look at it and think, yes, I'll be here on Saturday - unless I'm told otherwise." Tuesday's display against Crewe gave Scott reason for optimism that progress is being made. "It helps to restore belief, having got something out of Tuesday's game," he said. "Obviously we would have preferred three points, but it wasn't to be. It's something to build on, though. The biggest thing for me was the commitment of the players. In last Saturday's game at Norwich and on Tuesday, they never stopped. They kept going for 90 minutes, and that maybe was lacking for a couple of games previous to that." Argyle now have two right-backs on the injured list. Paul Connolly will be out for at least two weeks with ankle ligament damage, and Anthony Barness had to be replaced on Tuesday due to a swollen ankle, after an opponent had stamped on him. With no defender on the bench, Paul Wotton had to switch from midfield to full-back. "I knew before the game that, if a defender got injured, Paul would have to go back to either centre-half or right- back," Scott added, "but I took the gamble in having all attacking-type players on the bench. The only defender I had to go on the bench was Taribo, and I didn't think that was the right thing to do. We got away with it. Wotton did well when he went to right-back and Norris did great, especially in the second half after he went into the centre of midfield. We did suffer a bit with Barness going off but, all credit to the boys, we handled it well."
Argyle held a series of interviews at a hotel in Taunton yesterday as the search for a new manager continues. They are reported to have met five candidates for the vacancy, including John Gregory, Stan Ternent and Lennie Lawrence. Reports also suggest that Terry Butcher and Peter Reid are no longer among the contenders
Hasney Aljofree believes it is only a matter of time before Argyle's fortunes start to improve. He said: "I think Tuesday night was the best we have played all season. We ran all over the top of Crewe. Right from the start, all the boys were fired up. That's not to say we haven't been in the past but I think it's more important than ever that we have got to start picking up points. Crewe scored a goal against the run of play, which was a foul in the first place on Anthony Barness. When you are down at the bottom things like that go against you but we got back in the game quickly. Scotty Taylor scored a really good goal. We had countless chances and on another day we would have got five or six. Some team is going to come here and we are going to give them a right hammering. We have got to keep showing the same application and something will happen for us soon." Aljofree twice came close to scoring against Crewe, almost putting Argyle into the lead in the sixth minute with a flicked header from a Bojan Djordjic free-kick which came back off the crossbar. He said: "I just remember getting across my man. We had worked on it in training a bit. Bojan put a good ball in and I got a flick on it. Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't, but those are the chances we have got to keep creating and, hopefully, put away." Crewe 'keeper Ross Turnbull then made a stunning low stop from Aljofree's angled shot in the 25th minute. "I couldn't believe he saved it," Aljofree said. "Like I say, one of those will go in and things will turn for us but we have got to keep showing the same desire as we did on Tuesday. If we drop from that we will get turned over this week because this league, as it has shown, is very demanding on everyone. As long as we give 100 per cent, and the fans and the management can see that, then no-one can complain, no matter what. We are all in it together. You could see that the other night."
Jocky Scott, after last nights game, said: "I am very pleased, other than the result. I think we did everything except win the game. The players' commitment was brilliant, their application, their desire to get a result, was brilliant. At times, we played a lot of good stuff. We certainly had plenty of the ball in their penalty box - unfortunately, we didn't get people on the end of knock-downs. After five defeats, we have got to be happy we got something out of the game, and hopefully that's a start and we can take from there. We said before the game that we have conceded far too many goals that we have contributed to. Again, we've done it tonight - a long kick from their goalkeeper needs a great tackle from Aljofree, which leads to a corner kick, which leads to a goal. It wasn't the best start, especially when, for however many minutes it was before that, we played in their half of the park and round and about their penalty-box. The players did great. They did as I asked. I asked to go out and get in about them quickly, get the ball up to the front ones, get the ball into the box, to create chances. They did that. They were asked to play at a tempo. They did that.If they continue to play like that in the rest of the games, there are no problems; they have got nothing to worry about at the end of the season. It certainly helps that we have got something out of the game. We obviously would have preferred three points. It wasn't to be, but it is something we can build on. I thought, if we played three mobile players and kept the ball on the ground, we could have hurt them. We did early on and then I brought Mickey on for the last 15 minutes to see if we could get something that way. I thought everybody was excellent. I wouldn't single anyone out. Other than the mistake for the goal and one or two other aspects, everyone did great." Taribo West was left out of the squad. "I played a formation of 4-4-3 and one of the centre-halves had to go," said Scott. "It was either Taribo or Mat Doumbe. To be perfectly honest, I knew Mat could play two games in a short period of time; I wasn't sure about Taribo. I took the option that I knew." Scott looks likely to remain in charge at least until Saturday, when Burnley visit Home Park. "I am confident that, if we can get the same commitment and the same appetite on Saturday as we did tonight," he said. "In Saturday's game and tonight, they never stopped. They kept going for 90 minutes, and that maybe was lacking for a couple of games previous to that."
Argyle drew 1-1 with Crewe Alexandra at Home Park, the goal scored by Scott Taylor after 12 minutes. Argyle: Larrieu, Barness, Kouo-Doumbe, Aljofree, Brevett, Norris, Wotton, Djordjic, Derbyshire, Chadwick, Taylor. Subs - Evans, Buzsaky (not used - McCormick, Gudjonsson, Capaldi). Attendance - 10,460. and Ian De-Lars match report is here
Tonight against Crewe, Argyle face going six league games without scoring a goal for the first time in their history. They have already equalled their longest run of scoreless matches - twice before, most recently in 1947, five League games in a row have passed without a goal. Jocky Scott will be in caretaker charge of the team for the second time. He said: "We have to get back on track. We have to get some results, and we have to get them quickly. We have two home games this week, and if we're going to get a run of results there's no better place to start than Home Park. I watched Crewe on Sunday and they didn't look as if they were lacking in confidence. They are a passing side and they will play that way regardless of how their results are going. If they're 4-0 up or 4-0 down, they pass the ball. We know what to expect." Crewe favour a 4-3-3 system, which could prompt Scott to again use three centre-backs. He did not rule out that prospect, but said: "I've looked at something in training this morning, and I've got a day to think about a team and a formation for this game." Scott did not want to dwell on discussions about shapes and patterns. He added: "I think people talk too much about tactics and formations. What are tactics? What do they have to do with winning and losing games? That's down to players putting the ball in the back of the net and keeping it out of the net. It's never changed. It's about what we do on the park. We have to defend better, and we have to score. The sooner the better." Scott also wants the Argyle players to put all thoughts about a new manager out of their mind. He said: "Because no-one has been brought in to replace Bobby it means the situation is dragging on. It's always in the back of people's minds, or on the tip of their tongues. It's something that everyone has to forget about. It's not about who's going to be the next manager, it's about what the team do on the park, and about getting behind the team and helping them to a victory."
Colin Lee is the latest name to be linked with Argyle's managerial vacancy, but would not be drawn on the speculation. He said: "I have got a big job on at Millwall, and I'm concentrating on that."
Peter Reid yesterday distanced himself from Argyle's managerial vacancy - but hinted that he might consider coming to Home Park if he was offered an extended contract. He said: "At this moment in time, it's not really what I'm looking for. It's a fantastic club with a fantastic fanbase and I think, if they can give a manager two or three years to build something, then you'd have to look at it."
Nick Chadwick played for 74 minutes against Norwich, on his return from injury. "If you are missing for four weeks and then you only have half a reserve team game under your belt you're going to find it difficult," he said. "But I need games to get myself fit and back to where I was before I got injured. Norwich passed the ball really well in the first half - a lot better than us - but in the second half we did manage to get a bit of pressure on them. Luck plays a big part in football and if one of our chances had dropped in then, who knows, it might have been different. For their first goal the ball was pinballing around inside their box and all you are looking for is for the ball just to drop to you so you can put it in the net. But it's the same old story. We shouldn't be conceding goals as soon as they clear the ball. When we are on the attack that's when we should be looking likely to score. But, at the minute, when we are attacking it looks like the opposition are going to score because one quick break and we are under pressure. It wasn't just the first goal today. It happened a couple of times, and it has happened before. That can't be right. As soon as the ball gets cleared out, let's win it and let's get it in back there and keep the pressure on. Not go and concede a goal to go 1-0 down. There are lots of positives to take from the game, but we still haven't taken three points. Let's not kid ourselves and say we were unlucky and it was a good performance because, at the end of the day, we have conceded two goals again. We weren't unlucky to lose because they scored and we didn't, but there are positives to build on and we will have a lot easier games than today's."
Jocky Scott felt Argyle had thrown away the chance of a morale-boosting result by their poor defending in the first half yesterday. "Two bad errors have cost us the game," he said. "You just shouldn't concede goals like that at this level and we made it very difficult for ourselves. Having said that, I can't fault the players for their effort and they had a lot of attempts on goal. We could easily have got something from the game but, as I said, we were guilty of some terrible defending in the first half and got punished for it. There were a lot of positives to take out of the game, but it was obviously a disappointing result. It's as simple as that. As we're not scoring goals at the moment it makes it very difficult for us. For their second goal, when Dean Ashton put the ball in the net we didn't have a player within five yards of him. For their first goal, we had two defenders against their one striker, and McVeigh got the ball in 20 yards of space. I don't think you need to be a genius to work out there was something wrong there. I didn't think the system had anything to do with the defeat. I thought we handled them well. I changed the system because we'd been losing too many stupid goals, and I thought an extra centre-half in there might stop that happening. Unfortunately it didn't, but I thought the players adapted to the system well. We had a lot of efforts on goal, in comparison to the previous two games we played. Maybe, with a wee bit of luck or a wee bit more belief, we could have scored. There were positives to take from the game." Asked if he had any regrets about not giving Matt Derbyshire more time on the park, Scott said: "The big worry is that he's a young kid. He's not played at this level before. He did very well in the reserve game, but he played against a couple of kids. If we play him from the start or if we throw him in too early, we may lose him because we're not playing as well as we can at the moment. I'd rather bring him in in stages, but he'll get a chance. He has shown a lot of potential." Scott was asked if he had applied to replace Bobby Williamson on a long-term basis. He replied: "Ever since my last managerial job, I've always been looking to get back into management. There's a possibility here, but that's not my decision. That's up to the directors."
Argyle lost 2-0 at Norwich City. Argyle: Larrieu, Barness, Kouo-Doumbe, West, Aljofree, Brevett, Norris, Wotton, Djordjic, Chadwick, Evans. Subs - Derbyshire, Capaldi, Buzsaky (not used - McCormick, Gudjonsson). Attendance - 23,981.
Jocky Scott takes charge of Argyle today knowing that a week from now he could be in the same role, or he could find himself out of work. After Norwich, Argyle face home games against Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday and then Burnley on Saturday. "I've been working with the players to try and get a result on Saturday and the following Tuesday - and the following Saturday, if I'm still in charge at that time," Scott said. "At the moment I'll be in charge at Norwich, and then we'll take it from there." On Thursday Scott had a meeting with Paul Stapleton to discuss the team's future. He made sure the chairman is aware of his preference for a quick solution to the managerial succession. "It would be totally unfair to bring someone in from the outside to give me a hand," Scott said. "If I get sacked as well, they'd get left in limbo." Scott is well aware that once the first whistle is blown it is players and not coaches who decide the destiny of games. "It's up to the players to show resolve and go out and get a result at Norwich," he said. Scott today can call upon Williamson's last signing for Argyle, Matt Derbyshire, who scored a hat-trick for the reserves on Tuesday. "Matt did very well," Scott said. "He scored three goals and hit the post when he should have scored another one. He was a constant threat to the opposition all night, and he showed that he has something which is different to the kind of player we have here already."
Tony Capaldi will return to the Argyle squad at Norwich after returning from international duty with Northern Ireland. Capaldi returned to Home Park for training today after travelling back from Belfast yesterday. Jocky Scott wanted to assess his fitness before deciding what part he would play, if any, tomorrow. Scott said: "From watching him on the TV on Wednesday he didn't look as if he picked up any injuries, so he should be okay. I think Tony would be the first to admit he would prefer to play further forward than as a left-back but he handled himself well. He played against two excellent players, who did cause him a problem, but he stuck to it." Scott believes Capaldi's success for Northern Ireland can only enhance the reputation of Argyle. He said: "It's always good for a club if they have players who go away on representative duty. It's a good boost for them. It's not great for the management because these players are away and they might come back injured or they might come back tired. That is always a headache but for the individual player and for the club it is a great achievement." Scott wants Argyle to copy the fighting spirit shown by Northern Ireland against England when they take on Norwich. "I think it shows players what can be achieved if the work rate is there and there is a desire to get something out of the game," he said. No-one can say Northern Ireland played really well in terms of passing the ball about, keeping possession or creating chances, but what they did well was compete - they worked their socks off and harassed England every time they got it. They worked hard defensively to stop England from scoring and they ended up getting a great goal themselves, and a great result." Scott thought that level of commitment was lacking when Argyle lost at Brighton. "Me personally, I didn't think we showed a real desire to achieve a result there," he said. "I didn't think the loss was anything to do with Brighton playing extremely well. We made mistakes and we got punished, but we didn't show enough desire to overcome the mistakes and get a result."
Paul Wotton has pledged that Argyle will be in the right frame of mind to tackle Norwich City tomorrow, despite the distractions of the midweek departure of Bobby Williamson. He said: "Are there any real shocks in football any more? We've all been in this situation before, except for the very young lads in the squad. It's a case of everybody sticking together and, even if it sounds harsh, getting on with it. There's nothing else we can do. It's part of football. It happens all the time. Players leave, and managers leave. We've got to regroup and look forward to the game on Saturday. It's a great game to look forward to at Norwich. We've got an experienced dressing-room. The team spirit will be fine and we've continuity, with Jocky taking over. Now we've got to get out of the rut of four defeats in a row and make sure we don't make it five. I'm absolutely positive the tide will turn. We're six games into a 46-game season. There's a long way to go."
Paul Connolly may have suffered a serious injury during Tuesday nights reserve game. Jocky Scott said: "Paul's ankle is swollen. The least damage he's got is ligament damage. There is a concern there might be a break, but at the moment that's not been confirmed."
Jocky Scott has admitted he does not know how long he will be in temporary charge of Argyle. He said: "At the moment, I'm going to be in charge on Saturday and we will take it from there. I don't know how long this is going to last and it would be totally unfair to bring someone in from the outside to give me a hand because if I get sacked as well then that's them left in limbo. It's also unfair, I think, to ask one of the youth coaches to come up and help. If this situation was to drag on for weeks and then I get shown the door it would be unfair to them because they would have been working at first team level - and there's nothing better than that - and then they have got to go from that back to working with kids again. I'm experienced enough to be able to handle it." Scott faces a decision as to whether to include Matt Derbyshire in the side against Norwich. He said: "He did very well the other night. Obviously, he got the three goals and hit the post with another one which he should have scored. He was a big threat to the opposition all night and he showed something that maybe is different to the kind of the player we have here already." Scott believes the return to fitness of Nick Chadwick is another timely boost, adding: "Chadwick showed the other night that he's up for it. I don't know, it might be a coincidence, but we haven't had a decent result since he got injured." Tomorrow's match will be screened on Sky Sports and Scott said: "The players have just got to get on with it, regardless of how they feel about the situation. Whether they get upset about it or whether they are happy about it, it doesn't matter. It shouldn't affect what they do. They have got to go out and do a job and get a result. And they have also got their own pride to play for. After the Brighton game, this is their first opportunity to get some of that pride back."
Paul Wotton has announced the ticket prices for his testimonial game against Anderlecht at Home Park next month. Tickets will go on sale from the Argyle box office on September 13th and seats will cost £15 for adults, £10 for senior citizens and students and £5 for under-16s. Admission to the Mayflower terrace will cost £12, £8 and £5 respectively. There will also be a group ticket for two adults and two children costing £30. Although tickets can be bought in advance, supporters will be able to pay at the turnstiles on the night. No credit card transactions can be accepted for ticket purchases, only cash and cheques, which should be made payable to the Paul Wotton Testimonial Fund
Jocky Scott has admitted the sacking of Bobby Williamson had come as a 'big shock'. Scott said: "The whole thing came as a big shock, firstly to hear about Bobby, then to be asked to take charge until they get someone else. I fully expected when I was asked to go and see the board I would be on the way out, the same as Bobby. We were both at the reserve game because we had a few first teamers playing and we were looking at them with a view to Saturday. There certainly wasn't any hint of what was to come. There had been a bit of unrest and a few rumours because of the results, but only the usual when teams have bad results. I certainly didn't think it would come to anything though. We are only six games into the season with another 40 to play. It's not as if we are halfway through the season and trailing the rest of the teams. We are only one win away from the middle of the table so it was a big shock. Unfortunately, the job got thrown at me. I didn't get an opportunity to speak to Bobby with regards to it beforehand. But once they had spoken to me, I went and spent a couple of hours with Bobby and talked things over with him. Bobby had all the emotions - there was shock, surprise and anger. There's not any problems between us two. It's just a sad unfortunate situation that has arisen. It doesn't put any pressure on me though. I have been asked to fill in at the moment and I will not change the way I work or my outlook towards the games. It's either I'm going to follow Bobby out the door or I'm going to be kept on." Scott was non-committal when asked whether he would be interested in the job on a permanent basis. He said: "I have been out of management for a wee while but I have always wanted to get back into it. Unfortunately, there have not been a great deal of opportunities come up for me. Right now, I can't say 'yes' or 'no' on whether I want the job because nothing has been offered to me." Neither Paul Stapleton or Williamson have yet commented on the week's events, possibly because compensation for the remainder of Williamsons's contract has yet to be agreed
Tony Capaldi won his thirteenth cap as Northern Ireland defeated England 1-0 tonight
John Gregory is one of the favourites to take over as Argyle's new manager. Also rumoured to be in the frame are Terry Butcher, Peter Reid, Stan Ternent and Tony Pulis. Reid, Ternent and Gregory are reported to have already held preliminary talks with Argyle directors
Former Argyle vice-chairman Peter Jones feels that Bobby Williamson should have been given more time and that injuries to key players had contributed to four successive defeats. He said: "I am bitterly disappointed at the news that Bobby Williamson has been sacked as Argyle manager. I believe that Bobby has done a great job at the Pilgrims' helm. He steadied the ship when Paul Sturrock left and helped ensure Argyle won their second championship in two seasons. Bobby also kept us in the Championship last season on a small budget, which was no mean achievement. Of course, the board of directors are right to be concerned about the results of late, but I feel to sack a manager after just six matches was far too early. Yes, they were worried after four years of success at the club and that's only sensible, but are still 40 games left to go this season. Alright, we're fourth from bottom at the moment, but I don't think we would have been had it not been for those key injuries. To lose the services of players like Aljofree, Capaldi and Chadwick came at a really bad time for Bobby and the team and I believe he has paid the price for their injuries. I'm convinced that Argyle would not have lost four matches in a row had those players been available for selection. And, let's be honest, whoever had come after Paul Sturrock, probably the most successful manager in Argyle's history, would have been on a hiding to nothing. However, having said that, it's only right that a manager should be judged on his team's results and make no mistake the team is or rather was Bobby's. I believe that he perhaps brought in too many new players too quickly and the side lost what it had under Sturrock - great team spirit. Nevertheless, I'm very, very sad that Bobby has gone - he's a good, decent man and I wish him well in the future. And as to the future, well I hope the board appoint a candidate with hunger, ambition, drive and determination and not a mercenary, doing the rounds. Argyle is now in a period of transition, let's just pray that it isn't a period of decline, after all the good work everyone at the club has put in."
Paul Stapleton today said: "We have issued a press statement and there is no further comment at this stage." The chairman would not be drawn on how soon Argyle would appoint a permanent successor to Bobby Williamson. He said: "There is no one at the minute. We have done things the right way but it's not a very pleasant day."
Bobby Williamson has been sacked. Argyle issued the following statement at 9.30 tonight: "The board of Plymouth Argyle today announced it has served notice to terminate the contract of employment of Bobby Williamson. With immediate effect, coach Jocky Scott will assume responsibility for first team affairs while a search for a successor commences."
Argyle reserves beat Swansea City 3-1 at Home Park tonight, new loan signing Matt Derbyshire scoring a hat-trick. Argyle: McCormick, Connolly, Mendes, Aljofree, Laird.S, Gudjonsson, Summerfield, Lasley, Martin, Derbyshire, Chadwick. Subs - McKeever, Routledge, Zebroski (not used – Bond, Reski). During the game, Paul Connolly was replaced by Tony McKeever after 14 minutes, and taken to hospital for X-rays on a foot injury
Bobby Williamson has made it clear to his squad that first-team places are up for grabs when the reserves take on Swansea City at Home Park tonight. He said: "There are certainly places up for grabs. We have not performed well lately. The players picked tomorrow have to show me that they want to play in our first team by performing well in the reserves. We'll be looking at their attitude and desire, and I'm sure they won't disappoint us." Last season Swansea sent a very young reserve side to Plymouth for the fixture, and were beaten 10-1. "I've not got a clue what Swansea are going to do," Williamson said. "Usually I'd phone their manager and ask him if he was going to send a strong team, and if he wasn't I'd play the kids, but we have guys that need games and they'll play whatever." After four consecutive league defeats, Williamson is refusing to rule out making changes against Norwich City at on Saturday. Keith Lasley, Paul Connolly, Luke McCormick and Bjarni Gudjonsson are all likely to feature in at least part of this evening's game, as is Matt Derbyshire. Also, Nick Chadwick and Hasney Aljofree are both expected to begin their comebacks from injury tonight. Williamson added: "They trained today. They've not had any adverse reaction, so hopefully they'll play some part in the game tomorrow. They might start, or they might come on in the second half. We'll work out what's best for them. I will have a chat with Maxie and we will decide whether they start or whether they come on for however long. They need a week's training, but if they get a game under their belts then that will give them a wee bit more confidence in their fitness, and hopefully they can kick on and give us food for thought for Saturday. Matt Derbyshire will play part of the game tomorrow as well. He was suspended in the early part of the season after being sent off in a pre-season friendly, and he missed a few reserve games at Blackburn. He's part of our squad now and he'll come into our plans for Saturday.
Bristol Rovers have confirmed that Argyle made a move for striker Junior Agogo last week. Rover's manager Ian Atkins said: "I think the Oxford bid was more tongue in cheek, and it was Southend that possibly made the strongest offer. Plymouth were also reasonably keen, but nobody matched our valuation."
Bobby Williamson is hoping Akos Buzsaky will show a return to form after making his debut for Hungary at the weekend. He said: "Akos certainly hasn't performed as well as he can do in the last couple of games. It should give him a lift. Representing your country is as high as you can go as a player. He has forced his way into their squad and that's great for Akos. Every time he pulls on a Plymouth shirt, people will be looking at him to see if he's good enough to be an international player and, hopefully, he can answer that question and perform well."
Tony Capaldi won his twelth cap as Northern Ireland defeated Azerbaijan on Saturday. Meanwhile Akos Buzsaky made his international debut for Hungary as a 76th minute substitute during 4-0 win over Malta. Stuart Gibson, in Hungary on a scouting trip, watched the game. He said: "Akos came on for Gera and he played just behind the two strikers. I thought he did well. He looked comfortable on the ball and he went close with one shot which went just over the bar. I saw Akos briefly after the game and asked him if Lothar Matthaus had said anything to him. Akos told me he had just congratulated him on making his international debut. It was nice to see Akos make his debut for Hungary. I have got a lot of time for him. He has worked so hard to get to where he is and when you see the facilities they have over here he deserves everything he gets." Hungary need to beat Sweden on Wednesday to keep alive their chance of a play-off spot. Gibson said: "I don't think Akos expects to play on Wednesday, but he's chuffed to be involved with the squad."
Hasney Aljofree and Nick Chadwick are close to returning to full training after injuries. Bobby Williamson confirmed they had both been working under the supervision of Paul Maxwell over recent days. He said: "Hopefully, they should be able to make a start with us next week. They have been out for a while now and to have any chance of being involved on Saturday they have really got to get a good week's training under their belts. The longer they are working with the physio then the harder it's going to be to select them."
Bobby Williamson is convinced the players he signed for Argyle over the summer will be successful at Home Park. He said: "It's early in the season and there are a lot of new players at the club and they are still finding their feet. Taribo I felt for because he got thrown into the team too quickly for my liking. If we had been playing well until then he might have had to miss last weekend, but we thought we needed him. Just coming right back into it as quickly as that didn't help him. But I'm sure the guys we have brought to the club will be good acquisitions given time. They have just got to keep working away." Williamson has been trying to make sure the morale among the players has not suffered too much after the defeats by Hull and Brighton. He said: "It's difficult when there is no game at the end of the week but we have worked hard on a few things. It's about getting the heads up. I noticed a few supporters when we were coming off the park at Brighton were telling us to keep our chins up. That's the kind of support we need just now, when times are tough. We have had a lot of positive feedback from fans. There has been a lot of negative stuff, I may add, and rightly so, but we need the positive stuff. We can't do it on our own. We need the backing of everybody. We will keep our heads up and keep on working as hard as we can do. That's the only way to get through periods like this." There are three international breaks in the Championship before Christmas and Williamson admitted they were an unwanted disruption. He said: "I don't like them and I don't think the players like them either. They work hard all week and they like to have a game to play but that's denied to us because of internationals. It's something everybody has got to cope with and adjust to. It's very difficult to try to get the right balance. I know in Scotland the players have been off for three or four days and their managers have disappeared off to Spain. Some clubs are taking their players away for a break, but in our position we have got to keep working hard. We have got to let the fans know we are working hard. We are doing that because we want to start winning games again and give the fans something to be happy about."
Matt Derbyshire was upbeat about his move to Argyle after training with his team-mates for the first time yesterday. He said: "From what I have seen this morning they have got a very good set of players, a good manager and a good backroom staff. I think they can do well. I'm just here as a footballer to try to improve myself and it's a great opportunity for myself because I'm only young. I hope I do well." Derbyshire has pace and that is an asset which could prove invaluable for Argyle. He said: "I like to run the channels and I like the ball over the top early. I also like the ball in the penalty box as quick as the wingers and the full-backs can put it in there. I have spoken to the manager and he's going to play me in the reserves on Tuesday and I will see how I get on there." Derbyshire sees his switch to Argyle as a good one. He said: "It's a step-up for me, from playing at Premiership reserves level to the Championship. Being in and around those sort of games will be great for my experience." Argyle are 21st in the Championship after losing their last four games but that does not concern the latest addition to their squad. He said: "It's only the start of the season. He's a good manager and he has got a good set of lads behind him. I think we will do well." Derbyshire first heard about Argyles interest in him from Mark Hughes on Wednesday. "Mark Hughes rang me up and said Colchester and Plymouth had come in for me and straight away I said Plymouth," he said. "They are a very big club. It's a long way down but I have heard it's a family club."
Bobby Williamson has revealed he made inquiries about 30 strikers before the transfer window shut this week. He said: "Talking about just strikers alone, I have looked at about 30 players, whether it has been speaking to agents or to clubs direct, and whether it has been loans or permanent. It mounts up. We work diligently to try to keep adding to the squad and that's on-going. I have also been looking at other positions and other players so it all adds up really. We can't conduct our business publicly because a lot of these players are contracted to other clubs and it's unfair to talk about them. I don't like hearing managers talking about players at other clubs, and nor do the Football Association. We have got a network of scouts who are actively out there looking at players and recommending people. We have got to work through them to see what suits our needs, financially as well as anything else, and that all takes time. I can understand the speculation, that's for sure, because nothing is kept quiet in Plymouth. Names are bandied about - some correct, some totally incorrect. That's just part and parcel of it." Williamson admitted there were many reasons why proposed transfers or loans had fallen through. He said: "Sometimes it's financial, other times there are problems with agents. Maybe a club didn't want to let a player leave, maybe they didn't want to come down to this level or they wanted to play in the Premiership. As I say, there are so many reasons why it just doesn't come together. Maybe I got down to it and I made my mind up I didn't think they were what we were needing. But we are looking and we will keep looking - not just for strikers. If you don't try, you don't get." Williamson did not blame the clubs apparent lack of spending power for the struggle to bolster his strikeforce. He said: "I knew what the parameters were when I joined the club and the financial state it was in. I work within those parameters and will continue to do that." Williamson will be hoping Matt Derbyshire has a similar impact to that of Dexter Blackstock last season. Williamson said: "Young Matty Derbyshire has decided to join us and we are delighted about that because it could be beneficial for both parties, just as it was for Dexter Blackstock last season. We don't want to put too much of a burden on a young lad's shoulders. He's here to develop as a player and if we can get the benefit of that, then, brilliant. We needed that extra depth in the squad. The contacts I have got in the game and the people who have been scouting him have told me he's capable of playing at this level, so we will give him that chance. But I will say this to the fans, don't expect the kid to get 20 goals. He will come in and if he gets an opportunity and does well he might stay in the team."
Argyle will play Anderlecht in a testimonial match for Paul Wotton at Home Park on Tuesday, October 4th. Wotton said, "I am delighted to get a team like Anderlecht to come and play, it has been 18 months of hard work to find a team, at last we have and a good team at that. There will be some surprise guest players, but I will let fans know closer to the time who they will be. There will be loud cheers from the Devonport and Lyndhurst when they come out of the tunnel, they are a bit special, that's all I can say at the moment." Ticket arrangements and prices will be announced soon. "The prices will be less than normal match day prices at Home Park," said Wotton, "They will be available from the next home match against Crewe on September 13. It will be great night for all the family."
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